“I want to thank you for the incredible experience and education this semester in Oaxaca.” “ the most important experience of my education” “a rich and satisfying experience” 2011 program alumni.
Students will earn 6 credits of design, 3 credits of a technology elective, 3 credits of a history/theory elective, and 5 credits of Spanish for a total of 17 semester credits. Three design exercises and two theory papers will be completed during this period of time. Theory papers and design exercises will jointly focus on knowledge and skills required to understand and complete the final design project of the semester, the redesign of the public square in from of the Church of Soledad. Classes are held from 9-1:00PM Monday through Thursday each week. Two 4-day weeks ends provide an opportunity to travel to places like the beaches of the Pacific while normal 3-day weekends allow time to explore the riches of Oaxaca City and its surrounds. This program offers a unique educational opportunity because we live and work together for 13 weeks. Please consult students in our School to understand what this has meant to them. Most call this one of the best experiences of their educational career.
Field trips and travel:
Each year we rent our own bus and travel to Palenque and Tikal in Chiapas and Guatemala respectively, San Cristobel de las Casas and Agua Azul in Chiapas, and to Mexico City for three days of architectural tours at the end of the semester. Palenque and Tikal are famous classical Mayan temples. Mexico City is a metropolis of 23 million people. 4-day weekends allow trips to other parts of Mexico. We also take two or three trips to ruins around Oaxaca including Monte Alban, Mitla, and Yagul.
This program is coordinated by Lance LaVine, a professor in the University of Minnesota. Daniel Lopez and Renata Elizando (both residents of Oaxaca) help to teach the architecture studio. Visiting faculty join us from the United States, Mexico, and from South America.
There have been a number of problems at the U.S./Mexican boarder. Oaxaca is 1000 miles south of this troubled area. We have gone there as a school for 14 years and have never had a problem. The tourist police of Oaxaca are helpful and courteous. Though Oaxaca is not without problems I would judge it to be safer than Minneapolis. Please talk to me if you have any concerns.