• Mexico
    • Guanajuato
Fall, Spring

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Host Family


Starting Price
Price Details
Housing and all meals
1 Intensive Spanish Course of 51 hours total
A one-day trip to San Miguel de Allende
A four-day excursion to Mexico City
Online Pre-Departure Orientation
On site orientation
Airport pick-up
24/7 on site leadership and support

What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Classes Meals
What's Included (Extra)

Online Pre-Departure Orientation
University tuition at the University of Guanajuato for up to 4 courses (15-18 U.S credits)
Trips, excursions and cultural activities

What's Not Included
Airfare Domestic Airfare
Jul 08, 2021
Nov 09, 2020
9 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Culture and Language Abroad is a uniquely immersive study program based in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Guanajuato, Mexico. Unlike less personal exchange programs, we focus on designing individual curriculum experiences that are authentic to both student’s needs and local culture. CLA is a non-profit founded and operated by a dedicated team of international educators – who also happen to be Guanajuato natives – whose university and community networks assure that program participants will study and live like a true local.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Live an learn like a true local for a semester or a year
  • Improve your Spanish skills
  • Earn up to 15 US university credits
  • Explore Mexico and break stereotypes
  • Get out of your comfort zone

Related Programs

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.7
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 4.85
  • Safety 4.7
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Guanajuato: Vibrant City of Culture, Art, Music

Guanajuato is a beautiful city full of colour, vibrancy, and a friendly mix of locals and other international students. It's a great city to wander and find live music, fantastic street food or a little bar/coffee shop to relax in. As long as you make an effort with trying to speak, the citizens of Guanajuato are friendly and receptive and it was overall an extremely pleasant place to live. Fabiola and Samantha were our local program administrators with CLA and it's hard to put into words how incredible they were. From picking us up at the airport to showing us around the city to organizing weekly cultural excursions, we quickly became friends who I still keep in contact with today. My experience was definitely improved with Fabiola & Samantha's guidance and I couldn't have asked for a better study abroad program with them. I stayed with a family who again I cannot fault. I was apprehensive at first because I was joining a very large family coming from a small household, but they immediately treated me like I were one of their own. But when living with a family, it's important to get yourself involved with mealtimes and general family time. They are one of your best resources when learning Spanish and they'll be interested in your life and background too! When choosing a study abroad program, the academic program was important. I wanted to learn more about the language and place I was living but didn't want to spend my whole time inside of a classroom. I found that the academic program at the University of Guanajuato was a perfect match of what I wanted, and all the professors I had were extremely friendly and dedicated to helping us learn. Financially, it's important to budget your money and resist the urge to spend it all in the first few weeks. There are so many restaurants, bars, coffee shops, museums and other attractions that if you're awful at self-control like myself, it's easy to overspend at the beginning of study abroad. Other than that, like any tourist city it has its expensive and cheaper areas. It just takes a little while to figure it out.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice would be to budget well. Guanajuato is an amazing city and it's easy to want to spend your money at all the different bars, restaurants, museums, cinemas etc.
70 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Three Months in the Most Beautiful City in the World

I had the opportunity to spend three months studying abroad (of my planned six months) before COVID-19 hit. It was truly the best three months of my life. I was placed with a host family that home-cooked every meal and had two amazing and supportive host parents. The academics were good, but the highlight of university life was meeting other students (both domestic and exchange). There were so many opportunities to meet people (language exchanges were a favorite). The cultural activities that we did the program were also really tailored to our interests and super fun/informative (cooking classes, a traditional tattooing workshop). Once COVID-19 hit, the director had us quarantine in her house with her before we had to leave. It was a great bonding experience and above-and-beyond for her to let us to live there just to assure our safety. Everyone involved in the program truly wants what's best for you and for you to have the best time you possibly can. I cannot recommend this program enough. If there's anything I could change, it would be the timing of the pandemic so I could stay longer.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
People eating crickets! I never tried one (I was never brave enough) but there was a woman who sold cooked crickets outside of my house and there were always people buying them!
65 people found this review helpful.
Response from CLA - Culture and Language Abroad

Thank you Hannah! We miss you <3

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

me encantó ❤️

I am very satisfied with the program. That time was indispensable. Fabiola and Samantha are so kind and showed us many places, and always took care of us. Also, they have good relationships with the host families. I found that living with a host family is very different from living alone in Mexico. You can eat Mexican food, talk in Spanish all the time with people who they live there, and you can learn lots of things by living with them. I enjoyed the time with my host family, and of course Fabiola and Samantha.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Chapulines is the most unfamiliar thing I ate in Mexico. It’s a locust, tasted by chili. For me it tasted like a small fish.
70 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


I am a senior at Soka University of America, during my junior year I did a semester abroad in Spring 2019, and so far it has been the best experience that has ever happened to me in my life yet. Due to Mexico's proximity to the United States and Mexican immigrants, a lot of us tend to think that we know Mexican culture–I was not the exception. However, here are 3 reasons that I personally think we should choose CLA as a program for study abroad or summer experience. 1. Guanajuato is very rich in history and culture therefore it is UNESCO world heritage. 2. It is a university city. For me, it could not get any better. There is this rich culture in Guanajuato and in addition it has thousands of offers for a young population due to the presence of students. There is no better way of learning and experimenting the Mexican culture first hand than hanging out with fellow students. 3. CLA program offers almost a personalized approach to exploring Guanajuato. Fabiola (the director of the program) is very careful and specific on planning the excursions that will give the students a true understanding of the Mexican way of life. It offers a sense of comfort and trust as not only is she born and raised in Guanajuato but also she is very well traveled therefore she is very understanding of culture shocks and could ease her students in the experience. Something that I personally find very appealing to the program as a whole. Another great thing that I loved about the program is the accessibility of the program director 24/7 to her students. While the culture was certainly distinct from my own, CLA helped me experiment Guanajuato culture to a point that it did not feel so foreign that I could not connect on some level. But that is the charm of Guanajuato and its people, it is different enough to be intriguing and exciting, but not so different that you could not integrate yourself at some point. All the students who do a study abroad in Guanajuato, they always return there atleast once. It is that magical.

