Our week at UNAM was amazing. I learned so much about the social work program. I also learned a lot about the history. United States social work schools are a lot different than UNAM. I can only speak to the Augsburg program because that is the school I attend. Augsburg and UNAM both provide good ways of training to be social worker, though there are differences in regards to the price, class sizes and practicums.
First the price comparison between each school. At UNAM students only have to pay 25 cents a semester, but other than that it is free and none of them will graduate with loans. For Augsburg, if you live off campus, which most students do, without the FASFA and any loans the cost is 46,000 dollars a year. Most students will graduate with loans and lots of debt.
Next, class sizes at UNAM are 25-30 per class and have a social work department size of 205,000 students. Compared to Augsburg, where we have an average 12-15 students per class and a total of 30-45 people in the program.
My friends and I are joining UNAM students in their class discussion
Finishing with the practicums. In my program at Augsburg you do your practicums individually, but UNAM students do them in groups. They also have an hour to an hour a half commute each time. They only spend two to three hours, three times a week. In the United States often the commutes aren’t as long. We also have to only spend eight to ten hours a week and we can pick our days.
UNAM and Augsburg are different in their own way. They are both great schools and any student would be lucky to study social work at them. There is a lot of value to seeing the difference in these two schools. The methods are both very different, but are still building the future social workers and changers of the world. The price, class size and also practicums are all different.
My time at my rural homestay in Ixtlilco El Grande was an experience with lots of emotions. In the beginning, I was very overwhelmed and sad because I couldn’t communicate with my host family at all. Then after the first day of being sick, I was excited and happy to be there. I was thrilled to see not only how we grew as a Social Work group, but also to experience all of the education we were going to get.
The local school that we visited
The visit I most enjoyed while in Ixtlilco was the schools. It was so interesting to see all the kids so eager to learn. It was intriguing to see and hear about the schools. The thing that struck me the most is that the students have between five and nine different courses in secondary and high school. In the United States you have a different teacher for every course you take, but here in Mexico they have the same teacher for every subject. Another interesting fact is that as the kids get older they are more likely to not continue their education. The current numbers in the school are: in primary education there are roughly 260 students; Secondary level has 150 and high school has 86 students. As you can see the numbers drop dramatically from primary to high school. Another thing that stood out to me is that yes, they are getting a good education, but their books are out of date. With this being said they are not getting the current education like the students in the States. The last thing that I loved is how welcoming they were of us. In the primary school they allowed us to sit in on class. In the secondary school, we were able to play soccer, jump rope and even try games they play in Mexico. In the high school we had the opportunity to learn all of the things they are doing to beautify their school like planting trees and flowers. The schools here are very different form the ones in the States.
We skipped ropes with students from the local high school
Ixtlilco is a beautiful place. It has that great community feeling. They were and will continue to be very welcoming to us as students. I’m glad I was able to visit a place so welcoming, loving and willing to help everyone. I wish that communities in the States were more like those in Ixtlilco.