The city of Puebla in the Mexican state of Puebla is located two hours southeast of Mexico City, and has a population of about three million people. As one of the five most important Spanish colonial cities in Mexico, Puebla has played a central role in Mexican history since the invasion of Cortes in the 16th century. Founded in 1531, the Spanish conquerors built the Cathedral of Puebla which dominates the city's charming colonial center. Puebla is also famous as the site of the Mexican victory over the occupying French army on the Cinco de Mayo, 1862. Puebla City Centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site containing some of Mexico’s best-preserved Spanish Colonial treasures, including some 2,600 designated historic buildings.
Program Dates* Academic Year: Early August through mid-May Fall Semester: Early August through mid-December Spring Semester: Early January through mid-May
*Please take program dates into consideration and how they may coincide or conflict with internship and other academic requirements.
Academic Program Notre Dame partners with the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) a private, Catholic, non-profit university whose main campus is located near the historic center of of the city. The UPAEP currently offers 46 different bachelor programs in the areas of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Design, Health Sciences, Humanities, Engineering, and Information Technologies. Students may participate in any of the undergraduate programs, directly enrolling alongside Mexican and other international students. Courses are conducted in Spanish.
Students may apply to study in Puebla for the fall, spring or academic year. Approximately 20 students spend the fall semester in Puebla while the spring group ranges in size. A unique feature of the fall program is the pre-medicine track that affords students the opportunity to enroll in a credit bearing practicum, “Theory and Practice of Mexican Medicine” which includes lectures pertaining to healthcare in Mexico and the opportunity to shadow Mexican doctors in several public hospitals in Puebla. Additionally, students may choose to enroll in General Physics 34210 +lab taught in English. The pre-medicine track is only available during the fall semester. Students who are not science or pre-med are also encouraged to study in Puebla during the fall semester but are not eligible to participate in the practicum.
Business internships are available in Puebla during both the fall and spring semesters.
Courses Students enroll in courses in the regular departments of the University, with Mexican and international students. Students are encouraged to explore courses in their majors, especially those which may not be available on campus at Notre Dame.
All participants in the Mexico program are required to enroll in one course with a focus on Mexican history or culture. Students take 15 credit hours per semester, and all courses completed are entered onto the student's transcript at Notre Dame and grades computed into the ND GPA.Fall
The International Course Database includes a list of courses previously completed at UPAEP by Notre Dame students. The database does not provide a complete list of course offerings available in Puebla. Students may enroll in almost any course offered at UPAEP as long as they meet the UPAEP pre-requisites, and have approval from the appropriate department at Notre Dame. The course approval process is discussed at pre-departure meetings held the semester before the start of the study abroad program. UPAEP course offerings. Fall semester offerings are listed under semesters 1,3,5,7 and 9 and spring semesters offerings are listed under semesters 2, 4, 6, and 8. In most cases, Notre Dame students will enroll in classes offered during the 1st-6th semesters.
Students should plan to attend the program during their sophomore or junior year. Pre-professional students generally attend the program during the fall of their junior year. Seniors may be considered under special circumstances with the permission of their Dean.
Students must have completed at least four semesters of college level (ROSP 20202) Spanish or the equivalent in order to participate. The ideal candidate will have completed at least one course beyond 20202.
Students must maintain a 2.75 GPA with a "B" or better in Spanish language courses.
The application deadline is November 1 for the fall, spring, or academic year.
Please note that, even if accepted through Notre Dame, you will still be asked to complete a secondary application form for the host institution.
Field Trips: Each semester offers a unique weeklong field trip organized by our On-site Coordinator, Lisette Monterroso. The focus of the fall trip in Cuetzalan is indigenous and rural culture while the focus of the spring trip in Coscomatepec is education in rural Mexico.
In the fall, students spend one week in rural Cuetzalan, Mexico where they have the opportunity to explore the day to day realities of a different Mexican ethnicities and socio-economic classes. Students will visit a coffee plantation, learn about micro-finance initiatives in the area and work with hospital personnel at an unique hospital which blends rural and western medicinal treatments.
Spring students visit an under-resourced school system in rural Veracruz. Students learn about the school system, work with teachers and help with service projects at the school.
In addition to the week long trip each semester, Notre Dame sponsors other field trips to locations such as Mexico City and Oaxaca. Sra. Monterosa is a resource for students in the program, helps organize homestays, and organizes field trips and other events throughout the semester as well as service and cultural opportunities.
Housing and Meals All students participating in the Puebla program live with host families who have been carefully selected by Notre Dame's on-site coordinator in Puebla, Sra. Lisette Monterroso.
Involvement in Mexican family life can be rewarding, and it facilitates the development of Spanish language proficiency. Host families provide three meals a day to students when they are in Puebla.
Passports If you are considering applying to a study abroad program and you do not have a valid passport, or your passport will expire within six months past your program end date, please take steps to obtain or renew your passport immediately. Passports can take longer than expected to process, and you may need your passport to apply for visas well before your program begins. For more information about obtaining and renewing passports visit the United States Postal Service.