Experiencing Different Lifestyles

by Xitlali Rufino

In COIL Activity #1, this is the first activity my teammate and I in the United States did with my teammates in Monterrey, Mexico. This activity consisted of making an introduction video and presentation about ourselves and a bit of information that we believed was shareable with our teammates in Mexico. Afterwards we would meet in Zoom to talk about anything that would come up during our discussion. This first assignment showed how we have some differences between the United States and Mexico.

We were able to see how the students in Mexico have different lifestyles compared to the United States. Something I found interesting while we were on Zoom is how college education is structured. For example, since one of my teammates was studying medicine and going to medical school, their prerequisites require more hands-on experiences rather than lectures. In comparison to the United States, for prerequisites it is more lecturing then hands-on experiences. Something else that was mentioned is the family dynamics. In Mexico, it is said that on the weekend, more specifically on Sundays, were spent with family. In the United States, we take Sundays as our rest days and rest before the week begins. My partner from the United States and I also took note of the slang our partners in Mexico used. My partner from the United States and I are from Mexico as well but from different states that use different terms of slang. It goes to show that even in Mexico there are differences between each state including slang. It is quite interesting to hear how different the atmosphere is between the United States and Mexico. Meeting with students from Monterrey, Mexico helped me expand my knowledge of global awareness between Mexico and the United States but also between Mexico itself.

At the beginning of this experiential learning, my partner from the United States and I were nervous of meeting our partners in Mexico along with how well we would be able to work together. As every group project, we at first struggled to make sure everyone was able to do a part of the project. When my group met for the first time over Zoom, it took us a minute to break out of our shells and start full conversations. Along with setting up a time to meet over Zoom was a struggle. But as each assignment went on and every meeting was set up, we improved within our group. Overall, for the first time doing an experiential learning experience it was good. As a whole class in the United States, this was a new learning experience for all of us since it was the first time doing this. These COIL activities have helped me for my future as it gave me the experience of working with other people in a different location. These activities gave me an idea of how it would be like working with other people in different locations and how to manage that and be more flexible with my partners. It was also nice working with other students in a different location as it helps building new international connections for any future experience in the real world.

Overall, this was a great learning experience for students as this can be used in the future. This can be helpful in a different class where there can be other experiential learning opportunities or in the future once we graduate college. It helps improve our communication skills and become more flexible. This experience can also be used in any resume I present for any future job

opportunities to prove that I have great communication skills. Having these experiential learning opportunities are a great way to make connections and even create new friendships.

“We were able to see how the students in Mexico have different lifestyles comapred to the United States.”

Xitlali Rufino

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