Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cultural Immersion in Oaxaca

Estudia en Oaxaca!!!

Don't miss an opportunity to earn SCC credit while studying in Mexico. At the Instituto Cultural de Oaxaca, you will have a chance to use the Spanish you are learning in class, as well as learn more conversational Spanish.

Oaxaca is a beautiful city and a great place experience true Mexican culture. You will get the chance to see and visit hundreds of iglesias (churches) that boast both classic architecture and painstaking detail. No two are alike and each one is absoutely amazing.

The people of Oaxaca are most inviting and will provide you with great opportunities to practice Spanish. As you explore the city, business and restaurant owners will invite you to shop or dine. Use this opportunity to put your Spanish to work. In the stores, bargain with the sellers. Bargaining is simply part of the culture and a sticker price is just the base for negotiation. In the restaurants, ask questions about the food. It is great practice and it will impress the restaurant staff that you are interested in learning about the dishes. When you accept the invitation at the restaurants, prepare yourself, Oaxaca is reknowned as having some of the best dishes that Mexico has to offer. Whether it is a torta, cesina or the infamous chapurrines (I'll let you explore that one), you will not be dissapointed. To top it all off, relax after your meal with a shot of the area's finest Mezcal, a local liquor similar to Tequila.

You can find plenty of things to explore and see in the city, but if your interests are traditional tourist attractions, then Monte Alban (right) is one place that you must visit. Located on a plateau overlooking the city, these Zapotecan ruins are extrememly well preserved. The views from this ancient city are amazing and the condition of the structures is immaculate. After wandering the ruins, step inside the museum and take a closer look at the Zapotecan culture by examining artifacts such as tools, jewelry, and even tombs of those who once lived in the ancient city.

Another attraction sure to impress is located a little ways out of the city. Los arboles de Tule (The trees of Tule) are simply mindblowing. With the diameter of its trunk measuring an estimated 38 ft. , and a circumference of over 118 ft., the largest of the three legendary trees will leave you speechless. Many experts estimate its age to be anywhere between 1,400 to 1,600 years. Local legend tells of the tree being planted by a Zapotecan priest around 1,400 years ago. Though not the oldest nor tallest tree , it does boast the most impressive trunk of any tree on the planet. This beautiful giant is located less than ten miles outside of the city of Oaxaca, and for less than one dollar, you can hop on un camion (bus), that makes the trek down Mitla Avenue to the little town of Santa Maria del Tule.
The amount you will learn and the experiences you will have while in Oaxaca are worth the time and money. Think of it as a vacation and summer school rolled together.
Trip Details:
  1. When: June 12-28, 2008
  2. Your Cost: $1,300
  • Reservation fee
  • Airfare
  • Accomodations (Breakfast included)
  • Two weeks instruction at the institute

If you choose to eat at local resaurants, plan on spending $5-$8.


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