Study in Mexico

Do you want to know the details about Mexican education systems? Are you willing to study there? Know all the details about top Universities in Mexico, courses to study and lifestyle from the below post.

Education in Mexico

The education in Mexico is not very simple and is having great struggles at least for those belonging to rural areas. A number of dropouts are high because many children leave schools and start working for their families at a very early age. This is mainly in public schools. The schools in rural areas are not having funds and building to run their schools properly. On the other side, the public schools in urban areas are having sufficient funds and infrastructures but still, the teaching standards are not up to the mark.
Private schools are following high standards for teaching and offering bilingual education.
Due to these conditions, the rich families prefer private schools or ‘colegio’ where their kids get the proper education, qualified teachers, good books, etc. Poor families cannot afford private schools and send their children to public schools (escuela) only.
Public schools are free of cost and do not go for religious instructions. The government provides free textbooks till primary level and after that parents have to buy the books. To continue the education in public schools, students need to secure at least 60 percent marks in the national level examination, getting conducted at the end of the year. Then only they will get promoted to the next class. The school hours are lesser than many other countries can children can work in the morning hours before coming to school.
Private schools are mainly available in big cities and urban areas of the country. Parents should check the accreditation of the private school through the Ministry of Public Education before going for admissions. Private schools are preferred because of bilingual education, the broad curriculum, and better teachers.
Below are the details of education levels-
Preschool/ Educacion Preescolar-It is not compulsory and completely optional and privately funded level of education in Mexico. It can be pursued at the age of 3.

Primary school/ Primaria-It is mandatory for the children of the age between 6 years to 12 years. This level includes grade 1 to grade 6. These levels have a compulsory education of the second language and half of the school day is taught in Spanish language and the other half of the school day taught in the second language of your choice. It can be English, French, Tzotzil or Tzeltal.

Middle School (Junior High School)/ Secundaria-This level starts at the age of 12 and is containing 3 years of education from grade 7 to 9. This level of education focuses on the specific teaching of subjects like world history, physics, natural science, etc.
Mexican schools also have an option of ‘telesecundaria’ which is equivalent to the distance learning program through which students can complete their secondary level through online learning.

High school (Preparatory School)/ Preparatoria-It was optional earlier but very recently it became mandatory f Mexican students. This level includes the broad range of subjects to have a specialized education. It contains grade 10 to 12 and is available for the students of age 15 to 18 years.
Mexican high schools have main 2 types of programs-
  1. University Incorporated Preparatoria program is affiliated with a local university through which the curriculum gets established.

  2. SEP Incorporated Preparatoria program and its curriculum is usually managed by Government through the Secretariat of Public Education.


Higher Education/ UniversidadThis level of education follows the US education model according to which it takes 4 years to complete a Bachelor’s degree/ undergraduate level degree or Licenciatura. A Postgraduate level degree takes 2 years and a Doctoral program is having 3 years duration.

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About Mexico

Mexico is official “United Mexican States”, a country situated in the southernmost part of North America. It is the federal republic and surrounded by the United States in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the west, the Gulf of Mexico in the East and the Caribbean Sea, Guatemala and Belize bordering it in the southeast.
Mexico is the 13th largest independent state in the whole world and is the 5th largest country in America by occupying 2,000,000 sq kilometers of area.
It is the 11th country in the world by population and is the 2nd most populous country in Latin America. It is the Spanish speaking country with the highest population in the world.
Mexico has 31 states and also has a Mexico City which is a special federal entity as a capital of this country. Mexico is the city with the highest population in the country and other major cities are Monterrey, Guadalajara, Toluca, Puebla, and Tijuana.
Mexico became the very first Latin American member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in the year 1994. By the World Bank, it is classified as an “Upper-middle income country. Many other analysts have considered it as an industrialized country. The culture and history of Mexico are very rich that it makes it the first in America and 7th in the world for having the maximum number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Quick Facts

