Language and Culture

This trip offers Spanish language students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture and language of Oaxaca, Mexico. Students will develop their conversational fluency and understanding of daily life in Mexico by living with Oaxacan families. They will also hone their language skills through daily language classes at the Universidad Autonoma de Oaxaca and weekly conversation exchanges with local university students. To learn about the depth and richness of Oaxacan culture, students will take art, cooking, and dance classes, and visit several cultural sites including artisan villages, pre-columbian ruins, and art museums. We will also enjoy the spectacular beauty of southern Mexico on excursions to the Monte Alban Pyramids, natural hot springs, and the mountains surrounding the city. Students will also enjoy Oaxaca’s exquisite food, including world-famous moles, refreshing aguas frescas, and for the more adventurous, crunchy and spicy chapulines. After their time immersed in Mexico, students return home with an appreciation for the culture and history of Mexico and greater confidence in their command of the Spanish language.

The trip is open to all current 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students with a preference towards those currently enrolled in Spanish III or above and who plan to continue to study Spanish at Deerfield after our return. Students must commit to using Spanish as their primary language of communication for the duration of the trip. All interested students are encouraged to apply by November 4. Financial aid is available for all trips with priority for students who have not previously received aid for a Deerfield trip.

Program Dates

This trip has concluded. The following information has been provided for reference. Please check back soon for updates on our next trip.

Program Notes

  • Please note: This trip conflicts with the June 6 SAT and the June 13 ACT
  • During this trip, students will stay in homestays as pairs, triples or singles. The majority of meals will be shared with or provided by the homestay family, but students will also eat out at restaurants. During the orientation, students will stay in rustic lodge-styles accommodations in the mountains.
  • Families are responsible for transporting their students to and from a U.S. based airport, likely in Texas, to begin the trip and to their home destination for the remainder of the summer.

Helpful links

Jennifer Herrera - MX OAX - Teotilán Artisan Village(2)

Example Itinerary

The trip begins with a two day orientation to Oaxaca in the Sierra Norte Mountains. Students, after these first two days, will join their homestay families in Oaxaca and begin their morning Spanish language classes with cultural activities in the afternoons.

June 4: Travel day to Oaxaca

June 5 – June 6: Orientation in the Sierra Norte Mountains

June 6: Return to Oaxaca, students meet with host families

June 7 – June 24

Typical weekly schedule:

Monday – Friday: Live with host families, take morning language classes taught by outside professors, participate in language exchanges with University students, visit cultural sites in Oaxaca city and in nearby towns, take artisan workshops, do volunteer work

Saturday – Sunday: Weekend excursions include day trips to Monte Alban ruins, Tlacolula market and Teotitlan Artisan Village, Hierva el Agua and Mitla ruins

June 25: Return to the US

*This itinerary is subject to change.


Notes from Abroad

Oaxaca 2018

Oaxaca #18: Final Reflections

For one month, students where immersed in Mexican culture while living in home stays. They participated in Spanish language classes at a local university, visited local sites and partook in various cultural experiences. When the program ended, trip Leaders Jaime Correa and Haley O’Neil asks students to reflect on the following prompts: 1)I used to think…..I now think…. or  2)This month, I have been grateful for…, below are the students responses.