What do our alumni say about… the connections they made with mentors, host families and our team?

“It was unforgettable. It was extremely difficult to part ways and say goodbye, especially because some genuine friendships were made. I couldn't be more appreciative of the students and professors alike. They were all so professional and welcoming. And my host family was incredibly welcoming… I appreciate how they accommodated my diet and were supportive of me wanting to have as many experiences as possible! I couldn't have had a better experience.” -Carolina

“I just appreciate the abundant opportunities I was presented with in being part of this program. So many connections were made and the memories and experiences will remain forever. I am looking forward to participating again in the future.” -Yareli

“The students were smart, kind, caring, and cool. The faculty were so engaging - I could not believe how much time they were willing to spend talking with me about their work, the school, the issues they cared about... really impressed and grateful.” -Erin

“Outside of the classroom is where I was really able to learn and practice my conversational practice with everyone else and felt an improvement in my Spanish where it started coming naturally. Hearing the mentors speak outside the class, helped me so much, I just started copying how they would speak. It was a more relaxed, open space to be able to converse, laugh and learn!” -Reynaldo

“Thank you for welcoming my son. He felt at home with everyone. Thank you for choosing a family where there was a child his age. I looked forward to lunch everyday. It was delicious and they considered various dietary restrictions. Almost everyday I ate something new.” -Tracy

…our Spanish instructors, mentors and educational experience?

“The teacher was Mexican and it helped more than I thought to learn Spanish from someone in the culture. Apart from that, the teacher was so professional, and could explain complex lessons very simple. He put one fear I subconsciously carried to rest when he would say, different words for the same things aren't wrong, there's many ways to name something. It allowed me to not get hung up on words but focus more on the overall sentence structure. Practicing with the mentors right after the lessons was perfect, they were so nice! They never made me feel bad for mispronouncing, I never felt judged, and that alone helped me feel free to just talk and make mistakes!” -Reynaldo

“Again, the class exceeded my expectations as I did not expect to be reviewing grammar and the different rules. Even better, I appreciated how there was consistency in the instruction. For example, I enjoyed being lectured and being given the assignment of practicing with the mentors. The time was well organized and structured.” -Carolina

…the logistics, gastronomical and cultural experience?

“Oh my goodness - the restaurants were THE BEST! I couldn't stop talking about them when I got home and how spoiled I felt. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. You all went above and beyond. It was apparent how much thought went into our cultural experiences. It was fantastic, and I could tell that there was A LOT of planning in the background to make sure that we had the best time and learned as much as we could in the short amount of time. And, crossing into Mexico was seamless and easy! We had great guides. I felt safe crossing to the pick-up spot and throughout our entire stay, and provided for with the staff and drivers. Never once did I question my safety.” -Susie

“That Saturday was full of great experiences I enjoyed very much. All three locations we went to were beautiful and memorable. The ice cream shop was definitely a nice way to top off the day. Sunday was a good time as well, and I appreciated my host family letting me spend time with my peers.” -Carolina

“I don't drink and my son could not go on the wine tour. However, this is not a dealbreaker because the wineries had other amenities and the scenery was beautiful. I very much liked the place with the food truck and also the winery with the ice cream shop. We spent our free day at the beach - my happy place.” -Tracy

“I love to eat so these activities were perfect for me. I loved interacting with everyone and felt like I was being spoiled! It was hard to come home.” -Jennifer

The activities, tours and restaurants were fantastic! Beautiful locations and culinary success. Thank you for a wonderful experience! -Trina

…our MedSpanish track?

“Dr. Ortiz is one of the best teachers I have been around in my life. He truly understands the essence of repetition and hammering home the main points... I worked with a Pasante the Saturday after the program and literally saw him ask and question patients the exact same way Dr. Ortiz taught us, tit for tat. It was incredible but gives even more credibility to the training Dr. Ortiz put us through. The epidemiology lesson was one of my highlights... I learned a lot and was able to get one or two huge questions that I think only someone in his position could have realistically answered.” -Reynaldo

“Our instructor went above and beyond teaching the Medical Spanish class. It exceeded my expectations overall because I didn’t expect to be learning actual medical modules, only the terminology. I had a great experience working with the mentors; they are all so well-informed, knowledgeable, amicable, easy to converse with, they were receptive to my questions, yet honest enough to correct any mistakes I was making. The mentors are a valuable asset to the program, and the structure of the material was consistent and engaging. Regarding the Epidemiology guest lecture, although I personally am not so interested in research/epidemiology, the way Dr. Zazueta lectured was engaging and interactive. I never thought I would remember past components of research and experiments, but it was much easier than expected to answer his questions.” -Carolina

