Week 1 iWinter Mexico – Tec de Monterrey

Hola from Mexico! And, of course, to start things off, flying just didn’t go the way we planned. Mechanical issues and delays saw us missing our connecting flight from LAX to Mexico City. But all is well and good and we arrived in the hotel at the lovely hour of 12am in the morning. Let’s put it this way, we all got a great night’s sleep!

View from the hotel on our first night

Saturday saw a free day to explore, mostly the area where we’re staying in because exploring the whole of Mexico City would not be possible! Of course, there were the practical things, like SIM cards and money, but there’s a massive mall across the road. I knew that malls overseas were massive compared to the ones in New Zealand – thinking of my trips to Singapore, but man I could not explore that entire mall! The other funny thing here in Mexico is the amount of Starbucks! And I would say that, after experiencing their freshly made sandwiches, New Zealand has to increase its game 😂. We went out for dinner to what I can only describe as like a food court, called “Mercado Roma;” we organised it with the other students on the trip so we could meet a few of them. The food is so yummy! Tacos, salsa, and, let’s not forget, the cheese here in Mexico! They’re absolutely delicious! Alas, another late night – which I am not made for, but that’s alright; it’s okay to break from routine every now and then🤪.

Dinner at Mercado Roma – “Tostada Querétaro”

Mercado Roma “Ambience”

Sunday, we had free time in the morning, and then, in the afternoon, we got to meet everyone. In total, there are 22 students from six countries studying with Tec de Monterrey’s iWinter course! NZ (of course), Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, and South Korea! Everyone is so amazing, so lovely, and after a quick tour of the central part of the city, we were free to walk around the markets for three hours! It’s absolutely fascinating! I haven’t been to any market in years because I usually work both Saturday and Sunday, but everything was so cheap here, from the little handbag I bought to the street food! (though I haven’t worked myself up to trying that yet; not sure if my fragile stomach could handle it ☺️).

The markets

One of the old original 16th century churches
Quick little video walking around the markets

Yesterday, (Monday), was our first day at Tec! I almost forgot that we’re here to actually study (whoops😂). Anyway, we got a tour of the Santa Fe Campus; it’s quite small, which is good because it means I won’t get lost so easily. We had a welcoming ceremony and breakfast – have to make the most of the free food we get on this trip! But all the staff are so lovely and welcoming, and, at 11.30 am, it was straight into class! We only have two classes on this trip, but they’ll be quite intense, I think. One of them called ‘Enterprise, Culture, and Business in the World’ has quite a few outings, trips, and talks attached to it. I was meant to join everyone on Tuesday for an assignment at the mall (yes, we are getting graded at the mall), but I discovered that Mexico City is 2000m above sea level (compared to Auckland, which is roughly 150m above sea level), and knowing me, of course, I’ve been suffering from altitude sickness. It all really kicked off this morning (Tuesday, 10th Jan) when I happened to pass out at breakfast. Whoops 😬, wasn’t planning on that one. All is well; I just need to remember to breathe more – an interesting notion, seeing as we do it unconsciously, but oh well. I almost can’t believe how long I have left in Mexico! I need to remind myself to take it one day at a time and to enjoy every moment!

Tec de Monterrey sign outside Santa Fe Campus entrace

Sophie (NZ), me (NZ), Georgie (NZ), and Melissa (Denmark) before our first class

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