New Adventures in Oaxaca!


It’s been a minute since my last blog post – these past few weeks have been crazy. Amidst classwork, excursions, and exploring Oaxaca, I haven’t found much time to breathe! My program consists of nine weeks of classes, followed by a short break, and then a month of an internship or an ISP (independent study project). Because of that, the first nine weeks are very academically rigorous. While the classwork itself hasn’t necessarily been more challenging than what I’m used to, the real challenge has been establishing a routine that works for me. Sometimes I feel like I am going through freshman year of college all over again!

However, I have now completed nine weeks of classes! For me, my time abroad feels like it is flying. How am I already over halfway done? In honor of finishing my classes and reaching the halfway point, I thought I’d reflect on some of the highlights of being abroad.


Some of my favorite memories so far have been during our excursions, which most recently have included trips to Puebla, Mexico, and the Mixteca region of Oaxaca.

In Puebla, we spent time with an organization called “Los Pueblos Unidos de la Región Cholulteca y de los Volcanes.” There, we learned about how corporations exploit the land and water of the community and how indigenous communities are fighting back. We also explored the beautiful city! I can now say that I’ve visited Puebla, and one day I hope to return.

In the Mixteca region, we spent time with a different indigenous community. We worked in the fields and learned about sustainable practices that are used to care for the land. The Mixteca is a very dry region, and it was interesting to learn about the ways they conserve the little water they have access to.

Afterward, we visited a town in the Mixteca called Tlaxiaco, where there is little tourism. Because of that, we definitely stood out (or at least more than we already do as foreigners). However, I really enjoyed experiencing a city without the heavy influence of tourism.

Many times during our excursions, I found myself thinking, “If I wasn’t studying through a program, what are the chances that I would see/experience this?” Honestly, the chances are slim. Studying abroad has given me an abundance of new opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I know that many of the lessons and ideas I learn abroad will stick with me for a lifetime.

The Food

As a Mexican-American, I have grown up eating Mexican food. However, Oaxaca has made me realize how diverse Mexican cuisine is, in the best way possible. My host mom is very passionate about cooking and is eager to share her knowledge about food with me and my housemate. I often note down recipes, tips, or tricks with the hopes of recreating them when I return home, and I currently have a “meal log” where I can keep track of all my favorite meals!

While I eat the majority of my meals in my house (no complaints here), sometimes I eat lunch or dinner in the town. I have really enjoyed trying traditional and cultural foods, such as memelas, tlayudas, and mole (I’ve tried 4/7 different moles of Oaxaca). As a foodie, one of my goals abroad was to try as much as possible, and the possibilities are endless. 3 months have passed, and I don’t think I’ve eaten the same meal twice!


Surprise! I am 3 months in and yes, I still get homesick at times. Studying abroad has been new, exciting, and incredible, but there have also been moments of anxiety, sadness, and discomfort. In my experience, being abroad means that I am constantly adapting, and while at times that is exciting, it can also be exhausting. When I decided to study abroad, I thought that homesickness would disappear after the first few weeks. While that might happen for some people, there are still moments where I miss my family, friends, and environment back at home.

However, I have found that the best way to cope with homesickness is to just push through it. While I usually take time to text a friend or write in my journal, the best cure has been just going out and doing something. Some of my most memorable nights have started with me sitting in my room, wishing I could be home!

Above all, I try to remind myself to stay present during all moments, both good and bad. Studying abroad is such a unique opportunity, and while I have been challenged immensely, I’ve also grown just as much, if not more.

Now that I am done with classes, I will officially start my internship for the remaining month of my program. While I am nervous, I am excited to begin a new journey within my journey abroad. Thank you for being here, and I hope you’ll continue to tag along!

Published by Marielle Michmerhuizen

Class of 2025 SIT Study Abroad - Migration, Borders, and Transnational Communities in Oaxaca, Mexico

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