OCTOBER 26, 2010

CityU in Puebla, Mexico

By Mercedes Alejandra Hernandez Pacheco

City University of Seattle and Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) signed an agreement that will allow students from UPAEP to earn two degrees (one from Mexico and the other from the United States) at the same time. I was hired as the Double Degree Program Coordinator and I’m based in Puebla. I traveled to the CityU headquarters in Bellevue for training and to get a feel for what students will get once they enrolled in the program.

Before I begin to share my experience, let me tell you about UPAEP. The university is a not-for-profit institution founded in 1973 (three months before CityU was founded). UPAEP is located in the heart of the city of Puebla, which is about 75 miles southeast of Mexico City. UPAEP has an enrollment of about 9,000 students.

I traveled to Bellevue and I knew the weather would be different. The forecast for the week I was there called for sunny and warm temperatures but the entire week it rained and it was cold. I’m used to temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s. Yet, what made it all worthwhile was CityU’s site. The site is beautiful surrounded by gorgeous forests and the air, well, it’s some of the purest air I have ever breathed.

CityU staff also showed me the library. For most people, a regular library visit is simply a check-out/check-in process. At CityU, it is much more updated. By this I mean the university offers an enormous variety of online books, databases, articles, research help and much more. I was highly impressed.

During my trip I also got to be a tourist for a couple hours. I visited the Seattle Art Museum, which included an exhibition of Kurt Cobain and the work from artist Andy Warhol. I just have one word for this treat: fabulous. My favorite restaurant, however, was the Crab Pot. The mixture of seafood there is extremely delicious as well as fun while you try to eat lobster meat using a wood hammer. I can’t wait until I get to go to Seattle again. I loved it but next time I promise to pack some sun in my suitcase!.

Well, I’ll write some more periodically to keep you updated on the UPAEP-CityU partnership.  Until next time, adios.


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