What was your funniest moment?
I am a very picky eater. We went to a restaurant and we were served guacamole, that had some sprinkled stuff that looked like caramelized onions, and I thought that it was that. I ate it, and i remember saying "wow this is so crunchy and salty, I love it. What is it?" They told me that it is "chapulines"–a mexican grasshopper. I nearly fainted! Definitely would not have tried it, if they had told me what it was and I am glad that they did not.
74 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Love this program - do not want to leave!!!

I am absolutely loving my experience with CLA. I am a junior at Goshen College, and would definitely recommend this program to college students. While Mexico is close to the United States, it is a completely different world and culture. This program is so special because the director, Fabiola, was actually born and raised in Guanajuato, GTO (the city you will be living in), and she graduated from the University of Guanajuato (the university you will be attending). So you are learning from a local citizen and a native Spanish speaker. I'm the kind of person that likes to go all in and get a really authentic cultural experience -- to me, it doesn't get any more authentic than this.

As far as academics go, I really love my professors and the classes I am taking. The different faculties are located all over the city, so it is important to choose classes with the schedules and traveling distances in mind. I recommend the "Spanish for foreign students" classes in the "languages" faculty. Although there are no obviously no Mexican students in these classes, the hours are AMAZING, and you get to meet people from all over the world. I have classes with students from China, Japan, Korea, and Sweden. Also, although you are in "Spanish for foreign students" classes, you are in the "languages" faculty, so there is still plenty of opportunity to meet Mexican students.

Fabi is an amazing director. She is very supportive and always available if and when you need her. She was the first person I told when I found out my grandfather died, and also whenever I felt sick or down. She always made sure I had the support I needed but also gave me the space I needed as well.

The city can feel small at times, but it is so easy to meet and get to know people, and it is really beautiful. There are lots of interesting bars, cafes, and museums, and the town is surrounded by mountains so there are lots of cool places to go hiking. It is also very safe. Of course you should take the precautions that you would take in any city, but I have never felt scared or in danger in Guanajuato. It is calm and peaceful, and there are usually lots of people outside, many of whom are fellow students.

I can't believe I only have three months left, I wish I could stay longer! The people are kind, the streets are alive and colorful, and my host mom's food is to die for. I would recommend this program to anyone!

What would you improve about this program?
I would say the process of class selection could be improved; it was a bit confusing navigating the different faculties and lists of classes. Otherwise, this program can only be improved by gaining more students and years of experience/operation.
67 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Crazy about Guanjuato and CLA Program!!!

CLA offers such a cool experience that can be tailored to so many different types of students. My name is Esther and I arrived in Guanajuato in January and I have loved my CLA experience so far! Since my arrival I have had a great time, made a bunch of friends from Mexico and all over the world, and have gotten to travel a bunch!
When I first arrived, I was promptly picked up at the airport by Fabiola CLA’s amazing program director and my now, my friend. I am staying with a host family which has been great for my Spanish and for eating great meals three times a day. My host family has been so kind and taken me on vacations, and even to extended family celebrations. I have lots of freedom but always have lots of people to turn to for help if I need it.
There are a lot of different kinds of classes you can take in Guanajuato. Some classes are harder than others depending on what “school” the classes are in. But the teachers are typically very helpful and have had exchange students in their classes before. I was very thankful to be part of a program like CLA that helped my through the Add/Drop period at the beginning of the semester because the school’s offices can be a little slow and confusing, but CLA helped me through the whole process.
As far as the city goes, Guanajuato is beautiful! The city relatively small but is packed with things to do. There are a bunch of cool museums, winding streets, and a lots of unique restaurants and bars. The whole city center is very walkable which is what I love most. From my house I can walk to school, my friends’ houses, the market, the movies, the central plazas, cafes, restaurants, bars, all within 15 minutes! I also love that I feel like there are always little festivals, shows, and/or dance presentations going on every weekend!
It is really easy to travel in México. There are a bunch of “pueblos mágicos” close to Guanajuato and the “long distance” bus system is punctual and very comfortable. Although there are some place in Mexico CLA students are not allowed to travel to, so I found that it was important to ask about that before making any travel plans.
Fabiola has been so kind and helpful through the whole study abroad process. She organized our trip to Mexico City and asked me what I was most interested in before we went, we went to the famous Lucha Libre, Frida Kahlo’s house, went on boat rides, ate at yummy restaurants, and did a bunch of other cool things. Fabi really has always had my best interest in mind and has always given me advice on where to not travel and the safest ways to get where I want to go.
This program has been awesome for me! the perfect balance of freedom and security, fun and learning. I would definitely recommend it to anyone!

What would you improve about this program?
CLA wants more students to join them on their adventures and learning! The only thing that can improve this program is its growth and maybe an extra official language support aspect.
70 people found this review helpful.

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