According to 800zipcodes, Mexico, part of North America, is home to 112 million people of various ethnic backgrounds. They live mainly in the metropolises in the interior of the country. The western coastal areas on the Pacific and the eastern ones on the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea are less densely populated.
The Federal Republic borders in the north on the USA and in the south on Guatemala and Belize. On its western side, the Sierra Madre Occidental ridge stretches from north to south with a length of over 1,500 kilometers. Its equivalent in the east is the Sierra Madre Oriental, which is also a considerable 1,000 kilometers in length. No question about it: studying in Mexico is a unique experience.
Facts about the Federal Republic of Mexico
Overall, Mexico is characterized by high plateaus and volcanoes. The highest peaks are the two volcanoes Popocatépetl (5482 m) and Iztaccúhuatl (5280 m). The volcanoes are only 70 kilometers from the inland capital Ciudad de México. In addition to such elevations, desert areas in the interior and Pacific and Caribbean beaches on the coasts characterize the country.
Accordingly, the climate varies depending on the location: on the coasts it is subtropical with around 23 ° – 29 ° during the day, in the plateaus there is a subtropical or alpine climate with 14 ° -19 ° and in the dry interior it is a hot desert climate.
For the Mexicans, on the one hand, the Catholic faith brought with them by the Spanish conquerors, on the other hand, also much older traditions. Many of their cultural influences go back to the indigenous population with the Mesoamerican cultures of the Maya, Olmec, Toltec and Aztec. Such imprints can be seen in Mexican manners, customs, festivals, clothing, art and music.
Economically, Mexico is characterized by the export of raw materials, especially oil, silver and food. In addition, trade, industry and services make up a large part of the economy.
Universities and study landscape in Mexico
In Mexico there is a wide university landscape with very different educational institutions:
- (poly) technical universities
- pedagogical colleges
- technical institutes
- various other research institutions
In total there are around 500 state and 700 private institutions. The Mexican Ministry of Education and Culture, Secretaría de Educación Pública, has overall responsibility for education.
In 2008, a total of 2.7 million students were enrolled in Mexican universities, 33.5% of them in private institutions. The rush of applicants is enormous – at the largest university, the state Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), for example, around 250,000 students are now enrolled.
Studying in Mexico: requirements
Part of the admission requirements for studying in Mexico are in any case sufficient knowledge of Spanish to ensure understanding of the lessons. Usually they are checked by individual placement tests at the respective university. If German students are not entirely sure of their language skills, they can often take the exams in English. The private universities usually offer bilingual courses. Usually you can also take part in paid language courses on site.
Costs and financing of studying in Mexico
Mexican universities are allowed to charge tuition fees. While private universities always require it, the public institutions vary. The costs vary depending on the type of university, degree program and chosen subject. In the case of private institutions, the range is particularly wide. On average, the equivalent of around EUR 4,400 per semester can be expected. The costs are calculated either per semester, course or credit points. Admission fees are combined with the tuition fees.
Dorm or private accommodation?
The cost of living in Mexico is on average lower than in Germany – but of course they vary depending on where you study. This particularly relates to the living situation.
Since the Mexican dormitories are of a relatively low standard compared to the German ones, it is more advisable to look around for private accommodation. Individuals or groups can rent these. Another option is to stay with a host family. This gives the most direct impressions of everyday Mexican life, as well as improving language skills in a special way.
The costs for both a multi-person apartment and a host family are around EUR 250-300 per month. The organization CEPE (Centro de Ensenanza para Extranjeros) can help with the search for accommodation. It is represented on site at every major Mexican university. However, it is pleasantly inexpensive to travel in Mexico by public transport. There are usually discounts for students.
Grants and scholarships for studying in Mexico
There are various ways of reducing the expected study and living costs during your stay in Mexico. For example, those students who do not receive any support in Germany can also receive grants through the Auslands-BAföG. In addition, the DAAD as well as political, economic and cultural foundations and the Mexican Foreign Ministry offer various scholarships. You are not allowed to work with the student visa. Student loans and education funds offer further financing options.