As someone who spent more than half of their life in Brazil, I thought I was prepared for what was to come. I was wrong. Even flying over Mexico, you can start to feel how different this country is from anywhere else in the World.
And it’s not just the view. Sure; one minute there is cactuses ‘till the horizon, the next there are colorful villages, and all of a sudden there are office blocs and huge motorways. It is all very impressive. But it’s not just that. It’s the vibe: everyone is happy, everyone is relaxed, everyone is full of spirit, independent of the situation. Even when something bad or stressful is happening, Mexicans find a way to turn it around; they stick together and they never let their spirits down.
What I found amazing is that this love and affection spreads to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you go into a shop and don’t buy anything; people will still tell you (and truly hope) that you have a great day. It doesn’t matter if it is exam season- if someone sees you are lost, they will go out of their way to show you where to go. It doesn’t matter if you speak some or no Spanish, they will find a way for the communication to work; because they want you to have a great time in their country.
However, these are all things that can you can see in pictures or be told in stories. There is one thing about Mexico that words cannot explain: how contagious all the energy is.
It was easy during my first few days here, as I arrived before my course started and got to enjoy a bit of a holiday. I was a bit concerned it would all die down once classes started. But again, I was wrong. The whole atmosphere in the campus, the in-class discussions, the content and even the study was all more than exciting.
It’s like you get the whole benefits of being on holiday- sight seeing, meeting new people, trying new foods… but you also get to learn valuable things in a country completely different from anywhere else. Even the day of my exam, there was no stress. Why? Because learning here is fun. It is enjoyable. Everyone is helpful, and you immerse yourself in the learning- it’s not just reading and understanding, it’s feeling, it’s being and it’s loving.
I’d like to thank Education New Zealand and the PMSLA, for aiding the opportunity for me to truly get amongst Mexican culture in a way that personal travel would have never allowed me to. It is through their aid that students like me grow into the future New Zealand professionals, assisting with the ever growing interconnectedness of Kiwis and Latin Nations.