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About Mexico
Country Handbook

Universidad de Guanajuato


Program Snapshot

Universidad de Guanajuato is a comprehensive multi-campus public university ranking 10th of 265 Mexican Higher Education Institutions (SCIMAGO). UG is a major research institution with graduate and undergraduate programs are accredited by CONACYT and other national boards. The vibrant local culture is complemented by a large international presence. Guanajuato is a wonderful place to study, and UG offers Spanish language immersion and culture programs.

Please note there is a current US Department of State Travel Warning for Mexico. No advisory is in effect for the state of Guanajuato. For more information, please click here.

Universidad de Guanajuato is nestled in the mountains of the capital city of the state of Guanajuato. The city of Guanajuato is relatively small and most of the city's life is centered on the university. The university considers the entire city its campus because its buildings are spread all over town. The School of Philosophy, History and Literature is housed in the former Convent of Valenciana. In 1988, Guanajuato was declared a Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO because of its historic monuments and its varied cultural ambiance, which attracts many visitors and tourists as well as students, enriching the multicultural identity of the city.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year or semester.

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.
Summer program available.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Excellent.
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for I-to-I students is generally Excellent.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.

Program Dates
Academic year: late July/early August to early June; Semester 1: late July/early August to mid-December; Semester 2:early January to early June.

Summer Program
Spend your summer in colonial Mexico, completing research and improving your Spanish language skills. Excursions and culture workshops are offered, including cooking and dancing lessons! Guanajuato is centrally located, making travel easy to anywhere in Mexico! Check out Universidad de Guanajuato's Summer Program!

Fast Facts
Guanajuato, Mexico (pop. 100,000)
Student Enrollment: 30,774
Language of instruction: Spanish
University Home Page
Course Information

OPTION 1: Academic Immersion
Natural and Exact Sciences (Biology, Biochemistry, Chemical Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Mathematics, Optics, Pharmacy, Physics, Astrophysics, Statistics); Engineering (Agricultural, Chemical, Civil, Electric, Electronic & Communications, Environmental, Food Processing, Geology, Geomathics, Hydraulics, Mechanical, Metallurgy, Mining, Physical); Health Sciences (Medicine, Nursing, Psychology); Economic-Administrative Sciences (Accounting, Business Management, Economics, Finance, Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations, International Commerce, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Quality & Productivity Management, Tourism Management); Humanities and Social Sciences (Education, Educational Administration, History, Law, Literature, Philosophy, Public Management); Arts (Architecture, Design, Graphics, Music, Painting, Photography, Printing Lithograph, Sculpture, Site Restoration); Languages (English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Spanish).

OPTION 2: Spanish Language Immersion-Full Year Students Only
In the first semester of a full year placement, students participate in a full-time Spanish Language program. Coursework will vary slightly by student's language level. Beginning level students will focus on Conversation, Grammar and Reading. Intermediate and advanced level students enroll in Conversation, Grammar, Reading, Mexican History, and Literature. In the second semester, students will transition to regular university courses taught at Universidad de Guanajuato.

Course Descriptions and Syllabi for Spanish Language Courses:

Spanish Conversation
Spanish Grammar
Mexican History

Courses taught in English
Universidad de Guanajuato offers a Bachelor's degree in the Teaching of English as a Second Langauage (TOESL). ISEP students may find interesting English language coursework in this degree.

Courses for Graduate (Masters) Level
Students may apply for graduate level placement at U Guanajuato. Graduate degree programs are open to ISEP students. Available fields include: Master in Astrophysics, Master in Biology, Master in Physics, Master in Chemical Engineering-Process Integration, Master in Chemistry, Master in Administration, Master in Economics, Master in Medical Sciences, Master in Clinical Research, Master in Nursing Sciences, Master in Philosophy, Master in History (Interdisciplinary historical studies), Master in Hispano-American Literature, Master in Mechanical Engineering, Master in Electrical Engineering (International Quality), Master in Water Sciences, Master in Vegetable Protection, Master in Biosciences, Master in Public Administration, Master in Criminal Law

Academic Notes
Class attendance is required in order to receive credit. Tests and a final examination determine the final grade. Pre-Hispanic, Mexican and Latin American culture and literature courses are offered for international students. Some undergraduate courses include short internships and practicums.

