Spending the semester abroad in Monterrey, Mexico
Monterrey is in my opinion not a typical Mexican city. It reminds one more of an imitation of the American culture.
When I first arrived to Monterrey, I didn’t even recognized being in Mexico. According to the industrial history of Monterrey, the city is not very touristic and hasn’t much to offer.
But there are nonetheless, some nice places I would recommend visiting:
- Santiago pueblo magico
- La Huasteca
- Cola de caballo
- Horno 3
- Cerro de la Silla
- Pueblo Serena
- Barrio Antiguo (a part of the city with many bars and clubs)
Mexico is a very big country with many possibilities for everybody, to travel to different destinations like, beach vacations, city trips, adventure trips and much more.
The first city I visited besides Monterrey was Guanajuato, which used to be the capital city of Mexico several years back. A very important fact concerning the history of independence of Mexico.
I travelled there for the independence weekend, on the 16th of September Mexico celebrates its Independence Day, and the night before is called the Mexican night. The city presents exactly that, what I was expecting of the Mexican culture, beautiful, colorful houses, old buildings, parks, churches, hills and a lot of sunshine! There are also many different historical museums, which are worth visiting. I definitely recommend a visit to Guanajuato.
On the way back home to Monterrey, we stopped in San Miguel de Allende, which is about 2 hours’ drive away from Guanajuato. It is another very pretty and historical Mexican city, a bit similar to Guanajuato. Due to the Independence Day, everything was decorated with the Mexican flags and the culture was presented in many different ways, with folkloric dances at the main plaza and around the church, souvenirs shops and ice cream (they sell some of the best sorbet you can get). Both Guanato and San Miguel de Allende, can be easily visited on one weekend.
Getting around in Mexico
Due to the size of the Mexican country, it is not quick or easy to get from one city to another. Many cities are far away from each other and inbetween there is nothing except nature. Renting a car is almost impossible if you are under 25 yrs of age. I wouldn’t recommend driving in Mexico, you have to get used to the Mexican style of driving.
Driving lessons are not taken as seriously as in Germany.
The train system is also not comparable in quality to the German one.
It lacks in many points.
The best way to get around is with premium buses
(first class buses a bit similar to FLIXBUS or others)
which can just be boarded with a ticket at the departure and/or destination stations, like Primavera and Futura. You can also travel by plane, which is quite cheap if you book in advance and travel inside Mexico.
Even though the Tec university expects much from the students (homework, Partial exams, projects) there is still time for travelling!
There are so many beautiful places to be discovered in Mexico, and the United States is also not far away.
In my opinion, Monterrey does not really represent the typical Mexican culture and way of life, but it still offers a great place to study,
good education and a variety of possibilities to travel through the whole North American continent!