  1. The capital of Mexico is the Mexico City and is the largest city of the country.

  2. The official language of Mexico is Spanish but many other regional languages are also in use.

  3. The total area of the country is 1,972,550 sq kilometers and the population is around 123,675,325.

  4. The currency of Mexico is ‘Peso (MXN)’ which is 3.66 times INR.

  5. The calling code for Mexico is +52 and the ISO 3166 code is MX.

  6. The internet TLD is .mx.

  7. The official name of Mexico is the United Mexican States.

  8. Mexico is the 14th largest country by land/ Area.

  9. It is the 11th most populated country in the world.

  10. The highest mountain in Mexico is ‘Pico de Orizaba’ which is a dormant volcano with the height of 5,636 meters above the sea level.

  11. The main sport or the most popular sport in Mexico is football/ Soccer.

  12. The national symbol of Mexico is “the golden eagle”.

  13. Mexico is the largest source of immigration to the United States.

  14. Mexico City has hosted the Summer Olympic Games in the year 1968.

  15. The border between the United States and Mexico is the 2nd largest border in the world after U.S.-Canadian border.

  16. In Mexico, people do not give gifts on Christmas. They give and receive gifts on 6th January of every year as they celebrate the arrival of the 3 Wise Men this day.

  17. It is the second largest country in having the number of Catholic citizens after Brazil.

  18. The country is situated in the “Ring of Fire”. It is one of the earth’s most violent earthquake and volcano zones.

  19. Volcano rabbit is very rare and can be found near Mexican volcanoes.

  20. Mexico is the country which introduced chocolate, chilies, and corn to the whole world.

Admission Process in Mexico

The admission process is different for different universities and it is advised to check the website of the selected institutes to get an idea about the same.
To check the eligibility criteria carefully is always important and once you find yourself eligible for admission, you can apply online directly from the site of the university. Some universities take direct admissions whereas some may conduct entrance tests.
After the closing date of applications, universities check the applications and students fulfilling their criteria get their confirmation letter or admit card for an entrance test whichever is applicable.
Most of the universities ask for English Language proficiency certificate from the international students. Students need to appear in the tests like TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
Applicants need to send their application enclosed with all other documents as per their instructions. The score sheet for TOEFL is the mandatory document from foreign students.

After receiving the acceptance letter from the university, you can apply for the student visa for Mexico.
Please note that students are not allowed to work in Mexico while studying and they cannot get involved in any kind of remuneration activities there.

Student Visa Application Process

Mexico is the 5th largest country in the Americas and is one of the largest economies of the world. It is the 10th most visited country in the world with the record of 21.4 million arrivals including tourists and international students. The education system of Mexico attracts international students by offering international acknowledged courses and high-quality study programs in various disciplines. But to pursue higher education in Mexico, students need Student Visa with a valid passport. Below are the details of the Student visa requirement, application, etc-
Students from some countries like Andorra, Belgium, Canada, Aruba, Latvia, France, Hong Kong, Germany, Ireland, Chile, Finland, Austria, Malta, Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland, Romania, Japan, Costa, Spain, etc do not need Visa for studying in Mexico. They can enter the country by showing their valid passport and a ‘Migration From for Tourist, Visiting Businesspersons, Transmigrates, Visiting Consultants, etc’. These documents can be obtained from travel agencies and airlines very easily.
The students from Canada and USA are allowed to arrive in Mexico using their Passport or other documents like voter registration card, driving license, birth certificate, Naturalization certificate or any other identity proof under special agreements.
Citizens from all other countries require a visa to enter Mexico. The validity of a tourist visa is 6 months and for the student visa, it is 1 year.
Student visa application can be made at the Mexican Consulate between 8 am till 12 noon. They are working from Monday to Friday and the applications must be made in person only.
Below are the steps to be followed for the student visa-
  • Select the course and university-This is very important to finalize the course you want to pursue from a Mexican University. There are various undergraduate and postgraduate courses available in Mexico and you can select any of your interest and specialization. After that, you need to select the suitable university for enrollment. You may check the eligibility criteria and fee structure before making application for admission.