OPTION1: Students generally enroll in four courses per semester, and spend 20-25 hours a week in class. Semesters are 18 weeks in length.
OPTION 2: In semester 1, students will generally enroll in three to five classes depending on language level, and the semester is 18 weeks in length.

Transcripts are generally released eight weeks after the end of the term. Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student’s home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes
Language Requirement: A minimum of 4 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program. Students must be proficient in Spanish. All courses are taught in Spanish.
Language Courses: Students may enroll in Spanish as a Second Language for an additional fee for multiple levels. Contact hours per course per week: approximately 4

Langauage Requirement: No prior knowledge of Spanish is required.
Language Courses: Intensive Spanish language courses are included in ISEP benefits during semester one only for students participating in this option.

Additional Information:
For more information on courses and language options, see the:
ISEP Spanish Language Advising Guide for US Students
ISEP Spanish Language Advising Guide for I-to-I Students

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility

Special ISEP Application Instructions
The only campus open to ISEP students is the Guanajuato campus. Make sure to only choose programs available on the Guanajuato campus.

Hints for Researching Courses
1. Click on Course Information.
2. Click on "por entidad académica" and select only Campus Guanajuato (this is the only campus open to ISEP students).
3. After selecting the Guanajuato Campus, you will be able to choose among a selection of divisions and facultades.
4. Select a degree you are interested in, which will list the courses offered under Plan de Estudios .

Housing and Meals
There are no housing facilities available on campus. Housing is arranged with host families who provide 21 meals per week. Accommodations for married student housing can be made.

Personal Expenses per month (including books) are estimated at 1,500 to 3,000 Mexican pesos. This will vary by personal spending and consumption habits.

Orientation takes place in the week before each semester. Information will be provided on housing, health services, academic advising, emergency and safety protocols, as well as matters related to daily life. Students will also be invited to participate in campus and city tours.

Students arriving on the official arrival date will be met at the Guanajuato airport (BJX).

Student Activities
Students will be able to participate in sports such as soccer, rugby, baseball, basketball, tae kwon do, etc. and enroll in arts courses such as guitar, dancing, performing and scenic arts, etc. The program “Host Students” will help international students to adapt to Mexico culture as well to know historical places and cities. Trips to Mexico City, Teotihuacan, Tequila factories and colonial cities are included. A cultural show is organized during the semester. International students have the opportunity to show more about their home country or city such as culinary shows, dancing, singing or just talking. In addition, students will be able to participate in local and national festivities.

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
The International Office can assist students in finding internships at local organizations. Project based internships and volunteer opportunities are available at the International Office. Contact your ISEP Coordinator and faculty advisor upon arrival.

Universidad de Guanajuato, with a tradition of more than 260 years in public education, has distinguished itself for its quality of teaching. The university’s main campus is located in Guanajuato and its satellite campuses and schools are in the cities of Leon, Irapuato, Celaya and Salamanca, where the Schools of Medicine and Psychology, Agricultural Sciences, Business Management, and Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic Engineering are located.

On the main campus, the School of Mining, Metallurgy and Geology building contains an important Museum of Mineralogy and students are able to work in a mine very close to the school to gain first-hand experience. The Armando Olivares Library contains several collections of books that date back to the sixteenth century; these rare books provide a rich source for research.

Sports facilities are spread over the campus and the city. The university takes pride in its Symphonic Orchestra and many other varied musical groups. The university also participates in the famous International Cervantes Festival that annually invites artists from more than 30 countries in the areas of music, theater, dance, opera, cinema, art and exhibitions.

What Past Students have to Say
“Guanajuato, México is the most magical city I have ever been to. The level of education is phenomenal and it is a true language and cultural immersion. Contrary to what you hear these days about México, it was extremely safe and the people are SO friendly. The city is a college town, so there are always fun things to do and people come from all over the world, so it's always exciting!” -Amanda Gaerke 2010-11