Bachelor of International Studies, 3rd year
Bachelor of International Studies, 3rd year

Academic experiences

I studied a total of 5 subjects.

3 in English

  • International Relations Theory 2
  • Geopolitics and global changes
  • Strategic Prospective

2 in Spanish

  •  Advanced Spanish 1
  • The Politics of Latin America and the Caribbean

The most difficult part of doing an exchange at this university was perhaps the workload.
It exceeded far beyond my expectations.
There were 3 major examination points in 1 semester in which each subject had 2-3 pieces of assessments one had to fulfil.
There was also, I believed, little consideration for the quality of the work being handed in.
It functioned in a more "get it done" dynamic, which I do not enjoy.

On another note, it was challenging yet endlessly rewarding to study a POLS subject in Spanish.
This was most enjoyable given that it allowed me to significantly develop my Spanish.

In the state of Michoacán. A state with a hidden beauty.

Personal experiences

Going on exchange allowed me to challenge myself to go beyond what I know: living alone, making new friends, speaking a new language, cooking and cleaning.

Accommodation

I lived off-campus in a house with other international students.
I was initially with a host family but in the end this did not suit my expectations.

I would advise students to be careful about their housing choices.
A host family is great if you are seeking to improve your language and be immersed in the culture.
However, understand that not all families are willing to provide this.
Living with other international students allows you more freedom.
It also allows you to develop bonds and even work together to improve in speaking the language.

Budget

In total it cost me $12 000, which corresponds with UQ's recommended amount.
But I would suggest another $1000 for emergencies--lost phone, laptop etc.

Mexico City

Academic development and employability

It has allowed me to develop my Spanish --by being constantly exposed to Spanish speakers and situations in which it is necessary to speak Spanish.

It has allowed me to see a different way of envisioning development and experiencing different types of inequalities.

Highlight

The highlight of my experience abroad was discovering new places so different from where I live.
I discovered a place filled with history, conflict and hope.
Mexico is known for its struggles--politically, economically and socially.
But Mexico is filled with strong, diverse cultures that celebrates food, music and life; it is a place of adventure and discovery.

Top tips

Always dare yourself.
You will be faced with a lot of unexpected and perhaps frightening experiences.
Remember that an exchange is about discovering and learning.

Don't learn to much, don't travel too much.
Find a balance.

Always reflect on what you are experiencing.

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