Coronavirus (COVID-19): The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. Please see current information and updates related to study abroad programs.

Berkeley Study Abroad is currently offering virtual services. Please see our Virtual Advising Guide for more information.


Berkeley Summer Abroad

Puebla & Mexico City, Mexico: Spanish for Heritage Speakers and Nauatl Language - SUSPENDED

  • Summary


    Deepen your spoken and written Spanish language skills and learn the indigenous language of Nauatl from native Nauatl speakers, while studying the interactions between Nauatl and Spanish cultures, languages, and histories in Mexico.

    Participants will be based at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP) in the beautiful city of Puebla, Mexico, a city backdropped by the towering Popocatepetl volcano and famous for its Talavera Pottery. In this program you will:

    • Deepen your Spanish Language skills both in and out of the classroom
    • Learn Nauatl Language, an indigenous language spoken by 1.5 million people today from Native Nauatl speakers
    Participate in excursions to historical and archaeological sites in Puebla including the Great Pyramid of Cholula (Tlachihualtepetl), the Church of Tonantzintla, and more.
    Participate in trips to Mexico City, visit the Museo Nacional de Antropología, and the Pyramids of Teotihuacán.

    Dates: June 13, 2020 - July 13, 2020
    All dates are subject to change

    Units: 6

    Language of Instruction: Spanish, English, Nauatl

    • Spanish 23: Spanish for Native / Heritage Students (4 units)
    • Spanish 40: Introduction to Nauatl Language and Culture (2 units)

    • At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program
    • 2.0 GPA or higher
    • Some Spanish language proficiency. 

    • Students will live in student dormitories at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP) with two students to a room. 
    • Daily breakfast and lunch provided.
    • Students will share rooms with other program participants. Please note that, due to in-country policies, students will be paired with roommates based on the gender listed on their passports. If you have clarifying questions, please feel free to reach out to the program staff.

    • Application opens February 3, 2020
    • Space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
    • Deadline to apply is March 15, 2020

  • Courses

    During the program, you will take two courses for a total of 6 Berkeley units.

    Course: Spanish 23
    Title: Spanish for Native / Heritage Students
    Instructor: Arturo Davila
    Units: 4
    Prerequisites: Some Spanish Language Proficiency

    This course is intended for students whose native language is Spanish and for those who are very advanced in the language. It emphasizes the understanding of oral and written registers through analysis and discussion of several genres including film, literary and non-literary prose, as well as Internet resources. It will facilitate academic language to students as well as it will help them to appreciate their heritage/native language and culture. Students are expected to read and write critically about topics of historical and linguistic syncretism, mestizo consciousness, identity, human rights, diversity, and Latinx in the US.

    Course: Spanish 40
    Title: Introduction to Nauatl Language and Culture
    Instructor: Arturo Davila & Ofelia Cruz Morales
    Units: 2
    Prerequisites: None

    This course is designed to introduce students to Mexican Nauatl language and culture through history, literature, codices, poetry, and painting. We will discuss the intersections between Nauatl and Spanish languages in Mexico, the Border, and in the United States. We will address correlations between alphabetical writing, pictography, and orality. Central to our course will be the learning of contemporary Nauatl to enable students to start speaking the language.

    You can fulfill the L&S International Studies breadth requirement by full participation in a Berkeley Summer Abroad program. All of the required courses must be completed with a C-/P or better. Consult with your college/major advisor to see which degree requirements this course may fulfill.

    Summer Abroad staff will enroll you in courses after your acceptance to the program. Please make sure there are no active blocks on your student account that may impact your course enrollment.

  • Costs

    Tuition and Program Fee 

    The fees to participate in this program are broken down into 1) tuition and 2) program fees, which are applied to your student billing account as follows: 

    2020 Fees UC Students Visiting Students
    Tuition (6 units) $2,514 $3,300
    Program Fee $2,416 $2,416
    Total Cost $4,930 $5,716

    Fees are subject to change. All non-UC Berkeley students must pay an additional Document Management Fee of $60. 

    Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses In addition to the fees outlined above, Berkeley Study Abroad has estimated costs for out-of- pocket expenses. These amounts are used to calculate financial aid packages for eligible students. Actual expenses will vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits. 

    2020 Estimated Expenses Amount

    International Airfare and Transportation $1,255
    Additional Meals $150
    Books $218
    Personal Expenses (i.e. phone, passport, visas, etc.) $307
    Total Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses $1,930


    Explanation of Fees

    Tuition is based on a per-unit cost:
    • The UC undergraduate student rate is $419 per unit
    • The visiting student rate for all non-UC participants is $550 per unit

    The program fee includes* the following items:
    • Student housing for the duration of the program with breakfast every morning and lunches.
    • On-site orientation activities, excursions, etc.
    • Travel insurance to cover accident/sickness medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, security extraction, and other travel assistance services
    • Other program-related costs including fees for group transportation, guest speakers, etc.
    •  The $400 deposit. If accepted to the program, the $400 deposit is non-refundable and will be applied towards your program fee. If you are waitlisted or denied admission to the program, your deposit will be refunded. If you request to withdraw your application prior to an admission decision being issued or cancel your participation after being accepted to the program, the deposit remains non-refundable. 
    *Please note that the list of items included in the program fee is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.

    The following items are excluded from the program fee:
    • International airfare
    • Personal expenses (souvenirs, routine medical expenses, toiletries, etc.)
    • Course materials (textbooks and readers)
    • Other travel expenses (passport, visa, etc.)
    • Additional meals
    • Commuting costs for daily travel to and from classes

  • Timeline
    Application opens February 3, 2020
    Application closes March 15, 2020
    Applicants notified of selection March 20, 2020
    Deadline to confirm participation or cancel for a refund of all program-related fees, minus $400 deposit April 3, 2020
    Attend pre-departure orientation* Late April-May
    Arrive in Mexico June 13, 2020
    Last day of program July 13, 2020

    * These events take place on the UC Berkeley campus. If you are not on campus during this time, we will schedule a meeting via phone or Skype.

    † Students should plan to arrive in Mexico and check into program housing on June 13, 2020. Students are expected to check out of program housing on July 13, 2020. Students who depart after the last day may do so, but they are responsible for arranging their accommodations outside of the program end date.

    All dates are subject to change.

  • Instructors

    Program Director: Arturo Dávila S. Ph.D.

    ARTURO DÁVILA S. is Chair of the Department of Modern Languages at Laney College in Oakland, California and teaches Nauatl language at the Latinx/Chicanx Research Center in UC Berkeley. He specializes in contemporary Latin American poetry and Colonial Literature (the conquest of Mexico). He is poet laureate in Spain and Mexico where he won the following prizes for his books: La ciudad dormida (Prize “Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz”, México, 1995), Catulinarias (Prize "Antonio Machado", Spain, 1998), Poemas para ser leídos en el Metro (Prize “Juan Ramón Jiménez”, Spain, 2003), and La cuerda floja (Prize “Nicolás Guillén, CPA, 2015). His academic publications include Alfonso Reyes entre nosotros (UANL, 2010), an extensive prologue on poems by the same author, Homero en Cuernavaca (2014), La Tinusa. Poetas latinoamericanos in the USA (Secretaría de Cultura-Aldus, 2016), and many scholarly and journalistic articles on global Hispanic-Latin American literature and cultural production. At present, he is doing research on pre-Hispanic codices, re-visions of the conquest of Mexico. He keeps reading, writing, and translating poetry.