  • Official letter of Acceptance-Now you need an official letter of acceptance from the institute you will be joining. This should be mentioning all the details like the name of the university, its address, and official registration number, complete student details, the name of the course, level of the course, duration and fee of the course.

  • Find your consulate-Now you are ready to apply for the visa so find your suitable Mexican consulate and all the details can be obtained online.

  • Visa application online-After gathering all the information from your consulate, you can fill the student visa application form online. It can be found on the page of consulate very easily. Once filled, check it carefully and then print the same.

  • Collect documents-Collect all the documents as mentioned below or mentioned on the consulate page. It is advised to prepare a bunch in proper sequence and attach the checklist with the same. It will be easier to check and verify the documents during an appointment with the consulate. You can keep the documents in 2 sets.

  • Book an appointment-Now your application is filled and documents are ready and you can book an appointment with the consulate and submit the application. Pay the fee and keep the receipt.

  • Keep track of your application-Now keep tracking of your application and wait till you receive your visa. You may be asked for further documents so it is advised not to leave your place to avoid delay due to unexpected reasons.

The student visa can be issued in 2 days to 3 weeks depending upon various factors like your documents, your consulate, your country, etc. The cost of the visa varies from one country to another and ranges from US$17 to $30.

Lifestyle

If you plan to visit any country, it is better to have an idea about the lifestyle like their customs, transport, cuisines, etc beforehand. A prior knowledge about the same will support you to have a better stay there.
In the case of Mexico, the rate of crime is higher than many other feign countries. It is advised to use public transport during days and private transport during night hours to be on a safer side. You should not wear expensive jewelry and must not carry more cash if is not required. While traveling locally, carry the copy of your passport and not the original one with you and call the taxi service providers directly rather than hiring taxis from the street.
The things are explained in more details below-

Mexican society-

There are 2 main divisions by education and income and the two categories are of well educated and wealthy class and poor from both rural and urban parts of the country. The second class is with the majority and occupies a large part of the population.
Poverty is a big problem in Mexico and you can find many homeless people surviving on the day labor. The Northern half of the country is basically owned by the landholders who are in agriculture. They are using advanced and mechanized methods for agriculture hence they are able to have good earning through agriculture.

Family trends-

Family is a very important part of their society and their status and professional opportunities are greatly influenced by it. Most of the houses both in rural as well as urban areas are inhabited by 3 or more generations and one can name it as family affection and the economic way to live. People have the tendency to maintain strong bonds with their extended families and friends and it is common to enjoy celebrations with the whole family including children, teenagers, adults, and elders together. Apart from marriage functions, they celebrate “Quinceanera” in a lavish way. It is nothing but a 15th birthday of the girl in a family.
The woman of a family also goes out for work in most of the middle and upper classes and that’s the reason, they have a tendency to share the house holding things equally including the infant care. But still, there are families following the male dominance and many women are still facing the domestic violence in Mexico.

Food-

The eating habits of Mexicans vary widely depending upon the region but 3 main staples are common to all- Beans, Corn/ Maize, and Squash. Rice is also considered as a staple food and mostly gets served with beans.
Mexicans also love eating Avocado in the form of guacamole, amaranth, tomatoes, chili peppers, lentils, papayas, potatoes, etc. They have the trend of serving Maize tortillas along with the main dishes.
Red meat in the form of fried fast food and dairy products are mostly consumed by poor people but it is a big cause of diabetes and heart diseases.
For desserts, people love to have sweet breads like oversized cookies and iced buns, chocolates, dulce de leche, etc. we can find street vendors selling frozen paletas and ice creams for kids.
Among drinks, they prefer aduas frescas, Jamaica, horchata, etc with the meals. Horchata is a milky rice-based drink and Jamaica is a deep red drink made up of calyxes of roselle flowers. They also serve soft drinks including fruit shakes and smoothies, fresh orange juice, etc. People preferring Alcohol love to have local and imported beers and Christmas and “Day of the dead” celebrations are incomplete without ‘Atole’- a combination of rice or cornmeal, spices, and water.

