One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is building an international network and connections that can help advance your career. And one of the biggest benefits of being a UT alumnus is connecting with the Longhorn nation.
In early June, UT study abroad students and alumni got to experience the power of both of those benefits when they gathered for the Texas Exes Mexico City Chapter’s annual barbecue.
The group of 21 students was on a six-week faculty-led summer study abroad program under the direction of Dr. Laura Gutierrez. The International Office coordinated the program, the first summer study abroad program in Mexico City out of the Department of Mexican and Latina/o Studies (MALS) in the College of Liberal Arts.
“This is an exciting new faculty-led program that offers students a chance to learn and engage firsthand with the politics, culture, and economy of Mexico,” said Program Coordinator Laura Kaplan. “Students take a UT course and complete independent research with the UT Mexican American Latino/a Studies Department while living in the vibrant cultural center of Mexico City.”
During their time in Mexico City, the students analyzed the cultural impact of free trade and narco economies on Mexico City and researched topics ranging from tourism to language. They also visited cultural and archeological sites, including Templo Mayor, La Basilica de Guadalupe, the National Palace, the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, and Tepoztlan.
But for one afternoon, their program included a taste of home with Texas barbecue courtesy of the Texas Exes Mexico City Chapter. Dozens of UT alumni were there for the annual event, hosted on the Santa Fe campus of the Egade Business School and of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, also known as Tecnológico de Monterrey.
The purpose of the event, besides the food and company, was to help raise funds for the Texas Exes Mexico City Chapter scholarship for an incoming UT student from Mexico. The 2016 scholarship recipient, Miguel Riosa, was also at the barbecue and expressed his excitement at starting at McComb’s in the fall.
Brian Ricter, networks coordinator for the Texas Exes, presented the Mexico City Chapter with the 2016 Campus Partnership Award on behalf of CEO and Executive Director Leslie Cedar. The award honored the chapter’s work to remain engaged with the University by partnering with campus organizations and departments and keeping alumni connected.
The event is a success every year, but this was the first time study abroad students attended.
“The Mexico City Texas Exes were so excited to welcome the study abroad group to our annual event,” said Dr. Javier Cervantes, president of the Texas Exes Mexico City Chapter. “It was a wonderful opportunity for our alumni to connect with current UT students and helps us further our mission of making a positive impact on students and Mexican society.”