Everybody was super helpful in this course and with it being such a difficult topic to learn outside of courses such as these, everybody involved was great as to not point out our flaws and simply work with us and the level we had. Marielena specifically, was a phenomenal mentor who never made me uncomfortable with speaking in front of her and her way of teaching broke down the material for me in a way that was very easy to understand and follow. I was always looking forward to my practice session when paired with her.” -Adamaris

“I enjoyed that there was ample time for practicing with mentors following the instruction period. I enjoyed how interactive the instruction format was as well. Taking this class in person after taking it online was a much better and more immersive experience.” -Jaden

“I could tell how passionate Dr. Ortiz is about the program. I have seen the anatomage before and didn't quite see the benefit over a real cadaver - BUT Dr. Ortiz's explanation changed my mind.” -Susie

…our MedSpanish track: clinical shadowing component?

“I had no idea how the medical system functions in Mexico and now feel that I have a better understanding. I was thoroughly impressed with the camaraderie and respect/admiration everyone had for each other. The tour of the clinic in Tijuana was enlightening. I had no idea TB was such a concern. After coming back, I heard from friends about the issues Haiti is having. It is reassuring to know that so many people are getting such quality care. I have no idea how the medical workers are able to care for so many people. The tour in Ensenada was also enlightening. Everyone seemed to work together and genuinely care about giving the best possible care to their patients. I was also impressed with the way the medical students are taught to interact with people. I love that they are required to know how to take blood pressures and measure blood glucose levels. It seemed like they are taught to take genuine interest in the well-being of their patients and consider their living environments. They are taught to treat people as humans and not just symptoms. This is incredibly important to me.” -Jennifer

“Working in the Public Health in Communities Module was an amazing experience. It provided me with insight as to how foreign public health works to serve its communities. I was astounded at how free healthcare exists for those who need it most; obviously, nothing is perfect, but it was a great reminder that the priority should always remain that the people come first. I understood the function of Public Health as well as its context in relation to what we were studying and I felt prepared enough to formulate questions. The peer mentors were absolutely helpful and they helped answer all my questions.” -Carolina

“The shadowing at the hospital was great, I got to follow an intern and medical students and some very intense disease presentations from some patients. I think that was extremely invaluable. If every student could shadow the physician Pancho and I shadowed in Tijuana, that was life changing. I journaled about 5 pages regarding that experience. I've been in medicine 6 years now and have seen so many things, but she knocked my socks off.” -Reynaldo

The overall immersion experience?

“I had a great time. Thank you to everyone for all of your work in making this visit so memorable. I hope to work with you in the future with my students, and see some of you at upcoming events. THANK YOU 1000 times AGAIN - for teaching me about the Mexican culture, medical school and healthcare system, the cultural immersions, and the host family. They were wonderful, as was everyone else I met on the trip. You all do a wonderful job at this and really do a great job at showcasing how much thought and effort is put into the program.” -Susie

“Thank you to everyone at CENEU and Xochicalco!! This was the highlight of my year. It took me outside of my comfort zone and taught me a lot about caring for my patients. Thank you for accommodating our needs. Money well spent!” -Tracy

“I had such a wonderful time and I will be forever grateful to you all and the CENEU team. I'm SO glad that I decided to attend both the medical Spanish course and the immersion trip. Once the madness from the application cycle and the MCAT are over, I would love to return and offer support or services in some capacity to you all again in the future! Hopefully (fingers crossed) as a newly minted medical student!!” -Jaden

“I just wanted to let you know that I was able to volunteer at the Refugee Health Alliance in Tijuana and I went in super confident compared to pre-CENEU, where I would have been sweating bullets. I was able to triage (take chief complaints, symptoms, medical and social histories of over 80 patients) thanks to and all of the help from the students and staff from XOCHICALCO!!! I can't thank you enough… You look and look during your life for your "why?" and sometimes you never find it or you think you know what it is until you come across something that makes you feel passionate. Having and improving the ability to be the bridge between our patients and effective healthcare has really made me realize this is what I love to do.” -Reynaldo

…about Universidad Xochicalco?

“I most definitely would recommend the University of Xochicalco to interested friends. I wish I had known about this option years ago.” -Tracy

“My entire family never got the opportunity to go to high school/university in Mexico. To me, I was in shock most of the time. I was thankful for the opportunity to see, interact, hear and experience the students, classrooms and faculty at Xochicalco.The students and Dr. Ortiz proved that this option is just as good in attaining a proper medical school education for those of us that have some background in Spanish and/or live close to the border. I can say with certainty, the Mexican model of healthcare is what U.S. doctors think Medical School in the U.S. is going to be.” -Reynaldo

“Universidad Xochicalco offers great opportunities for those willing to live out of the United States and who would like to immerse themselves in a different culture and bring their knowledge back with them to the U.S. I will definitely spread the word.” -Carolina