School of Education students get global perspective during trip to Mexico

SAHE students in Mexico.

In January 2017, students and faculty in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program embarked on a 12-day trip to Mexico, as part of the Global Perspectives in Student Affairs course designed to further develop students’ understanding of student affairs — while demonstrating global awareness and inclusive excellence through seminars and field experience.

Interacting with Mexican students, faculty

“The Global Perspectives course and field experience to Mexico is the highlight of my SAHE experience, and provided me with the most growth in the program,” said Dexter Artienda. “This is primarily because I had no previous exposure to international education and to student affairs outside of the United States.”

The SAHE students and faculty spent time in three different cities in Mexico: Mérida, Mexico City, and Monterrey. In each city, they visited a variety of higher education institutions, including Universidad de Monterrey, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Universidad Autónama de Yucatán, and Universidad Marista de Mérida.

SAHE student in MexicoAt each university, the SAHE students received a formal presentation, including an overview of the university and its educational model, a campus tour, and an opportunity to interact with students and faculty at each institution.

“Upon meeting the students and hearing their stories about the incredible work they are doing at their institution, I was astonished,” said Macie Murphy. “They are essentially serving as student affairs professionals in their student leader capacity; I learned they are the social change agents between the administrators and the student body.”

Visiting Hobonil

SAHE students in MexicoAlong with visiting the universities, the students and faculty visited Chichen Itza and Rancho Hobonil, enjoyed local cuisine, and had a meeting with NASPA Mexico board members.

“The most impactful part of my experience abroad was visiting Rancho Hobonil with the student leaders from Yucatán,” said Murphy. “Hobonil is a ranch that serves as an education, research, and extension destination for [Universidad Autónama de Yucatán] students, staff, and faculty members.”

“My interaction working in small groups during one of my classmates’ presentations at Hobonil made me realize how simply being able to speak the language allowed me to share more of my story than I had anticipated, which was respected by the students I shared it with,” said Yessenia Torres. “Sharing the values I have and why they are so made me realize I was sitting in two places at once. I was bonded to the students in the moment through my language and the one value the three of us had in common, which was family.”

To see photos from the trip, visit the Flickr album.

The SAHE program is part of the School of Education in CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.