For me, studying abroad on exchange was always something I wanted to do since my first year. Having already experienced South America from travelling previously, I chose Mexico due to my love of the Latino culture as well as my desire to develop my Spanish speaking ability. Mexico also finds itself situated at the centre of both the ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures, as well as at the crossroads of Latin and North America, which for an anthropology major is a fascinating mix to see for oneself. The courses were fascinating and intellectually stimulating as one of UDLA’s strengths is undeniably its anthropology program. Not only did I have the opportunity to study interesting courses (including one taught by a shaman himself), field trips included tours into the closed-to-the-public tunnels of a 1000 year old Aztec pyramids and surveying trips to other exquisite pre-hispanic ruins.

The social aspect of studying in Mexico was also incredible. UDLA is situated right alongside the infamous “Camino Real,” a street boasting more nightclubs, restaurants and bars than even Fortitude Valley. Puebla is a ‘university town,’ boasting a large number of Mexican and exchange students alike, and giving rise to a lively atmosphere and numerous events and concerts going on every weekend (and even weeknights). Mexican people are incredibly warm, charming and friendly people, and encounters with Mexican people from all different walks of life, as well as the close friendships that I formed, enriched my experience.

Cholula and Puebla (both located within 10 minutes of one another) are both beautiful colonial cities with a number of interesting and fun sites of interest and provide something for everybody. For those who do tire of Cholula and Puebla (if that’s even possible), there are ample opportunities to travel to a number of different and unique parts of Mexico, thanks to Puebla’s central location, which make it the perfect base for exploring the country on the weekends.

Another great thing about studying in Mexico is that it’s cheap! While Centrelink wages in Australia are barely enough to feed a student from week to week, in Mexico it is possible to travel widely, eat well (VERY well!) and enjoy the good life on a few hundred dollars a week. Mexico can be frustrating, hilarious, crazy and rewarding, but above all it is unforgettable, and for an exchange experience that will really stay with you, I would absolutely recommend Mexico.
 

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