At the beginning of August 2018, I started my exchange studies in huge Mexico City. The five months in the city and in my university, Escuela Bancaria y Comercial, went really fast and I can recommend the place to everyone. Studying in Mexico was different than studying in TAMK and especially the courses taught in English were quite easy for us exchange students. In the courses I chose, I didn’t have to take any exams but mostly do group works. The teachers were very nice and understanding, and missing classes because of traveling was never a problem. In the picture below you can see my university.
My experience in Mexico was so much better than I expected. Adapting to a new, totally different culture was so much fun and eye-opening, also sometimes a little bit frustrating of course. Exploring the spicy food, learning about people who always want to help despite the language barriers, and experiencing traditions, national celebrations (for example, the Independence Day and the Day of the Death) and amazingly beautiful places are some things that I will always remember.
Before arriving, I was worried about many things and probably mostly about the safety and how I’m going to get used to so different culture. Now after 5 months, I’m happy to tell that not even for once I felt dangerous there. During the introduction week, we were told about safety in the city and what places to avoid, and I didn’t have any problems with anything.
In a city like Mexico City, you can’t run out of things to do in your free time. Outside of the school I was mostly exploring the city and visiting its touristic attractions which were all free for students, and during the weekends I made a lot of trips with my friends to the cities close by. Traveling in Mexico was quite cheap and by paying a couple of euros more, you can take “a luxury bus” with Wi-Fi, air condition and a movie selection. In Mexico City, I always took an Uber because it was the safest option and also cheap. There is a good and really cheap subway system as well but during the rush hours it gets really crowded and a bit dangerous.
Mexico has been something I could never have imagined. Amazing landscapes, cities, beaches and people, without forgetting arguably one of the most delicious cuisines in the world. I have stayed in the city of Toluca for 5 months now, and my cinema studies here in Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México are already done. At first I had some difficulties getting used to the language, since all the classes were in spanish and I didn’t speak it almost at all beforehand. Though after a month or two it got a lot easier and I started to understand the language and the classes more and more.
The school system here is quite different, it’s based on exams and grades in a much larger scale than the cinema side in Finland. But the quality of the teaching is pretty much on the same level, and I learned a lot alongside the spanish language.
This journey hasn’t gone without problems, there’s been a couple damaging earthquakes, I’ve been robbed twice and other such things, but I’m still alive and well, and luckily my insurance has covered the lost items. For people seeking comfort and security Mexico might not be the first choice, but if you’re willing to accept the possible setbacks and use common sense, you will survive and enjoy this country to the fullest.
I’m very delighted that I got the chance to travel and see the country, because there are a bunch of truly beautiful places to visit. The west coast has some incredible beaches, and for a city trip Mexico City is amazing and only about 50 kilometers away from Toluca, so you can easily go on a weekend trip there anytime. Toluca itself is quite a big city, but there’s not a lot going on so travelling is a great choice to spend your free time.
For me this has been an unforgettable experience and Mexico and its people will stay in my heart, as cheesy as it sounds. Now, off to the beach for the holidays so I can prepare myself to survive the winter of Finland once again.
I’m already half way done with my exchange semester here in Mexico City and I have absolutely loved every minute of it. I was first bit terrified coming to a city of 21 million people but this has turned out to be an amazing city with endless things to do. Besides Mexico City, Mexico has a lot to offer and see so I have been exploring the country as much as possible.
My studies started already in early August and I’ve really liked the school so far. At my school there’s only 18 exchange students and everyone has been very welcoming to us. I have all my courses in Spanish and it has been bit tricky at times but Mexicans are always ready to help out. My favorite course must be Spanish course for us exchange students since besides just studying Spanish we learn about Mexican culture and traditions. We have had a salsa class, made guacamole and tacos and learned traditional Mexican games. All the other courses I have taken are also nice and interesting but it’s different from Finland. Sometimes it feels like you’re in high school because the students tend to be quite loud during the lectures and the classes are very interactive. We also have the same classes same time everyday and at times it gets bit boring but at least you get to know your classmates well.
Most of my free time is spent with friends exploring the city since there is always something happening. Another favorite thing to do is to try out different foods since Mexico has a wide selection of delicious foods. I also try to see different parts of the country every time I get a chance since Mexico is very large and diverse country. So far I have been to a few beach trips, visited some pueblos magicos and seen some natural wonders of the country. There are still so much more to see and I’m planning more trips all the time.
It’s been two months since I arrived here. My trip from home to here was easy, I just flied to San Diego, USA and then school transport pick up all the exchange students from the airport and drove us to Ensenada. Ensenada is quite a small but comfortable city in north of Mexico, close to Tijuana. Surfing with friends and city of Ensenada
Weather here is awesome, +25 to 30 degrees Celsius so for us it feels like a long summer. City locates close to Pacific Ocean and that’s why here is lot of surf spots and swimming places. I live in a host family and it has been a good choice, there’s much help that they can give to your everyday life.
Street food: Tacos and vegetables; food plate from mexican restaurant
School is a private University called CETYS and everything has gone well, teachers are cool and schoolmates are always ready to help. We have also done some trips, we went to Sierra de Juares which was interesting adventure in the middle of nowhere and then I’ve also been in San Diego and San Fransisco.
Sierra de Juares
Still here is plenty of places where I should visit so lets hope that the second half is as unforgettable than the first one!
As you can see from the pictures above, this place is absolutely stunning. I started studying here in Ensenada, Mexico, about two months ago. It means I’m half way done with my exchange already. Time flies when you are having fun right!
The locals are very open and kind. They are always ready to help us with anything we need, to show us around and to teach us Spanish. Every weekend I do something fun and different and get to know more of the wonderful culture they have.
Ensenada is a fairly small city in Mexico’s standards on the Pacific coast a few hours away from the Tijuana-San Diego border. So it has been easy to do trips to California too. We have gone there to see a baseball match and I also did a trip to LA and San Francisco. Now we are planing to go to Guadalajara, which is a big city close to Mexico city. In Ensenada the influence from US is very strong and visible so it is going to be interesting to see how the life is in Guadalajara.
Right now I’m in the half way of my one semester long exchange studies in Mexico City, Mexico. So far I have enjoyed my stay here and I see no reason why I wouldn’t enjoy the rest of the year too.
On my free time I have explored the country by traveling as much as possible. Besides Mexico City, one of the world’s biggest cities with around 21 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, Mexico has a lot to offer. I have seen a lot of amazing things, for example colonial cities, paradises on the beach, volcanoes, etc.
With some friends in Cholula, me the third from the right.
Monte Albán, pre-Columbian archaeological site in the state of Oaxaca. Mexico is full of history and interesting ancient places to visit.
Beautiful landscape in Hierve al Agua with my czech roommate Nikol.
Snorkling in Islas Marietas with my boyfriend, who was visiting me for 3 weeks.
Here’s a proof that I have studied in my free time too. In Puerto Vallarta.
First day at school.
School is very different from TAMK. I have three courses taught in English, one course in Spanish and one course about Spanish language and Mexican culture. My favorite is definitely Spanish language course and I feel that I have learned a lot since I came here. After all I’m living in the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.
With the headline I’m of course referring to Anders Nilsen’s song “Salsa Tequila” which I haven’t heard here in Mexico, but I guess it was/is a hit in Europe, and it’s funny because it consists of many familiar (or everyday) words for me.