Year Abroad Country Profile: Mexico

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Why should people choose the destination?

Mexico seems to be a country full of misunderstandings. People gasp at the decision of spending the YA in a country, unfairly stereotyped as one of murder, kidnaps, cartels and corruption and so on. For some, choosing Mexico is the obvious next step as they have already travelled around Europe and, for others, Mexico is a way of challenging these negative views we have and what we read about in the media.

In reality, living in Mexico has truly changed my life. The vast array of heritage, history, patriotism, colour, cultures, climates and people make Mexico an endless journey of discovery, that will take you out of your comfort zones and will give you the opportunity to learn about the importance of life, relationships, nature and spirituality.

Travel / cultural highlights?

Snorkelling in the Caribbean. Music festivals in Mexico City. Clambering up a mountain in the back of a pick-up truck. Bathing in the natural springs on top of a mountain. Showering under breath-taking waterfalls. Travelling through the bottom of a 1000ft gauge. Sleeping among the trees in a rainforest, accompanied by Howler Monkeys. Waking up at the crack of dawn to head out into the middle of the ocean to experience thousands of dolphins passing through. The jaw-dropping and inspirational moment, witnessing wild Humpback Whales on their migratory route. Having the privilege to visit indigenous communities, learning their language and history. The honour of being invited into the Zapatista, autonomous, community.

Over Christmas, we spent a month travelling through Oaxaca and Chiapas. Just two states yet full of such an incredible variety of people, food, cultures, traditions, climates, panoramics, experiences, nature and parties!

How was the process of adjusting after being in the UK?

The first month or so is, of course, full of hurdles. Many trips to the Visa office, figuring out the safest way of travelling around the city, starting a new job, accustomising to the cultural differences (including banda music!), understanding your tollerence to spicy food and getting to grips with the colloquial lingo!

How expensive is it to live there?

“In pounds, it’s nothing”- became a well known phrase of mine! It is difficult to resist converting the cost of EVERYTHING into pounds, leaving you speechless! The food is unbelievably cheap. Luckily, with student loan help, money is never an issue in Mexico thanks to the pound! Although, if you are completely dependent on Mexican pesos (i.e. workwise) then, depending on where you are placed, income isn’t great.

Best piece of advice?

All the issues during the adjustment period will be the toughest yet most rewarding experiences. You will grow so much as a person, so take these as your chance to grow.

What are the study abroad options available?

University study, working as an English language assistant at one of the Anglo centers, or at a university.

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BA Modern Languages student (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese), currently working and researching in Cancun, Mexico.

I live to travel and there is nothing I love more than moving to a new country, immersing myself in the language and culture.
I have lived in Spain, Italy and Mexico.
I love writing about my personal experiences when travelling.

I am also very interested in UK politics.

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