Joelle L.

Fall–Spring 2009–2010

I don’t know when or how it happened, but Mexico—and Puebla—have permeated my body, mind, and soul. My time in Puebla involved a lot of firsts: first passport, first time leaving the United States, first time flying (all alone!), first layovers, first time through customs, first time setting foot on Mexican soil, first time eating a cemita, first time taking a 17-hour long bus ride, first time seeing the Pacific Ocean (that’s the photo!), and first time seeing a field of banana trees. I have not been the same since.

The experience of studying abroad with PMCSP is one, I maintain, far superior to most study abroad programs. There is constant support and, at the same time, a great freedom of exploration, whether it be academic, cultural, or social. Puebla itself bolsters creativity and puts you into the heart of a friendly, welcoming Mexico, where tourists are not yet enemies and gringas are a type of taco, not just white Americans.

As a native of New Hampshire, much closer to Canada than Boston, being in Puebla with PMCSP took a girl with a love of snow and showed her the southern sun. Many students think going abroad to Europe is the way to see the world, but studying in Puebla takes you into another world—one from which you emerge with a entirely different consciousness.