The fact that Tec is a not-for-profit private University, where all the funds are re-invested into the university, is evident in the quality facilitates and opportunities. The campus is so beautiful! Unlike University of Auckland City campus, which has a main road running through it, the campus here is so large and very lush. It is a very secure campus, with security at all entrances and thus you need your student ID card to enter. It has many mature trees, hammocks for relaxing in-between classes and in the middle of the campus there is a popular common area with many tables and umbrellas called ‘Cyber Plaza’, which is surrounded by a range of affordable food and drink places.
All the classrooms are easy to find so I never had much trouble orientating myself around the campus even though it is so big. The classrooms are numbered with 4 digits e.g. 2305. The first digit refers to building the building number, either 1, 2, 3 or 4, which are all connected. The second digit is which floor, again 1-4, and the last two digits are which number the class is. So it is all very straightforward.
The classes here a small teaching style, with desks on wheels, so you can easily zip around the classroom for group work or to chat with a friend. This is very different to the lecture style we have at Auckland. It is interesting to experience a different way of learning which I find a bit more relaxed and interactive.
One thing I love about the campus is that there are bikes parked up at the various bike stations around the campus that are free for all to use to get from one spot to another. It is really great on a Friday afternoon when you can’t be bothered walking from class to the exit of Tec or if you are running late to class.
There is always something going on at the Tec de Monterrey Guadalajara campus. Some of the activities on campus this semester include a Health Feria where there were various stalls with health checks, promotion and freebies, Valentines Day where you could buy donuts among other things for loved ones, and the opening of a new library service which involved Mariachi and cake. For any other occasion Tec will create some sort of celebration.
There is also a really great gym which is free for all students and staff to use. The gym here has great big windows with a view out to the trees and sports fields. This gives it such a nice atmosphere but it can get very busy. There is a great variety of machines and classes you can attend including yoga, your usual fitness classes, cross fit, aikido and taekwondo. I have been really enjoying a kickboxing class, the gym being a great opportunity to try something new and meet new people (one of my good Mexican friends whom I spent our Easter holiday with I met at the kickboxing class!).
I also have a twice weekly Salsa class. I thought it would be full of internationals, but it is actually really cool as I am the only one in my class. Most of your classes will probably be made up of other international students, thus making the most of thee extra-circular activities gives you the chance to meet Mexican students which is awesome. Tec gives you so many opportunities to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new skills. At the start of May along with all other dance classes (e.g. K-Pop, Hip Hop, Ballet etc), my class will be doing a short dance presentation. This is something quite daring for me, but I think, hey I am on an exchange and I would never do this back home, so why not!?
The only thing about the Guadalajara campus is that it is quite far from the central city. Therefore, at times it can feel like there is not a lot going on and if you want to go into the centre, it will take about 40mins-1 hour by bus. But overall, the Tecnológico de Monterrey Guadalajara campus is really nice. And because there are a million and one things to do, you can spend a lot of time on the campus, thus being a bit out of town doesn’t really matter so much. One of my flatmates has also studied at the Mexico City and Queretaro campuses (having to change due to the Mexico City earthquake in September 2017), and she said she thinks the Guadalajara campus is the nicest. Tec has over 30 campuses across Mexico and as part of 360 International, you can select whichever campus you like. Most University of Auckland students go to a campus in Estado de Mexico, and I was the first UoA student to study in Guadalajara. I chose to study here as I thought it is a bit smaller than Mexico City (six million+ people so Guadalajara is still bigger than all of New Zealand, but less than the 20 million+ in Mexico City), it has a good climate and it is close enough to other places for weekend trips. I have also spoken to other people about other campuses, so would be more than happy to speak with anyone before they select their campus and answer any questions!
I will leave you with this short YouTube video, capturing Tecnológico de Monterrey, Guadalajara campus life! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX81OpXCjl0