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Letter to Parents

Greetings UVM Parent,

We want to take this opportunity to tell you about our experiences with the Oaxaca Semester Abroad program. Oaxaca is the most culturally and biologically diverse of Mexican states. It provides an ideal setting to live and learn about the challenges of two-thousand-year-old indigenous cultures in a rapidly changing world. Issues and solutions relating to migration, food and agriculture, social justice, and community development are not only to be studied, but wholly experienced.

Our program is based in beautiful, colonial Oaxaca City, where students live with local families. Courses include anthropology, botany, community development, Spanish, geology, and nutrition and health. We travel throughout the state to learn about alternative medicine, archaeology, politics, history, immigration policy, and environmental issues. Using Oaxaca as our classroom, each course offers field-based, hands-on opportunities to learn about Oaxaca’s incredible diversity of indigenous cultures, arts, and landscapes. The program also includes field trips and community stays in indigenous villages, and in-depth service-learning opportunities.

The semester-long program in Oaxaca is designed to help your son or daughter fulfill UVM distribution requirements and/or major and minor credits. The 18-credit program is unique in that it offers UVM credits with UVM selected instructors and UVM financial aid, so this study abroad program fits seamlessly in your student’s UVM education. In other words, your son or daughter will not have to go to another university to study abroad and then worry about instructor quality and transferring credits back to UVM.

As we can attest, the program offers intellectual, emotional, and practical experiences that students rarely encounter on campus. Students make life-long friends with each other and with the people of Oaxaca. If your son or daughter is curious about the world and serious about studying, believe us when we say Oaxaca is the place to go.

If this description sounds like the type of learning experience that would benefit your student, please encourage him or her to submit an application soon because this year’s class will fill fast. In order to apply, students must have successfully finished two semesters of Spanish at the college level by the end of fall semester, or contact Continuing and Distance Education about special permission for a language exemption.

You can fill out an application here. Students who are accepted are also eligible for scholarship awards of up to $1,000, based on financial need. If you have any questions, please contact UVM Continuing and Distance Education at or 802-656-2085.


Oaxaca Semester Abroad