Our fourth and final week in Mexico kicked off with a 9-hour bus ride from León to Monterrey, in the north of the country. Monterrey is in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range foothills, and the impressive mountains can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.
This is our host uni Tecnológico de Monterrey’s primary (+biggest) campus. In the middle column above is the Monterrey campus’s Hogwarts-inspired library. Deer, peacocks, cats, and other animals roam the campus freely (as pictured above, bottom left image).
This week, we had our final classes, tests, and presentation. Our professors had been teaching us about both the formal/legal institutions to consider when doing business in Mexico, as well the informal/cultural aspects. However, by learning about Mexican culture and business in a class with other international students, I implicitly learnt about the cultures of their home countries and how they do business by hearing their ideas, seeing their reactions, and recognising similarities or differences.
I admit I’m writing this blog about a week after leaving Mexico because the week in Monterrey was so jam-packed with activities, study, and spending as much time with our international family as possible while we were together. Though I was knackered that week, I had a little devil on my shoulder saying, “you can sleep when you’re in New Zealand,” so I sure made the most of every moment.
Speed-run of highlights of such activities that filled up my time:
- acapella karaoke of the national anthem in a Skyspace observatory dome (great acoustics)
- company visit to a refrigerator factory (a surprising amount of the production line done manually by humans!)
- turning a food court into a dancefloor and later bringing the party to a bar with live music (the locals filming us and joining in for a boogie)
- the programme graduation and official farewell (lots of tears, but also a surprise 7-man Mariachi band performance)
- cheap as Brazilian barbecue buffet (yum)
- exploring the city, then accidentally ubering myself and Georgie to a very unsafe area (shoutout to the lovely man and his family for the ride to safety)
- a shopkeeper face-timing her family so she could show them how pretty and “pure quality” Sophie, Hayley, Georgie, and I were (a wee bit of an ego boost, aye)
Overall, I am so incredibly grateful and lucky to have been offered this scholarship and opportunity. Being able to experience this vibrant country in four main cities, appreciate all sorts of Mexican businesses from a small-scale circular economy ranch to big industrial international-scale manufacturing, and of course, get to know international students from across the world will stay with me forever. So a massive gracias to the Prime Minister’s Scholarship, UoA and 360 International, and Tec de Monterrey for making this possible for me and the others.
Hasta luego, amigos x