IPADE’s MBA program is what you can call a very intimate program in which students spend most of the two years together attending all classes and events together. Joining this “closed society” as an exchange student felt a bit intimidating at first as I was not sure how I would be able to make new friends, understand the culture, discover the country, and plan fun activities. I had a feeling that our group of international students would become a close group of friends, but we would still be treated as outsiders in regards to the others.
I was so shocked by what ended up happening that I decided to focus this blog post purely on my fantastic experience in this welcoming society. What I thought would be the biggest challenge of my exchange experience ended up being the easiest and most enjoyable part.
The local students welcomed us among them and included us in all activities they were planning. They included us in lunches, parties, and every other opportunity in order for us to get to know them and them to get to know us.
My study group took it even it further and brainstormed the different trips and best parts of the country to visit. They also included a full list of activities for each place.
Knowing that we were here to discover more about the Mexican culture and get a real feel of the city, some of our classmates joined us as we went to watch the famous Mexican wrestling “Lucha Libre”. I had to buy a mask that had the colors of the Mexican flag 😛
This past weekend I joined a study group of one of my classmates to spend the day at the amusement park, Six Flags Mexico. Although, I previously only had a couple of brief conversations with some of the local team members, they welcomed me as if I was an old friend and I spent an amazing day with them. During our discussions that day, I could feel how genuinely nice they are and I got to understand more about the culture they grew up in, but most importantly I got the opportunity to understand them on a more personnel level.
Although, we only had one brief conversation during the first week of school, a local classmate invited us to his home 2 hours away from Mexico City where we had the pleasure to meet his family and taste some amazing Mexican food cooked by his mother. On the bus ride there I met a Mexican guy whose passion is political foreign affairs, specifically the Middle East. The fact that he has never traveled to that part of the world but knew the details of every country covering the history as well as the political, religious and economic systems was just mind blowing. That day I also got to meet some of our host’s friends that are not IPADE students and I could see the same characteristics.
Mexican people, especially IPADE students, are genuinely friendly and helpful and I feel comfortable and welcomed among them and I couldn’t be happier.