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Study Abroad Blog

“El otro México”

Posted on December 14th, 2012 by Alberto García Ballesteros

Here it goes, my first post.

(Before you continue, watch the video)

As you may know I’ve been recently awarded with the first prize of the 2012 Travel Video Contest which will help me to carry on an incredible project all around Mexico and also keep on discovering it as I’m already here as an exchange student. First of all, looking back at some damn elegant posts done by other students (like Sandy Florez’s italian lessons for exemple) I just decided that each post will have the title of a “Tigres del Norte” song. They are one of the most famous bands in Latin America, they play norteño music and their importance goes way beyond their music. They reflect the life of millions of mexicans and also people from Central America; their popular and social messages have accompanied them all their life, particularly on the dangerous journey towards “american dream”. Anyway, let’s see if I manage to get one for each post…

By “El otro México” I mean I intend to discover a different Mexico, different from the bloody drug war or the 5 de Mayo postcard… But different doesn’t mean indifferent, what I want, and I’m already discovering, is that this is huge beautiful multicultural country, with a lot to be done and also a lot to learn from. I’m quiet tired of the old ignorant colonial point of view we still keep in Europe, specially us, the “glorious” conquistadores… That’s why I decided to come here as a student (not a tourist, not volunteer, not a hippie willing to get his/her huichol peyote ceremony while twitting it on his/her iphone…). Of course, while I’m here, as I get involved in the country, I realize there’s stuff I can do, and I will let you know in this blog :)

I arrived here to Mexico in August. I came here to study one semester in Colima and the second semester in Mexico DF. As I finally arranged my immigration papers (I’ve been an ilegal immigrant for a few months here…) I’m planning to stay until my visa expires, say September 2013. Last week I finished my semester in Colima University and I’m pretty satisfied with the experience. I met a lot of people, tried to avoid other spaniards, and was surprised to discover that koreans have invaded the university! I study international relations as a branch of political science and administration, and I enjoyed the specialty here which is Latin America and Pacific Asia relations (I could also continue studying chinese which I had to quit longtime ago because in Spain there is a trend called “let’s fu#%ing cut all the education budget and double the price of every lesson”).

There’s too much to say, so I’ll be posting more about it later.

Finally, related with my project, I must say I’m just starting. First of all I have to organize the most complicated part which is arranging the schedule. If I’m planning to spend 3 school days (Monday-Friday) in each school, that makes 30 days if I don’t count weekends and holidays, so I need to have god’s arrangement skills to make every school’s permission fit with the rest of the project and my own university calendar. Furthermore I have to contact a bus company to see if we can get a special price since we’re going to travel thousands of km (I would rent a car, but there’s no point in being exhausted after driving hours and falling asleep during the workshops…) I also have to be really careful with the parent’s permission for the videos…etc, etc. But it’s cool, there’s a lot of enthusiasm!

Ok, I think I bored you enough already, I’ll keep on bombarding you with structureless thoughts as often as I can.
Chau!

5 Responses to ““El otro México””

  1. Chau Says:

    Alberto,
    Your post is very interesting and enjoyable to read. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m an international student myself too, so I’m intrigued to learn more from your experience. I wish you all the best in your endeavors!

    P.S: My name is Chau. I know that in europe people say “ciao” for bye, is “chau” how spaniards spell it? =D

  2. Keith Says:

    Love the movie! Keep your eyes open, they are everywhere . . .

    I’m looking forward to following your study abroad and your very ambitious project. You are off to a great start.

  3. Alberto García Ballesteros Says:

    Thanks a lot for the comments! :) I’m glad you liked it and I’ll try to share everything as often as I can!
    Chau, we don’t say “chau” in Spain. My father is from Argentina and there they always say it because of the italian immigration influence, I always saw it written like “chau” (you know, in spanish we always adapt foreign words like football (fútbol), goal (gol) (adapted during our nationalist dictatorship) or donuts (donas), shampoo (champú) jajaja* ) but I don’t know if it’s official. Personally I like it more than “adiós” or “hasta la vista” jajaja, seems less terminatorish and more natural :)
    *that’s our virtual laugh :D

    By the way, where are you from? and where are you studying now? I shared already, now’s your turn :)

    CHAU!

  4. Lala Majeske Says:

    Interesting organism. Were did you get all the details from? Anyway give or offer or tender thanks you for this fantastic career.

  5. Alberto García Ballesteros Says:

    Thanks a lot Lala. But I don’t understand what you mean. What organism? I was studying in the University of Colima with a scholarship from “Banco Santander”. If you have any question just let me know!
    chau! :)

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