What about Guadalajara?

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by JMD, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. JMD

    JMD Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2002
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    I hear alot about SGU, Ross, AUC, etc., but not much about Guadalajara. Anyone have any experiences? I know the Medical School has been around since 1935. It seems like it would be more reputable because it is an actual, full-blown University. I have heard that 80% of Med students are actually from Mexico, so it is not just a school set up to take U.S. students who don't get in here. Any info.?
  2. G-Man

    G-Man Member
    10+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2001
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    Visit <a href="http://www.uagmd.com" target="_blank">www.uagmd.com</a>
    or <a href="http://www.uag.edu" target="_blank">www.uag.edu</a> and click on school of medicine
    also <a href="http://www.fifthpathway.com" target="_blank">www.fifthpathway.com</a>

    First two years are in english and clinicals are in spanish in the international program unless you take fourth year electives in the U.S. All material is accelerated the first three semesters in order to leave room for the Kaplan USMLE review taken on campus fourth semester. Our profs are mainly M.D.s who are english speaking UAG faculty. Most of the PhDs are visiting profs from U.S. schools.

    They do cater a bit to U.S. and puerto rican students who are in the international program since we pay out of country tuition (18,000 per year). Their are about 400 U.S. students enrolled in the international program of medicine from 1st thru 4th years. They do have the spanish program for the mexican students so we do not attend classes with mexican students.

    Here are some of my pros and cons. Keep in mind, these are only my opinions of the school.

    - University atmosphere (largest private school in mexico who was given an award by President Bush senior back in the 80's for producing the many spanish speaking doctors the U.S. needed)
    - U.S. Dept. of Education approval (aka. Stafford Loans)
    - Plenty of its own University Teaching Hospitals
    - This city is blessed with great weather
    - Neighborhood around campus is modern and safe
    - North American Student Association (NASA- a student run organization) has plenty of activities (intra-mural sports, semi-formal dance, welcome picnic, etc..)
    - Respected school with plenty of UAG alumni in U.S. (over 7,000 physicians)
    - Graduate bi-lingual
    - UAG fifth pathway graduates have a 97% match rate the past two years since they became published by New York Medical College. The others either did not have step 2 or scrambled.
    - Do not have to fly to get here, that can get expensive. I go home about 4 to 5 times per semester on bus for only 60 bucks round trip. I am from Texas though.
    - Wal-Mart, Cosco, Sam's, Dominos Pizza, Pizza Hut, Whataburger, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, huge malls with modern theaters (Cinapolis-movies are in english), Office Depot, Office Max, etc.. I could go on. It is like you never left the states.

    - 6 year med school unless you go fifth pathway, which 99% of U.S. UAG students do, then it is a 5 year med school.

    Best advise I can give a prospective student is visit the school and talk to as many current students as you can as would be with any other school. Do not allow recruiters to brainwash you over the phone or with pretty pictures on their school webpage. Choose the school that has:
    - stability (has been in operation for a long time and will not close in 2 or 3 years)
    - has proven itself with many alumni licenced in the states
    - best fits you

    The rest is what you make of it and how hard you work. This is what I did and I love it here.
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  3. dwstranger

    dwstranger Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2000
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    I don't necessarily feel like posting a long reply, but I would like to clarify a couple of points G-man made -- the first two years are 60% in English (and it says this in UAG's catalogue). Doing the math, that means that you have some classes in Spanish, from Day 1. They'll often say the first two years are mostly in English, but unless someone does their homework, they won't know exactly how much is Eng/Span.

    I agree with G-man: if you are thinking of GDL, make sure you make a visit to the place BEFORE you come down for an interview. I know it can be expensive to make that trip, but many people come here with preconceived ideas of how it's gonna be, and then get bitter when it's not all milk and roses. Plus, when you interview, you have to pay a $2000 inscription fee (nonrefundable unless you are not accepted, but everyone is accepted). That's one huge difference (that I greatly appreciate) between UAG and US schools. US schools are very selective and do everything they can to keep a student from flunking out once they have accepted him/her. UAG accepts practically everyone and it's your job to do the work and keep from flunking out. So they give everyone a chance.

    I also believe there are more than 400 students in the International Program (US = mainland and Puerto Rico), especially considering that my semester has over 150 by itself. G-man also said UAG has "plenty of its own teaching hospitals." They actually only own one: Hospital Angel Lea?o (HAL). But they are affiliated with others (as are many schools in the US).

    I am a 6th semester student, and I can honestly say that I am glad I made the choice to come here. I have definitely had my share of frustrations with the school, the government bureaucracy, etc., at times, but overall, it's been a positive experience. Add to the fact that I have improved my Spanish, which is definitely a marketable skill in the job hunt. G-man mentioned "graduate bilingual." This is the goal, of course, but "bilingual" is a hard thing to achieve. You have to start learning Spanish before you come, or as soon as you get here, and keep at it. Many people make the mistake of saying, "oh, there's still time to learn it," but all of the sudden you'll be required to know it, talk to patients, make presentations in Spanish, etc. Plus you don't want the GPA you earned at ICB (Instituto de Ciencias Basicas -- where you do the first 2 years) to slip when you get to HAL (where it's all in Spanish -- lecture, tests, everything).

    G-man hit the nail on the head when he said it is what you make of it -- and if you work hard you can do it. That's the key -- start working from the minute you get here and don't slow down. There are rewards: besides passing the Boards the first time... I am lucky enough to be able to be one of 4 students (per semester) participating in the Coop Program between UAG and NY Med College next year -- which means I get to spend 7th and 8th semester in one of NYMC's hospitals.

    If you have any specific questions, please feel free to send me a private message.
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