Graduate Study Abroad | School of Architecture | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Graduate Study Abroad

Study Abroad in Mexico

The School of Architecture at SIU Carbondale, in conjunction with Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico, is pleased to offer an in situ study abroad program for graduate students in architecture. This program offers a seven week, studio-based learning experience in the city of Monterrey, Mexico. Students will complete Architecture 550: Regional Studio and Spanish as a Second Language. The Spanish course may be taken as the student's elective course within the Master of Architecture program.  

While in Monterrey, students will participate in nine field trips and excursions.  Examples include visits to the Mexican History Museum, Horse-Tail Waterfall, Alfa Planetarium, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO).  Three lectures or seminars will be offered on topics related to Mexican architecture, culture, history and traditions.  

Scenes of Monterrey, Mexico

The City of Monterrey

Monterrey, Mexico is nestled in the mountains in northern Mexico not far from the Texas border. It is the third largest metropolitan area in Mexico and the country's ninth largest city. Monterrey is the capital of Nuevo León. In the four images above, left to right, Saddleback Mountain, the Macroplaza, the old city, and Fundadora Park are seen. The city is home to many international companies and is the center of manufacturing in Mexico. It is also home to a large collection of architecture ranging from pre-colonial times to the skyscrapers of the modern era. Soccer and baseball are both important local sports. The city is home to two Mexican soccer league teams: C. F. Monterrey and the Tigres UANL. Monterrey's baseball heritage is also very strong with the city having won the Little League World Series three times, most recently in 1997. The Sultanes de Monterrey play in the Mexican Baseball League. Monterrey is often regarded as the most Americanized city in Mexico, yet it has a unique blend of cultures unlike any other place in the world!  

The arts and architecture are very strong traditions in Monterrey. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO) features an extensive collection of contemporary art. Tadao Ando's school of art, architecture, and design was recently completed at the University of Monterrey. A number of housing and commercial designs are well known and are featured on the ArchDaily web site. The images below show (left to right) the CETEC Building on the Tec de Monterrey campus, Tadao Ando's building at University of Monterrey, and the CNCI Tower.  

The Architecture of Monterrey, Mexico

Typical Program Week in Monterrey

Normally, students will take Architecture 550: Regional Studio from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The language of instruction in this course will be English. Students will take Spanish as a Second Language Level X from 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm for four weeks of the semester. Field trips and excursions will be on Saturdays. 

Program Costs

Program costs include:

  • Tuition for the Spanish class
  • Course materials and books
  • Weekday lunches at Tec de Monterrey cafeterias
  • Field trips and excursions including transportation
  • Entrance fees to all field trips and excursions
  • Accommodations in university dorms
  • Airport pickup and dropoff on the group's official arrival and departure days*
  • Farewell luncheon
  • Orientation program
  • Access to all university facilities (gym, computer labs, library, sports center, etc.)

*Students arriving and departing on separate schedules will need to arrange transportation.

The program costs $3,920 USD.  Tuition for ARC 550 is paid on the SIUC campus. not the Tec de Monterrey campus, and is not included here.  Note that health insurance, other meals and transportation needs, recreational expenses other than those noted above, and incidental expenses are not included in this price. Breakfast is available on campus for approximately 50 pesos (about $3.25), lunches cost about 80 pesos (about $5.20), and dinners cost about 120 pesos (about $7.75). These are typical costs for these items. The exchange rate will affect rates shown here in US dollars.  


Students will stay in Tec de Monterrey's residence halls located on the campus. Several halls are open to men and women but residence halls on the campus are not co-educational. Accommodations will be in double furnished rooms with air conditioning. Bed linens are included. Students will share a restroom with one other student. There is a kitchen located on each floor of the residence halls. Kitchen utensils must be furnished by students, though. All residence halls have a security station at the entrance of the building.  

Health Insurance

Students must have valid health insurance while in Mexico in this program. Tec de Monterrey suggests a policy through CareMed International Travel Insurance. Students who purchase this insurance receive a confirmation letter. The International Office at Tec de Monterrey provides the form at the time a student elects to enroll in this program. 

The cost of the insurance for the seven week duration of the program is $195 USD. This price is subject to change.  The exchange rate will affect rates shown here in US dollars.  

More Scenes from Monterrey


Can an international student coming to Carbondale participate in this program?  Yes. Study visas to the United States are valid in Mexico for up to six months. Please note that the language of instruction in Architecture 550: Regional Studio will be English, not Spanish, too. Students will take Spanish on the Tec de Monterrey campus as part of this program.

Is Monterrey a safe city in Mexico?  The US State Department maintains travel safety warnings on its web site. The city of Monterrey is listed as a safe destination. There are suggestions about how to maintain safety while traveling in Mexico on the US State Department site in the previous link. The Tec de Monterrey campus is a gated campus staffed by security personnel. This maintains a very safe campus. The dorm and the classroom buildings are on campus. Security personnel staff the entrance to each dorm on campus. In addition. the SIUC professor teaching ARC 550 in Mexico is a native of Monterrey, so he is very familiar with the city and region.