Alexia - Tecnológico de Monterrey

B Arts
Semester 2, 2018

Academic experience

Tec has a drastically different education system to UQ. As it is a private university, classes are small, intimate, and conducted by those who are absolute experts in their respective fields. Complementary to my Political Science Major, I undertook a variety of international relations and politics courses which provided me with a perspective that I would not have been exposed to at home. Assessment was also structured differently, with small projects and research assignments due almost every week, worked on in a group, and requiring some practical application of the skills we were developing throughout the course. This took adjusting to at first, but the processes of learning became a second nature as the semester progressed.

Personal experience

My exchange experienced allowed me to improve my Spanish skills more than I could have ever done just from classes, form friendships with people I continue to see and speak to, continue my trip after the semester and travel throughout Central America, and overall develop lifelong personal and professional skills.

Accommodation

The university does not provide accomodation, but provides a list of university-approved accomodation in proximity to the campus. I opted to stay walking distance to the campus in a large student share house. Although I was not located closer to the city itself, I am glad to have been in proximity to the university, as well as with other local and exchange students.

Costs

Mexico as a whole, and Mexico City specifically, are incredibly cheap from an Australian perspective. Rent is affordable, even in nicer parts of the city, and food and transport are dirt cheap. It is easy however to spend a lot of money through entertainment etc. because it is such a lively city and there is so much wealth disparity. As a student on a budget, I managed to live comfortably in the city for four months, and travel for another four. I had saved up money during my time in Australia for travelling, but the OS-Help Loan, UQ scholarship, and centrelink payments would have sufficed to finance me throughout the semester.

Challenge

Being thrown into a completely new situation, with strangers, in a foreign country, and with a language barrier all acts a crucible for immeasurably valuable experiences to take place. The greatest challenge was facing all of this at the beginning, alone, but you quickly learn how you are united with the other exchange students in this. Going on exchange forces you to be open and willing, and be pushed out of your comfort zone. The results are incredibly rewarding.

Professional Development

During my exchange semester I was able to meet with professionals, academics, and other students who motivated me to continue to pursue educational and professional development. The experience I gained through Tec's teaching system equipped me with greater practical skills to use in the professional world.

Highlight

Professional and personal development aside, the highlight of my experience was living in Mexico City with a bunch of people who would become some of my best friends. No matter where or when you decide to go on exchange, you are given the opportunity to explore living in a foreign country, making international friends, and furthering your academic experience, all which create the perfect environment to have an amazing time.

Top tips

Do it! Going on exchange to Mexico was one of the best decisions of my life and you won't regret it!