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MAJ09439 Mexico

Mexico is a large, rapidly developing country with a fascinating history and tremendous regional variety of geography and culture. Pre-colonial civilisations, conquest, Spanish settlement and popular revolution have all left a big mark on contemporary society. Indian and mestizo populations retain strong native traditions. Mexico has outstanding architecture, art and design, cuisine and popular music. Being located between the United States and Latin America also gives the country special characteristics and helps to shape national consciousness. The migration of Mexican workers, the establishment of border industries, and the NAFTA trade agreement testify to Mexico's close and often difficult relationship with the United States and with the processes of globalisation. The country has recently made an historic transition to genuine multi-party democracy.

Students spend two consecutive semesters studying social science or culture and humanities subjects at an institution of higher education in Mexico through arrangements made by UTS: International Studies. The focus of study varies in each semester depending on individual student preferences and the availability of subjects at host institutions. Students are assessed on each semester separately and assessment is based on the subjects undertaken at the host institutions, as well as project work administered by UTS: International Studies.

Students may expect that no greater costs will be incurred through undertaking a period of in-country study in Mexico than are involved in living away from home in Sydney.

Mexico City, Mexico

The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) was founded in 1910 and has approximately 275,000 students. It is public, secular and pluralist. It is Mexico's premiere university and is ranked the No. 1 university in the Spanish-speaking world. It was created in the wake of the Mexican Revolution as the jewel in its crown and was intended to extend higher education to a greater proportion of Mexicans. It currently houses 70 per cent of all research academics in the country. Its main campus is located in the south of the city in Ciudad Universitaria (University City), which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. It boasts murals by some of Mexico's most famous artists. There are undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in the faculties of Architecture, Economics, Law, Engineering, Philosophy and Letters, Accounting and Administration, Science, Political and Social Sciences, Medicine, Odontology, Psychology, Chemistry, Veterinary Science, Zoology, as well as schools of art, music, nursing and obstetrics, music, and social work. The university has a lively cultural and sporting life including its own national football team. The Centro de Estudios para Extranjeros (CEPE — Centre for Foreign Students) provides professional Spanish language and culture support classes for visiting students.

Xalapa, Veracruz

Xalapa (population 400,000) is a small city which has conserved much of the charm and character of provincial Mexico. It is nestled in green misty hills and has many squares and gardens. The city and surrounding pueblos remain unspoilt by tourism yet are fascinating places to visit for anyone interested in archaeology, Mexican history, the arts and indigenous cultures. Xalapa is also within easy reach of Mexico City by a good road. Xalapa is the administrative capital of the state of Veracruz, and most industry and commerce is located 130km east around the historic port of Veracruz. Between Veracruz and Xalapa lie sub-tropical lowlands where fruits, herbs, chillies and flowers are grown. Coffee is the main crop in the hills. All these local products are sold in Xalapa's traditional marketplaces. Xalapa is known for its exceptionally active and varied cultural life.

The Universidad Veracruzana was founded in 1944 and has approximately 60,000 students. There are over 30 undergraduate degree courses in the faculties of Medicine, Business and Economics, Art, Humanities, Veterinary and Agricultural Science, and Engineering. The anthropology and history faculties specialise in the study of provincial history and indigenous languages. Several faculties are dispersed around the city. The main campus is located below the city centre in pleasant parkland with lakes and an historic sports stadium built in the Grecian style in the 1920s. The university's school for foreign students (EEE) provides educational programs exclusively for foreign students.

This site is available to exchange students providing they have university-level Spanish.

Guadalajara, Jalisco

Guadalajara, Mexico's pearl of the west, is incredibly diverse and stately with amazing qualities, both modern and historic, that embrace all who visit. It is considered the most Mexican of Mexico's big cities. As the second largest city in Mexico, Guadalajara is a busy metropolis and a major Mexican business centre. Although this city moves at a busy pace, things here have a way of seeming to always remain serene. Guadalajara is a city of monuments, parks and flowers, fountains and tree-lined avenues, whose history dates to the 16th century. The Guadalajara area is known as the birthplace of the world famous Mariachi bands, the home of the Mexican hat dance and tequila. Guadalajara's month-long October festival attracts visitors from all over the world and performers from all over Mexico for a wide variety of music, cultural and artistic events and crafts exhibits.

