DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The weekend before final exams might seem like an odd time for a class to take a field trip. But the 15 UNT graduate students in John Baen's advanced real estate investments class spent Dec. 8-10 in Monterrey, Mexico learning about the real estate market in that country.
What's more, many of the costs of the trip were paid for through donations from the alumni of the UNT real estate program.
The students met with their counterparts at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, also known as Monterrey Tech, on Dec. 8. Monterrey Tech is a private university that the Wall Street Journal cites as the best business school in Mexico. That evening, they had dinner with some of the top real estate developers in northern Mexico.
The students spent the next day visiting with a variety of real estate professionals as well as meeting with the manager of Wal-Mart's operations in Mexico. They returned Dec. 10.
Baen says the class trip is a tremendous learning opportunity for the students.
"The students [got] to see the real estate market in Monterrey from top to bottom," he says. "We literally started where the poorest of the poor live and went to the large haciendas where the 'NAFTA nueva rica' call home."
Baen adds that thanks to alumni donations, the only costs the students needed to pay was half the price of their hotel rooms. Several UNT real estate alumni also took the trip with the graduate students.
Baen says alumni support and involvement is the key to the success of UNT's real estate program, which is ranked as a top 12 program in the country by the Journal of Real Estate Education.
"For some years, we have been informally asking current and former students to pay back the scholarships awarded while at UNT within five years of their graduation," he says. "And, that has made a big difference in the success of our program."
Baen has published several articles on both mineral rights and oil and gas activities in the North Texas area. They are available on his web site. He also is a practicing commercial real estate broker and certified real estate appraiser.
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Contact: Rafael McDonnell 940-565-4835