Festivals and holidays-

Christmas is very special for Mexicans and most of Mexico’s holidays are in connection with Christian feast days like pre-Lenten Carnaval, Easter, the Christmas holidays from 16th December till Christmas eve, etc. They also celebrate the festivals for Patron saints. 12th December is a big day and they celebrate fiesta of the country’s patron saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe that day. In January, the people of the city of Morelia celebrate its fiesta of the Immaculate Conception for several weeks.
On 1st November, they celebrate “Day of the Dead which is also known as “All Saint’s Day”. 31st October is celebrated as Halloween day and 2nd November is celebrated as “All Soul’s Day” in Mexico.
Apart from these special days, they also celebrate Columbus day, Labour Day, their Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc with great spirit.

The Mexican Arts-

Mexico has many good writers and artists with global recognition. The art of Mexico has both the folk and classical touch. There are many famous writers like Samuel Ramos, Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Juan Jose, etc are having international recognition.
The most widely recognized form of Mexican art is “Mural” which is influenced by the architecture of the Aztec and other pre-Columbian civilizations.
Music and dance are also in the tradition of Mexico and the mariachi and ranchero songs are the food for listeners. They also use guitars, violins, brass, drums, requintos, etc.

Transport

Mexico has a very good arrangement for local buses as a public transport option. They have very affordable and comfortable intercity buses with good frequencies. These are available in different classes and one can get as per his or her suitability.
They also have a metro system to travel locally. It is faster than a taxi and that too at very affordable rates.

Cost of Living for Students

Mexico is considered a very affordable country and which in turn improve your living. The services like the maid, cook. Gardener, etc very reasonable and other things like internet, cable, etc are also available at cheaper rates.
But the actual rates vary depending upon the location you live. Beach areas and top tourist locations like Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerta Vallarta, are expensive.

Accommodation cost-It is reasonable in Mexico I both the cases- on sharing basis or individual. The rates become higher as you move towards main cities or tourist areas. Larges apartments will charge you about Mex$21000 whereas the medium-sized apartments are available at the average rent of Mex$ 12800. These rates may vary slightly and negotiable is always possible in Mexico.
The utility charges are always extra and additional which includes internet, cable, etc. but these are available at reasonable charges.

HealthcareIn Mexico, the health care system is a combination of both public and private systems which results in smaller private healthcare programs. They have highly advanced facilities but are costly and available for people having money.
The dental clinics are available are very affordable cost.
The health insurance of a person will cost you around Mex$2600 per year.

TransportMexico has different modes of transport available publicly but due to poor infrastructure in small cities, these are effectively available in main cities only. But one can find cheaper transport modes all over the country which includes public buses and metro trains.
You can get a monthly bus pass at the rate of around Mex$300 and a single-use bus ticket will charge you around Mex$8.00. There are average rates and will be varying depending upon the route you will be traveling.

Education cost in MexicoIt is free of cost in public schools as these public schools are government funded. Private schools are easily available but are charging higher fees and annual enrollment fee. International schools are also available for the parents belonging from other countries. The average annual cost of preschool is around Mex$40000, lower grades like primary schooling will charge you around Mex$45000 per year.

GroceriesIt is always cheaper than any other country and the reason behind this is most of the food products are grown locally and they do not need to import them. There are many small markets for groceries where one can buy at lower rates than the supermarkets. There are small vendors available who can do door delivery of the ordered products.
The street foods at affordable rates are also available in Mexico and people loving outside food can love Mexico for this reason.

Documents for University Admissions in Mexico

The documentation required for the student visa for Mexico varies depending upon the country you belong to and the consulate you selected for the application. But the main basic requirements are as mentioned below-
  1. A completely filled Visa Application Form.

