Exchange Matters / August 25, 2015

A Once in a Lifetime Experience: Mexico Meet America

In partnership with University of Guadalajara, Global Ties U.S. was able to bring 72 students to the United States for two weeks as part of the Mexico Meet America program. Working closely with community-based members, we designed and implemented a professional development program focusing on networking, academic learning, and cultural exchange in the target cities.Here is a first-hand account of the program from one of the participants.

Mexico Meet America was truly the trip of a lifetime. I had the best time; in fact, I consider it almost impossible to describe the experience because it had such a marked impact on me. When I was accepted to the program, I had large expectations about what I would learn during my time in the United States, but in retrospect, these pale in comparison to the knowledge I gained. The plethora of meetings, workshops, and activities expanded my knowledge of networking, innovation, entrepreneurship, and working within a global economy.

the… insight I gained will no doubt serve me throughout my career

From June 28 to July 11, I was able to experience everything the cities of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia had to offer. Raleigh, part of what is known as the “Research Triangle,” was particularly well suited for exploring entrepreneurship and innovation. Our Meet America program was filled with meetings with career consultants, field experts, community leaders, as well as tours of some of the area’s finest attractions. With a background and interest in psychology, one would think I would not gain as much on the program as some of my peers. However, the skills I developed and insight I gained will no doubt serve me throughout my career, regardless of what direction it heads in. I never considered myself a strong leader, but hearing the inspiring stories from professionals motivated me to fight for what I want. They proved to me that your goals are possible if you work hard and dare to take a new step.

Each of the people I met… helped me to better develop my skills, both personal and professional

Above all, Mexico Meet America and my time in the United States helped shape my career road map. Before the program, I already knew what I wanted my future to look like, but I did not know how to achieve that vision. Now, because of this experience, I have a concrete idea of the steps I need to take to attain my goals. In particular, I am confident that I have what it takes, even though it may not be the easiest road. This conviction is mainly thanks to Marcy Bullock, who helped me realize the magnitude of my skills and strengths through the activities she had us complete as well as her infectious enthusiasm and passion. However, it wasn’t just Marcy. Each of the people I met—whether they were peers, friends, or leaders—helped me to better develop my skills, both personal and professional. This experience made me grow as a student, friend, and person. Rooming at a U.S. university, interacting with citizens, having dinner with an American family, visiting city sites, getting to know local history, truly each and every experience was valuable. I’m grateful to Global Ties U.S., the Georgia Council for International Visitors, International Focus, and everyone else who was involved in making this program so memorable. It was a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget. And for all of you who haven’t lived it yet, if you ever get the chance to take part in the Meet America program, you can’t miss it.


By Julieta Mercado Guzmán, Universidad de Guadalajara

Interested in partnering with us on the next program? Contact Franzi Rook at