Setting up a flat in New Zealand can be complicated — having to sort power, internet water etc. Consequently, I was hesitant to flat in Mexico as I thought having to arrange all of that in a different country would be near impossible. However, I was added to a Facebook group by Tec de Monterrey which had a Google Drive document containing student housing options. I discovered that most student flats in Mexico include all of your utilities, so you only need to pay one sum each month. This made flatting a far more desirable option, and after being in contact with someone, I was happy to have secured a flat before my arrival.
I live in Porta Real, which consists of four condominiums and is a popular area for international students to live. It has 24/7 security and is only a 10-minute walk from Walmart and 15 minutes to campus. I am living with three other girls, one from Mexico, one from Poland and another from Holland. There are international students who choose to live closer to the city center as there is a bit more going on there and rent is a bit cheaper, but I am very glad I live close to Tec as it is so convenient (especially when classes go from 7am till 10pm) and there are plenty of other students around.
It is common in Mexican households to have a cleaner or a nanny. At my house, we have a cleaner who comes in once a week to clean the common areas and wash our sheets if we want. At first, I found it a bit strange, but it is actually super handy and means our house is kept nice and tidy. When I arrived, the kitchen was already equipped. Not abundant in pots and pans, but enough for all of us to cook our dinner.
I would highly recommend flatting in Porta Real. Not only is it a great was to meet other students, but the fact that many places come equipped and payments are made so simple, it makes flatting an easy option. Many people I spoke to waited till they arrived to confirm a flat, staying in a hostel or hotel for the first few days while they settled in. Personally, I wanted to have a place confirmed before I left New Zealand, but waiting till you arrive isn’t a bad option as you can see the place yourself and meet the other flat mates (or potential flat mates).
There is one on-campus accommodation option here, a residence hall made up of mostly first year students. It has pretty strict rules and not many international students stay there. Another alternative is a home-stay. This option can be great to improve your Spanish speaking skills and be immersed in a Mexican family. However, I have heard mixed reviews, with some students loving their families and others not so much, so home-stays can easily be hit or miss.
I love my wee house and feel very safe and sound here!
Till next time,