During her time living Cuernavaca, Vanderburg gained a deeper understanding of the value of family. The house she stayed in was small, but it sheltered multiple generations of the same family, including the grandmother who had fallen ill. Vanderburg helped with taking care of the family that welcomed her. She was fluent in Spanish before traveling to Mexico but quickly became proficient in the local dialect spoken. She even picked up on Mexican slang after being surrounded by the family’s younger generations.
Every Saturday, Vanderburg went on a field trip with the other members of the program at La Universal. On these excursions, she saw the Frida Kahlo House and trekked up a volcano. Since being home, she has been able to maintain contact with the family she stayed with, thanks to Facebook. Vanderburg used her Journey Grant to expand her knowledge of the Spanish language and found experiences that she will carry with her forever.