Mini-mester in Mexico

Students at York have the opportunity to study abroad for a semester at several locations around the globe. However, what about the students who aren’t able to travel for months at a time?

Mini-mester study abroad trips are a great alternative to a full-semester experience. During one popular mini-mester trip at York College, students travel to Cuernavaca, Mexico.

“The students who have gone on this mini-mester trip, whether they go for three or five weeks, come back extremely enthusiastic about studying abroad,” said Cynthia Doutrich, Ph.D., coordinator of Foreign Languages and professor of Spanish.

Since 1990, York students have had the opportunity to travel to Cuernavaca for a three or five week period every other year, during the May mini-mester. Students take a one-credit orientation class the spring semester before the trip. The course, open to students of all levels and majors, is designed to add a background in the history, cultural differences and particular expressions and phrases of Mexico. 

“Typically students will go on the trip during their sophomore or junior year, but all class levels are welcome,” said Doutrich.

Usually the students who attend the three-week long trip, for which they earn three credits, have a Spanish minor, or simply want to gain more experience in the Spanish culture. Students who go on the five-week long trip, for which they earn six credits, are usually Spanish majors, and are fulfilling their study abroad requirement. Students stay with host families and attend classes during weekdays. On weekends, they go on field trips such as a walking tour of Mexico City, and a visit to the National Museum of Anthropology and to the Pyramids of Teotithuacán.