One of the three major nations that comprises North America, Mexico is the largest Spanish speaking country in the world and an important emerging global power. Embarking on a high school program in Mexico is your opportunity to explore many different aspects of this large and diverse nation, from ancient Mayan monuments to modern urban sprawls and everything in between. If you’ve ever thought about going to Mexico, a high school program abroad is the perfect way to maximize your trip by making it an educational adventure.
Covering 760,000 square miles and home to a population of 120 million citizens, Mexico is both the 13th largest country by land area and the 11th largest country by population in the world. It is safe to say, then, that you will have plenty of options when choosing a location for your high school program in Mexico.
As the capital and largest city in the country, Mexico City is the natural first choice of destination for many high school students abroad. Mexico City is the political, economic, and cultural nucleus of the country, a majorly important metropolis with global influence spread throughout many fields. Over 20 million people live in or around Mexico city, making it the largest metropolitan area in the entire Western hemisphere.
Other popular destinations for a high school program in Mexico include Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Cuernavaca. These smaller Mexican cities offer the opportunity for high school students to immerse themselves in a more localized urban environment away from the perpetual stimulation of Mexico City. Placements in Rural Areas are also very popular for those who want an even more remote experience of Mexican village life.
While Mexico often gets a bad reputation for violence in Western media, most places are actually very safe to travel to. You will always be under persistent supervision as part of a high school program in Mexico, so both parents and students can rest assured that they will be in good hands!
High School Programs in Mexico
As the largest Spanish speaking country in the world, you might be able to guess that Language Immersion programs are often the most popular type of high school program in Mexico. Usually these consist of morning and/or afternoon classes, in supplement with many extracurricular activities and opportunities to practice Spanish outside of the classroom. Traditional Study Abroad programs will also offer you the chance to enroll in courses across other academic subjects for credit.
Cultural Exploration trips are another popular type of high school program in Mexico which many choose to take advantage of. These programs usually run for as short as one week or as long as two months, allowing high school students to travel throughout several different destinations in the country while partaking in a wide array of culturally immersive activities.
Last but not least, Volunteer trips are also exceedingly popular among high school students who want to leave behind a positive impact from their high school program in Mexico. Mexico is a developing country and many of its citizens lack access to essential resources such as education, healthcare, and sound infrastructure. High school students can lend a helping hand on any of these fronts while taking away a hugely valuable education themselves from interacting with locals.
Salary & Costs
Mexico is for the most part an affordable country, so high school students will not have to worry too much about on-the-ground costs throughout the duration of their program. Upfront fees for high school programs in Mexico can be pricey however, covering costs such as tuition, housing, and transportation. For information on financial aid opportunities available for high school programs in Mexico, check out our scholarship and fundraising resources.
Accommodation & Visas
Homestays are the most popular form of accommodation for high school students in Mexico. Your housing situation may vary significantly depending on whether you are living in an urban or rural area, but as in general do not expect an excessive degree of luxury. High school programs in Mexico that move around between destinations will likely take advantage of a variety of different accommodations, from hotels to dormitories and otherwise.
Mexico has a fairly relaxed visa policy; high school students from most countries in the Americas and Europe will be allowed to stay in the country or up to six months without obtaining a visa. This policy may differ depending on your home country, so check out our Mexican Embassy Directory for further details.
Benefits & Challenges
Expand Horizons. Mexico is a great place to begin for high school students who have never travelled outside of the Western industrialized world. An archetypal Latin American country with a rich history spanning millennia, you will be shocked at how much you take in from the experience.
Language Improvement. For high school students who are learning Spanish, there is no better way to improve your language comprehension then by actually traveling to a country where you can speak it everyday. Make the effort to use as little English as possible during your high school program in Mexico!
Development. Mexico is on its way to becoming a majorly influential world power, but still faces the many challenges embedded in development and industrialization. If you have never travelled to a developing country, this is your opportunity to take a great stride in maturity yourself.