Bachelor of Arts/Law
Bachelor of Arts/Law

Hola! I am currently in my fifth year of Arts/Laws at the University of Queensland.

Last semester I was enrolled in four courses at UDLAP:

•    Latin American Cinema and Literature
•    Spanish Level 4
•    French Literature
•    Community Service

If I were to describe the UDLAP education system in a few words I would say that the class work is about quantity over quality. Whilst I was very busy throughout the entire semester writing essays and orals, the work was quite easy in comparison to previous Arts courses which I have taken at UQ.

I would say that one highlight of the semester was participating in the Community Service program offered by the University, as it was a unique opportunity to immerse myself into Mexican culture whilst at the same time helping others. I was lucky enough to work in an orphanage located in Puebla, wherein I aided orphans between the ages of 0 and 10 with their daily tasks. At the same time, I was also able to improve my Spanish exponentially to the point that my “baby jargon” is now almost perfect.

Given that UDLAP is a small University, the University lifestyle is brilliant. Not only have I been lucky enough to forge friendships with many Mexican students from different parts of the country, I have also made a score of international friends from a variety of countries.  The international students, who choose to study in Mexico, are a very unique group of people, as many have previously lived abroad and speak a myriad of languages.

As my friends and I were not employed during the semester and had no Friday classes, we had ample opportunity to travel almost every weekend. Whilst I participated in two organised trips, all other travel was organised by myself and friends.  For example, I traveled to: Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Mexico City, Puerto Escondido, Catemaco (Veracruz), Huasteca, Oaxaca, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Palenque and Merida, just to name a few. Given Mexico’s central location, I was also lucky enough to go to San Francisco, Washington DC and New York.

During the semester I lived on campus in the dorms Cain Murray. A few positive points about living on campus are that drinking water is provided, the apartment is cleaned every day and you will be living with Mexican students. However, the rules are very strict – no visitors before 10am, students of the opposite sex cannot sleep over and you have to sign in if you come into the dorms after midnight. My friends who lived off campus definitely had more freedom, but it is more complicated to organize living arrangements from Australia. Thus, I’d recommend arriving early in Cholula in order to look for an apartment before Orientation week commences.

The great thing about Mexico is that it is incredibly cheap, apart from the tourist areas such as Cancun. Just to give an idea:

A Corona - $2 AUD
A pizza at a good restaurant: $6 AUD
A hostel: $10 AUD
Bus between Puebla and Mexico City: $12 AUD
Local Bus in Puebla: 70 cents
Metro in Mexico City: 50 cents
Taxis: between $4 and $5 for a 10-15 minute taxi ride

One point which is pertinent to touch upon is the safety situation in Mexico given that it is at the top of everyone’s mind before choosing to study there. After spending 5 months in Mexico, I never once felt unsafe. Although it is true that violence does occur in Northern Mexico, Puebla is very safe if you take a few safety precautions – never hail a taxi off the street at night and do not walk alone at night.

I can say that, without a doubt, choosing to study in Mexico was one of the best decisions I have ever made; so much so that I am staying here for another six months. While safety always seems to be a drawback for people to study here, it really shouldn’t be – I honestly feel as safe in Puebla as in Brisbane. The people are warm and friendly, the towns are amazing and the experience is such a unique one.

Top Tips:

1.    Bring warm clothes! The term “sunny Mexico” is completely incorrect. Whilst during the day it may be 28 degrees, at night it may be 6 degrees.
2.    Dress conservatively! Puebla is a conservative town and thus students do not walk around wearing flip-flops or shorts on campus. Most students wear long pants!
3.    Take every opportunity you get to speak Spanish. Given that UDLAP is a private University, most students are quite wealthy and thus they speak very good English.

Feel free to contact me if you have any queries regarding UDLAP or Mexico in general, as I am more than happy to help.

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