  2. A valid passport with at least 6 months validity.

  3. 5 Profile photographs and 6 front view photographs in the size of 2”X2” that too with white background.

  4. An official enrollment proof or a letter of acceptance from the institution you plan to attend, mentioning about level, grade, duration of the course and field of study is required.

  5. Students need to show the proof of their economic solvency and an uninterrupted and periodic receipt of the sum of US$ 300 or equivalent per month. This is to prove that you are capable of bearing all your living expenses during your stay in Mexico.

  6. Students who have granted a scholarship for their program in Mexico, they need to show the proper and official letter or documentation for the same.

  7. Students also need to show the proof for medical and accidental insurance that too with international coverage. For this, a written confirmation can be obtained from the insurance company from where you have taken the insurance.

  8. A medical certificate mentioning your good health and certifying that you are not having kind of illness is also required.

  9. Visa processing fee and receipt of the same after paying the fee.

  10. The receipt of the fee paid to the institute after enrollment.

  11. If the students in below 18 years of age, a notarized authorization from both of his/ her parents along with the copy of his/ her birth certificate is required.

These are the general documents which are mandatory for the student visa application for Mexican universities. Apart from these, there could some specific requirements and you can the details from the consulate.

Top Universities in Mexico

Although the education system of Mexico has faced a lot of struggle, the country has many top ranking universities of global standards.
Below is the list of some main universities offering programs at international levels-

Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education

It got established in the year 1943 and one of the largest private, co-educational and non- sectarian campus universities in Latin America. It was founded by a local businessman. It has around 90,000 students studying in high schools, undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
This university is based in Monterrey and is having 31 different campuses in 25 cities in Mexico.

National Autonomous University of Mexico

It is the oldest and largest university in the whole Latin America. It got established in the year 1551 and currently has many campuses in Mexico City and other urban locations in the country. Apart from this, it also has 4 foreign campuses in Chicago, San Antonio, and Canada.
The university has also got the credit for many research publications and many patents in different subjects. The university has many research centers and Centre for Applied Sciences and Technological Development is one among them which focuses on the integration of science with the problems of the real world.
The main campus of this university is now a World Heritage site and is featuring murals by some famous artists of Mexico including David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera.

Metropolitan Autonomous University-

It started in the year 1974 with the help of Luis Echeverria Alvarez who was the president of that time. It is having 4 campuses in Mexico City, specifically in Azcapotzalco, Iztapalapa, Cuajimalpa, and Xochimilco. The 5th campus is situated in Lerma city located outside the Mexico City. It was the first university to offer environmental engineering in Mexico and currently offering around 75 undergraduate and 75 postgraduate courses.
This university has many on-campus facilities including the library, foreign language centers, medical centers, bookshops, sports grounds, etc.

Autonomous University of Hidalgo State (UAEH)

UAEH or The Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Hidalgo started as the Instituto Literario y Escuela de Artes y Oficios (Literary Institute and School of Arts and Crafts) in the year 1869 in Pachuca. It is the largest and oldest university in Hidalgo, Mexico. It is considered as one of the best universities in Latin America and Ibero-America.
It has 6 different faculties in Pachuca and many other campuses in Hidalgo including Actopan, Ciudad Sahagun, Apan, Tozayuca, etc.

Autonomous University of Baja California

It was established as a Public University in the year 1957. It is having 3 campuses and 5 sub-campuses and is one of the largest universities in Mexico. It is located in the coastal town of Ensenada and is well known for its School of Marine Sciences and Center for Oceanographic Research.
It is also involved in the cross-border CaliBaja educational consortium which was created in June 2017.

Instituto Politecnico Nacional (IPN)

It is very large public university with around 150,000 students enrolled in different courses. It is holding 30th rank in Latin America and its main campus is in the North of Mexico City. Subjects like mechanical engineering, computer science, physics, etc are the top programs and are covered by QS World University Ranking by Subjects.
Apart from the above-mentioned universities, there are many more universities in Mexico including Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla (BUAP), Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL), etc.

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