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16 year old girl seeking immersion language in GUAD


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My beautiful, blonde, 16-year-old daughter's birthday gift will be a language immersion vacation in Guadalajara this summer. We have tentatively decided on a school called IMAC, which is located smack in the middle of zona centro. We are considering IMAC's homestay option for her and a separate apartment for my girlfriend and me.

None of us are seasoned travelers, but we are big city folk. My question is: Am I crazy, will we be safe?

Any comments regarding the school or neighborhood appreciated. Ideas for alternative schools? My daughters safety trumps any other consideration.

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Immersion is the BEST way to learn. This will really help your daughter.

Friends of mine studied at IMAC a couple of years ago and really liked it. They always felt very safe downtown.

A couple of the blog posts reference their experience: http://trans-americas.com/blog/2010/01/a-week-in-the-life/ AND http://trans-americas.com/blog/2010/02/spanish-school/

I studied a LONG time ago (20 years!) at CEPE apparently now known as Colegio de Espanol y Cultura Mexicana http://www.cecm.udg.mx/ It worked well for me then but I'm sure it has changed some...


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One piece of advice: Check out who lives in the home she will be staying in. A friends daughter, through a University exchange program, was placed in a home stay environment. The home had hosted students in the past. The owner did not list on the home form that she had a twenty something son. He was living in the house when my friends daughter arrived. He got very drunk and assaulted her. She is a strong, athlete so he did not get very far. This was fall 2012, and I can not recall which University.

I am suggesting that you place your daughter in a home that has young kids, or girls and possibly a single Mom. This has nothing to do with Mexico, but everything to do with protecting young highschool kids by really making sure the homestay environment is safe.

My friend's daughter screamed so loud that the neighbors all came out to find what was happening. They were very supportive where the owner defended her son. The good end to the story is that my friend's daughter phoned a young Mexican friend she had met at school and he and his parents came and packed up her things, took her home and helped her find a much safer place to stay. The rest of her stay was wonderful, she felt very safe in Guadalajara and she wants to return next year. Her Spanish went from almost nil to excellent in six months!

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  • 2 months later...

I also had a bad homestay connection thru IMAC in 2006. Nothing like the above. But I had already paid the total amount, liked the wife, husband wasn't nice.

Imac is a good place to study. The downtown is intense. I worked at ther sister school around the corner. The downtown area is intense. Not a place I'd like to be.

I think it is better to take these homestays in measure. Don't pay it all at once.

There is a good hostel called Hostel de Maria in Nueve Esquinas, and another good place IMAC/ITTO students stay on Rayon.

But these are not homestays. Be careful.

Having worked for that company, I did hear alot of complaints.

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  • 2 weeks later...

KNowing Centro , listening to virgogirl- and also having been a teacher and host family for years for international students in Calif- I would not put my 16 yr expat daughter in the middle of Guadalajara Centro regardless of schools reputation nor in a home stay program near that location- for a 16yr old female who is not fluent in Spanish- safety would be a BIG concern

Homestay homes in Mexico are purely profit motivated - not an exchange or a cultural experience, as are most in the USA

If you continue with this concept you should check out the Homestay home thoroughly do not depend on the school to guarantee homes safety- Don't pay tuition in advance of checking out everything personally.

The last student that lived with me came from Hong Kong with his parents & sister- our home had been vetted by the community college program and contracted - Insurance etc mandatory- but on several occasions - had parents & grandparents come from Seoul Korea, Nara , Tokyo ,Japan, to meet us personally and approve of our home before allowing their university age kids live with a foreign family.

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