Presently, students can choose to study at the Universidad de Guadalajara (UdeG) (providing they have a minimum of Level 6 Spanish) or the Guadalajara campus of the Tec de Monterrey. Subjects offered to UTS students at the Universidad de Guadalajara are within the Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences (Centro Universitario de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades (CUCSH):

CUCSH is sub-divided into Cultural Studies, Studies in State and Society, Political and Social Studies, History and Humanities, and Juridical Studies. Students can take classes in law, literature, philosophy, psychology, sociology, geography, journalism, etc. Students who wish to do in-country study at the Universidad de Guadalajara must have Level 6 Spanish competence. This site is available to UTS exchange students in general providing they have university-level Spanish.

At the Tec de Monterrey campus in Guadalajara, students have access to the same range of subjects as other Tec students, including engineering, architecture and design, communication studies, literature and culture.

This site is also available to UTS exchange students in general who have university-level Spanish. There are, however, a limited number of subjects available in English (culture and business).

Monterrey, Nuevo León

Called the City of the Mountains, Monterrey is the capital of the state of Nuevo León, which is situated in the north-east corner of the country and borders on Texas. Monterrey rests in a valley surrounded by the jagged Sierra Madre mountain range. The downtown area features magnificent plazas and gardens. Even with its large population of five million, Monterrey is one of the safest cities in Mexico. Monterrey's population is considered the most educated in Mexico and the city on a per capita basis has more colleges, universities and institutes of technology than any other Mexican city. Quality restaurants, modern shopping malls, numerous museums and cultural attractions abound here. Some of Mexico's best hiking, mountain biking, cave exploring and nature areas are located within close proximity to the city.

Founded in 1947, El Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITSEM), commonly known as 'El Tec', is regarded as Mexico's most modern and technologically advanced university. Regular classes may be attended in the following study areas: agriculture, behavioral science, engineering, communications, computer science, economics, humanities, law, international business, and natural resources.

This site is available to UTS exchange students in general and has a wide range of subjects in English.

Cholula, Puebla

The university is located in the municipality of San Andrés Cholula, five minutes from the city of Puebla and 120 kilometers from Mexico City. Puebla is 2100 meters above sea level and is the state capital. It was founded in 1531 by Don Juan Salmeron and Fray Toribio de Benavente, better known as Motolinía. Puebla is renowned for its distinctive colonial architecture, savoury cuisine, Talavera ceramics, onyx crafts and textile industry. The indigenous language of the region, Náhuatl, is still spoken in some rural areas of the Puebla Valley. Mexican troops defeated French invaders here on 5 May 1862 giving birth to the modern-day 'Cinco de Mayo' celebrations. Puebla is one of Mexico's richest cities in terms of colonial art and has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Cholula, the oldest city on the continent, has an excellent archaeological site that was an important religious center of diverse cultures during pre-Hispanic times. The most common landmark is the massive Pyramid of Tepanapa, on top of which the Spaniards built a Catholic Church.

The Universidad de las Américas (UDLA) is one of Mexico's finest with a campus laid out like a small town and a student population of 8500, making it a favourite of foreign students. The UDLA was originally founded in Mexico City in 1940 under the name of Mexico City College before moving to Puebla in 1968 and taking the name of Universidad de las Américas. Students who go to UDLA go under a UDLA-UTS exchange program and can take a range of subjects, from engineering and business administration to humanities and social sciences, including archeology, literature, communication, film and dance. Through the Centro de Lengua y Cultura, students can also apply to do summer internships (fees apply) or community service in local non-profit organisations. Spanish language and culture classes are also provided by UDLA for foreign students.

This site is available to UTS exchange students in general and has a wide range of subjects in English.

Completion requirements

976001  Foundations in International Studies  8cp
976502  Contemporary Latin(o) Americas  8cp
977530  In-country Study 1: Mexico  24cp
978530  In-country Study 2: Mexico  24cp
CBK90484  Spanish Language and Culture  32cp
Total  96cp