I hoped that going abroad would help me become proficient in Spanish. I also hoped to travel as much as possible and meet many new people. I was able to meet so many new people while I was abroad and learn more Spanish, but I would have liked to have been even more proficient in Spanish upon my return. I was also able to travel some, but my funds were low, so I did not travel as much as I wanted. I definitely recommend saving up as much as possible so you are able to travel as much as you can.
Monterrey is a large city and is the wealthiest city in Mexico, perhaps even in Latin America. This is good in some ways because it is easy to get around and many people speak English, but it also has a specific type of population and you must travel to other cities to see the cultural differences in Mexico. There are lots of restaurants and night life as well as many different cultural things to do. I recommend El Rincon Sonorense and Charanda’s which are two great places to eat and hang out near campus.
I lived on campus in a dorm. The dorm itself was very similar to a dorm on the UNCG campus, where you live with a roommate. There were cultural differences, but for the most part I don’t feel like they restricted what I was able to do. It was very easy to communicate with the RA and I did not have any problems meeting students. I met students from all over the world including Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and France. I also visited my friends who stayed in host families and was able to eat meals with them and their families.
The Monterrey campus is fairly large and is definitely bigger than UNCG. Although the campus was large, it was easy to find my classes because they were all in the same building. The classes I took were business classes that were taught in English by Mexican professors. The professors in general were very proficient in English and fairly easy to understand. There was a lot of group work with the classes and I had projects and a final exam in all of my classes.
I was able to travel around Mexico a little, but unfortunately I did not save up as much money as I had hoped, so I did not get to travel as much as I wanted. The International Programs Center on campus organizes different trips to local attractions within the city, as well as to other towns and cities that all international students can participate in. I did take a trip to Guanajuato during Mexico’s Independence Day weekend, which was a lot of fun. It was great to see a different climate and culture and get a view of what a small town in Mexico is like. I would recommend traveling around Mexico because there are different cultures, climates and cities.