BCA Study Abroad: Xalapa, Mexico
100% Rating
(3 Reviews)

BCA Study Abroad: Xalapa, Mexico

On the BCA Xalapa program you can dive into Mexican culture by becoming an active community member. You can participate in different sports, learn Son Jarocho music and volunteer at a variety of organizations. There are many parks, plazas, markets, museums and galleries to frequent, as well as a lively café scene, frequent concerts, cinema clubs, fairs and festivals. Additionally, your host families in Cuernavaca and Xalapa will introduce you to Mexican celebrations, cuisine and traditions.

Universidad Veracruzana (UV) is a large institution offering more than 100 undergraduate degrees and a wide range of courses in many disciplines. There are very few international students, so you’ll be fully immersed in Mexican life. As an advanced language student, challenge yourself by taking UV courses taught in Spanish alongside local students. If your Spanish is not as advanced, you can take courses at the School for Foreign Students that are designed for non-native speakers.

  • Refuse to be ordinary – skip Cancun and study abroad in the beautiful and friendly Xalapa, known as Mexico’s City of Flowers! Step off the traditional tourist path during BCA’s excursions and cultural activities.
  • Dedicate the first two weeks of your semester to strengthening your language skills and exploring Mexican culture and history in Cuernavaca before travelling to Xalapa to enroll in your semester courses.
  • Volunteer or intern at a local agency, non-profit or NGO to be an activist!
  • Your BCA Xalapa Resident Director (RD) will help you quickly acclimate to Mexican culture and society, become involved with local organizations and find activities and events going on in the city so you can fully participate in local life.
  • Let BCA RD be your guide as you travel outside of the city and experience the diversity of the country. Excursions vary by semester but in the past have included places such as Mexico City, the capital of Mexico or Teotihuacan, an archaeological site.
Program Type
Subject Areas
Art History
Cultural Studies
International Business
Latin American Studies
Liberal Arts
Peace Studies
Social Sciences
Visual Arts
Degree Level
Academic Year
Host Family
Airport Transfers
Travel Insurance
Online Application
Language Requirement
Starting Price
Price Details
-Tuition & Fees
-Meals with Host Family
-Airport Pick-Up
-Cultural Excursions
-Cultural and University Orientation
-On-Site Resident Director Support
-Official Overseas Transcript
-Academic Advising
-International Health and Evacuation Insurance
-BCA Study Abroad support services before, during, and after the program

Scholarships available-Visit the BCA Study Abroad website for more information and to apply for scholarships!
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Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 3 reviews
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
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Go to Xalapa!

I had an amazing time studying abroad in Xalapa with BCA Mexico. Where to begin? My homestay was amazing, I am still in touch with my host mother, and my housing was right in the middle of town which was so convenient. It was easy to get to know other international students and other Mexican students both through classes and organizations. I personally found my community in a feminist collective, but as Xalapa is kind of a college town, there is a lot of stuff to do! Xalapa always has amazing events going on, the music is fantastic (really missed Son Jarocho when I came back to the states!), and there are always cool film festivals going on in the local cultural center. The nightlife is fun and affordable, and I always found that my friends watched out for me! I've got to say, I never felt unsafe in Xalapa, so please don't let that keep you from studying abroad in Mexico. I My Spanish got a lot better while I was in Xalapa, and I really did meet people who I am still close with today. I loved my time in Xalapa and I have recommended it to many of my friends who are interested in studying abroad in a Spanish - speaking country. It was everything I could have hoped for from a study abroad experience!

How can this program be improved?

Hmm, the courses at the local university weren't super challenging and were a bit disorganized. But to be honest, I didn't mind it that much because it left me more time to explore Xalapa and Mexico!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

A Life-Changing Experience in an Incredible Place

I was deeply satisfied with my experience as a BCA-Xalapa study abroad student. Our program started with cultural immersion and language classes in the city of Cuernavaca, where we were given both the structure and guidance necessary to make us feel safe, and the freedom to begin exploring a new and exciting country. I was initially struck by how much the program director, Rob Krueger, knew about both ancient and modern Mexican history, and how he could contextualize the sites we were visiting and communities we were observing by pulling from his expertise in archaeology. I learned amazing things about indigenous history, Spanish colonization, politics and contemporary Mexican society from both classes and informal discussions with Rob. Also, from the start, we all only spoke Spanish, and this really got us ready to immerse ourselves linguistically in the country.

Moving on to Xalapa, we were given so much freedom to pursue classes that interested us, while also being guided and supported every step of the way by Rob. Rob is uniquely passionate, dedicated and caring when it comes to taking care of his students, and he's extremely casual and approachable, but still professional and organized. When I was the only person who wanted to take a class he was offering, he met with me every week at a coffee shop to discuss our readings and my essays, and he treated our classes just as seriously as if it were not only me. It was truly appreciated.

Xalapa itself is an awesome city, in an amazing part of the country. Veracruz gets a bad rep for drug-related violence, but it's sort of like any large city or region of the world that has an active conflict: You know where and where not to go, and you just don't go to the cities that aren't safe. Most of the cities ARE extremely safe, and I typically felt safer than I would in a city of comparable size in the U.S. People are kind, hospitable, open, inviting and if you let yourself get enmeshed with local students, organizations and people in general, your Spanish will become excellent. I entered shaky and left confidently fluent, and to this day this is a skill that helps me in my professional and personal life.

You are nearby beaches, rainforests, mountains, mangrove swamps, jungles, waterfalls and so much natural beauty. Food is incredible, though vegetarians will have to be mindful about eating in Mexico. Fruit is fresh and delicious. Buses, hotels, etc. are very affordable for most Americans given the conversion rate. Opportunities to get involved with local organizations (such as Matraca A.C., which serves youth who are working in the streets of Xalapa) and fun classes at the university where you will be taking classes (Universidad Veracruzana) abound (sculpture, dance, mushroom-growing, orienteering...).

In short, I could not have asked for a better program, a better program director, or a better study abroad experience. If you want to be in a beautiful place, eat great food, see exotic landscapes, majorly improve your Spanish, make good friends (of course, this will take openness and effort on your part, but this will be the case ANYWHERE you go) and learn so much about yourself and the world, come to BCA!

How can this program be improved?

Perhaps more weekend trips in and around Veracruz? Possibly expanded partnerships with local grassroots, community-based organizations? Potentially the option to live...not with a family? Really, though, I don't have much I'd change.

Yes, I recommend

Loved BCA Xalapa and wish I could do it again

My time with BCA in Xalapa, Mexico was unforgettable and truly a life changing experience. I had traveled internationally before going to Xalapa, but I had never really been immersed in a culture for longer than a couple of weeks. I had many options for Study Abroad locations, but Xalapa enticed me because of the diversity of landscape and things to do in and around the city. And it didn't disappoint in the slightest! The director, Rob, was professional, organized, helpful, but also a ton of fun and made all of our excursions and educational opportunities quite enjoyable. I even had the chance to go cave diving with him in extinct volcano tunnels on one occasion. This was just one of the many incredible memories that I made with my time in Xalapa. I also made a lot of really good friends (both with local people and international students) with whom I still talk to this day. The education was also high quality. I took classes on Spanish Composition, translation, Mexico and Latin American History, and Mesoamerican Religions. I was always challenged, but the teachers and instructors taught in such a way that I really enjoyed it and hated having to leave. I would encourage anyone who is considering studying abroad to choose Xalapa. You will not regret it!

Yes, I recommend

About BCA Study Abroad

Established in 1962, BCA Study Abroad has been committed to helping students understand contemporary issues by offering challenging and rewarding study abroad programs. From its start, BCA has focused its educational mission on engaging students with...