Let me start by sharing facts about Mexico. Beyond the stereotypical images of sombreros, tacos and tequila lies a culture that can be explored for years. This is a country with 3,000 years of history. With more than 120 million inhabitants, this country is the tenth largest in the world based on population. It exports more manufactured goods than all those of Latin America, combined. So why do many think this is such a bad place? There are many unfortunate crimes and, of course, Mexico isn’t thriving as it should be due to the lack of lawful order. However, that’s not to say there’s danger on every corner. Just like anywhere else in the world, you need to be aware of your surroundings and use common sense. There are actually a lot of opportunities available in this country.
Post-secondary education, for example, is much more affordable in this country. In the second largest city in Mexico, which is Guadalajara, there are 12 universities available with most of them requiring very low tuition payments. The University of Guadalajara calculated the average amount of spending in hosting, food, and local transport for an exchange student, and was $500 USD per month. Exchange students can also benefit from the partner institution by not paying tuition fees at the University of Guadalajara. As for the cost of degrees, a Bachelor’s and a Master’s is $1,000 USD each, per year, which applies to foreigners and citizens. This is what some students may pay to rent an apartment in the United States.
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 “Human Capital Report”, “progress in educating highly skilled talent now puts Mexico 8th in the world with 113,944 graduates each year. The push for students to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) degrees is working.” This was three years ago, and the numbers of educated people are growing rapidly.
For example, the requirements needed to acquire medical degrees in Guadalajara’s medical school is parallel to those in the United States. “Its medical curriculum looks virtually identical to those offered by American medical schools, including a complete menu of basic science courses such as anatomy, biochemistry, neuroscience, genetics, and pharmacology as well as standard clinical rotations in surgery, medicine, and pediatrics.” (nytimes.com)
On another note, the healthcare here is universal and very accessible. Seguro Popular (Popular Health Insurance) provides unemployed and poor Mexicans with access to preventative healthcare services such as diabetes screening and vaccinations, as well as treatment for chronic and severe illnesses. There is also a mix of public health insurance programs, employer-provided health insurance, and private out-of-pocket care.
Also, who wouldn’t like the tropical weather in the south and very warm weather in the north, that Mexico offers? The climate is consistent and pleasant all over the country.
The style of the housing can be uber modern, traditional and everything in between. There are plenty of theaters, enormous malls, street-filling markets and there is a fulfilling livelihood available.
The lack of understanding of this country’s culture is causing people to oversee the value of it. Mexico is more than what we know; all it takes it a little bit less ignorance.