YFU Mexiko sa s nami podelilo o zážitky z pobytu holandskej študentky Femke, ktorá strávila svoj výmenný rok v štáte Veracruz (jeden z 32 štátov Mexika). Ako sa tam mala a ako svoj pobyt v tom čase videla, si môžete prečítať nižšie. POZOR!!! Článok je v anglickom jazyku!
Today I am in Mexico for exactly seven months. I am doing very well. My host family is so nice. I also advanced in the language a lot! I didn’t speak Spanish when I went on exchange. I did have some French in school before. That actually helped me a lot when I started to learn Spanish. Now I am able to understand almost everything and I am able to speak to people comfortably. Recently a new exchange student arrived in Poza Rica, where I live. She didn’t speak any Spanish. It was amazing to me to realize that I could translate for her now, while I was in the same position like her just seven months earlier.
The nice thing about Poza Rica, the city where I live, is that it is quite small. Everybody knows each other. Every Friday we go to the disco and we meet a lot of familiar people. It is not hard at all to blend in with the locals in Mexico. Mexican people are very open, friendly and known for their hospitality. They will always try to help you.
Some of the stereotypes are true. In the state Veracruz, where I live, I think the people are a bit lazy. This is because it can be very hot during the day. I also heard the word ‘mañana’ (which means tomorrow) a lot. People are late or don’t show up. On the contrary you are always welcome to stay for dinner. Mexicans have a saying that shows their hospitality: “we will just add some more water to the beans”.
The food here is delicious. Something that is always present is tortillas (corn pancakes). People eat a lot of beans, rice and chili. I really had to get used to eating chili. Now I eat more chili than some Mexicans! Meals are a real social event. Food will always be present at parties.
Mexicans know how to celebrate and celebrate often. I was fortunate enough to participate in some family events and everyone, young and old, is dancing. Dancing the way Mexicans can is something I can only dreams off.
School is totally different from my experience in The Netherlands. I am placed in the final year of high school. I wake up really early in the morning, dress in uniform and go to school. On Monday morning we always sing the national anthem. The level of education is a bit lower to what I am used to. So the subjects in school are not really hard for me. All classes however are in Spanish and that challenged me, especially in the beginning.
After school I followed folklore lessons for a while, to learn some of the typical Mexican dances. Currently I am involved in aerobics and additional Spanish lessons. I recommend any exchange student to be involved in some sport, since everything else is done by car. I do miss my Dutch bike!
I was also able to travel a bit. Mexico is a very beautiful country with a rich history. Nature is versatile, there is much more to discover than the stereotypical deserts and cactus plants. The area where I live is very green.
My exchange experience was not always easy. Every exchange student experiences some difficult days. However I will never forget this experience! So far my exchange is worth it!
Watch some experiences of YFU exchange students in Mexico here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtOspLZV8VA