Cal Poly Global Program: Language & Culture in Mexico

San Miguel de Allende is stunningly beautiful and one of the most charming places in Mexico. A tranquil colonial town of less than 150,000 people, San Miguel’s architecture, cobbled streets, galleries, shops, and restaurants have attracted American artists and retirees for decades. Language & Culture in Mexico is an affordable 4-week summer quarter program led by two Cal Poly faculty. Students earn 8 units of academic credit (4 units of Spanish and 4 units on Mexican culture), including volunteering with Mexican school children. Housing and meals are provided by homestay families, and the program includes full-day field trips to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan and to Guanajuato.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Long known for its safety, beauty, and small-town charm, San Miguel de Allende is a UNESCO world heritage site, internationally recognized for its rich history and cultural heritage. Quaint and walkable, this is the ideal place to introduce yourself to Mexico, one of the most important and interesting countries in the Americas, while learning Spanish and connecting with the heritage of one-third of the people of California. San Miguel is situated at 6,000 feet in Mexico’s central highlands, and the weather is clear and spring-like year-round. It is easily accessible by 3-hour non-stop flights from LAX to the nearby Guanajuato airport.

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This program is open to students in all majors.


  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Not actively on academic probation
  • Good disciplinary standing

Minimum Enrollment

  • 18 students

Maximum Enrollment

  • 24 students

How to Apply

  • First, attend a Study Abroad 101 Workshop and complete the Advising Module.
  • Then, click the 'Apply Now' button to complete the online application for this program (opens Dec 1, 2017).
  • The deadline to apply is March 1, 2018
  • Students will be notified of their application status by March 15, 2018.
  • Students with financial need are encouraged to apply for a $500 Travel Scholarship to Mexico.
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Summer 2018 offers students an intensive 4-week, 8-unit program. Students take Spanish taught by Mexican teachers and a culture course taught in English by Cal Poly faculty. The GE course focuses on Mexican culture and includes volunteering with Mexican school children. This program is invaluable to future teachers in California or anyone else who may interact with Mexican immigrants or their children.

Course # Course Title Unit
SPAN 101, 102, 103, 201, 202, 203, 301, or 302 Spanish 4
WLC 310 Culture of Mexico 4

NOTE: WLC 310 will be taught by the Faculty Leader, and pre-requisites will be waived. Spanish language classes will be taught by local language instructors from the Academia Hispano Americana who are native Spanish speakers.

Fernando Fabio Sánchez


Fernando Fabio Sánchez specializes in post-colonial Mexico and teaches at California Polytechnic State University. His research focuses on the concept of modernity, the representation of violence, and the role of the State, in literature, painting, photography, film, and mass media. Professor Sánchez has also published poetry and fiction. He is concurrently working on a novel.

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