When most people think of studying abroad to learn Spanish, they think of Spain. However, there’s another country that is much closer to the USA, has a lower cost of living, and has millions of native Spanish speakers. Where could I be talking about? Mexico!
Recently, Mexico has not been the safest place for American tourists, and you should keep this in mind before deciding to study abroad in this country. However, if you have already decided that you want to study in Mexico, then Mexico City is a great place to do so! People have been living in Mexico City for more than 20,000 years and the city is home to more than 2,500 archaeological zones, so you can really get a feel for the city’s long history.
But besides visiting these historical areas, what can you do in Mexico City to really get the most out of your study abroad experience? Here are EDUinReview’s tips for studying abroad in this city.
1. Spend some time in Zocalo Plaza. This city is located by the National Cathedral and the Presidential Palace, so it’s a great place to meet up with friends before visiting these sites. However, the plaza itself has a lot to offer and is a great place to spend a day. There are various street food vendors, so you can grab a cheap meal while doing some people watching. You can also shop in some of the stores that are close by. There are often concerts, political demonstrations, and exhibitions held in this plaza, so you might stumble upon something new each time you visit.
2. Listen to mariachi music at Xochimilco. This area of town is built on an ancient city of the same name. Today, it serves as an interesting spot to spend a day with your friends. Here you can hop on a boat and be rowed through the canals. While you are on the boat, other boats will pass by you and the people on these boats will probably offer to sell you food, drinks, or play mariachi music for you. You can only get this experience in Xochimilco and it’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the culture, so I definitely recommend spending at least one day here.
3. Go to a museum. There are many museums in Mexico City. Some of the best include the National Museum of Anthropology and the Museo de Arte Moderno. The National Museum of Anthropology contains many anthropological treasures and many temporary exhibitions. This is a really great place for anyone who wants to learn about Mexico’s past or see the Aztec Calendar. The Museo de Arte Moderno has a vast collection of contemporary art. However, do not expect to see a lot of art from Europe or Asia; this museum mainly features art work from Mexico and Latin America. Other museums in Mexico City that are worth visiting include the Museo Nacional de Arte, Museo Nacional de la Culturas, and the Museo Frida Kahlo.
4. See the bells at the Catedral Metropolitana. This is an absolutely beautiful cathedral and is the oldest and largest cathedral in Latin America. Personally, I think the best thing about this cathedral is going on the tour of the bells on the roof. There are two bell towers at this cathedral, which contain a total of 25 bells. Below the cathedral are several crypts. The largest crypt is the Crypt of the Archbishops, which is located underneath the Altar of the Kings. If you are in town on a Sunday morning and really want to see the Catedral in action, head on over for a morning mass. However, you might want to get there early because it does get very crowded.
5. Get some fresh air at Bosque de Chapultepec. This wooded area is a great place to get out of the city for a while and enjoy nature. There are a lot of things to do in the Bosque de Chapultepec, including paddleboats and a zoo. There are many vendors here, so bring some money in order to buy souvenirs to take home to your family and friends. My favorite thing to do here is pack a picnic, sit under the trees, and relax in a beautiful setting.
Have you studied abroad in Mexico City, Mexico? Do you have any tips for other students who are planning on studying there? Share them with us in the comments section below.
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