Since I decided on a semester abroad at short notice and the application phases at my university for an exchange program had expired for a long time, I became aware of MicroEDU after a short Google search. Since I wanted to go to a Spanish-speaking country to improve my Spanish and Monterrey seemed the cheapest of all options from the total package, I decided on Mexico.
Unfortunately, one of the first things you find about Monterrey through Google is the reports of uncertainty and danger. In the 4 months I spent there, I didn’t even feel unsafe or threatened. Of course you shouldn’t be alone and drunk in some districts at night, but you can find such districts in every big city.
The course choice
I have already been able to choose a few courses from Germany. I was able to choose the courses that were most suitable for me from the entire range. But that was only a preselection. I made the final selection here in the first week. I chose sports nutrition and therapy for the obese. I actually wanted more courses, but unfortunately they weren’t offered in my Tetra. But with a Spanish and a history course and building my own website, I was still busy.
I recommend checking with the German professors and lecturers beforehand to what extent the courses at the German university can be credited. In the end, some fellow students had problems with it and then had to enter into nerve-wracking correspondence with Germany. But you can save yourself that in advance.
The accommodation search
There are all the options here that you can imagine. From Germany I have already looked up internet portals to find out the prices for shared apartments. The fact that I speak Spanish helped me of course. So I was looking for flat shares for locals. From my current experience I can say: the better your knowledge of the language, the more options you have. And that in turn means that you run less risk of being ripped off. Some friends here had exorbitant rental prices. My recommendation is therefore to consciously plan a week in the hostel / hotel / AirBnB and then go looking for an apartment.
There are also two or three international student residences. The standard of living there is higher than in a normal Mexican house and the atmosphere is great. Personally, I didn’t want to move in there for two reasons:
- I wanted to get to know Mexico and its culture and therefore spend as much time as possible with Mexicans and not with people from all over the world.
- I didn’t feel like having a permanent party.
I had then scheduled some flat-sharing meetings. But as luck would have it, a German student who was leaving the city offered me his room as a new tenant. After a visit and a conversation, everything was clear. I took over the room. I paid around € 230 a month. It is even cheaper in a large flat share with local residents. There are no upper limits, because Monterrey and above all San Pedro are among the classiest and most expensive residential areas in Latin America. So if you have the little change you should take the chance to live like a king here.
Tips to make the apartment search successful:
- Visit local / regional internet portals (Googling in Spanish helps)
- Compare prices
- Make appointments if necessary (even better: go out with a local friend / buddy)
- Look for student dormitories
- Under no circumstances should you rent anything from Germany
- Make visits on site
- Zona Tec is very safe and pleasant
- Everything in San Pedro is very safe and enjoyable
- Avoid Independencia in ANY CASE (is a neighborhood you don’t go into as a foreigner)
Abbreviated as UR by AbbreviationFinder, Universidad Regiomontana is a relatively small university with many different subjects from psychology, economics to chef and engineer. The lessons are very reminiscent of school with small classes and regular homework. But don’t worry, homework can be done very quickly in many subjects. Regular tests and compulsory attendance round off the program, but for foreign students, one or the other eye is sometimes turned a blind eye by the respective professors. The same applies to the exams, in which it happens that the professor helps if you don’t understand something in Spanish. In terms of level, one has to say that the exams are a lot easier to pass with very good than in Germany. All in all, my achievements were credited with a 1. 3 in Germany at my university and I had a very good and relaxed life. Most of the professors were very relaxed and one is greeted personally by a professor with a typical Mexican handshake.
Due to the perceived insecurity, most of the nightlife is in neighboring San Pedro, one of the richest neighborhoods in Latin America, which is then very chic and accordingly more expensive, but not able to keep up with European prices, but with the atmosphere. It’s a short taxi ride away or just let one of your fellow students pick you up, just about everyone has a car there.
With the cost of living I spent an average of around € 550 per month and I cooked very, very rarely and went out quite often. However, it is very, very easy to spend 700-800 a month depending on your standard of living.