Tips for your exchange semester in Mexico

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Before packing your suitcase to go to this incredible country, we are going to give you some tips for your exchange semester in Mexico.

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Get vaccinated

Before leaving for your exchange semester in Mexico, it is strongly recommended that you get vaccinated. Especially if you plan to travel in the country, in particular to the south region. For example, in the south of the country or in the jungle, malaria is still present.

 Vaccinations against tetanus, polio, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid are suggested.

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Do not drink tap water

The first recommendation for your exchange semester in Mexico, is that you do not have to drink tap water. You could get sick! 

However, you can brush your teeth with tap water without any problem.

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Beware of spicy dishes

Mexicans are used to eating their food with chili peppers, which is not necessarily the case for you. So if you don’t like to eat spicy food, we advise you to specify this when you order in a restaurant. Otherwise you might have a bad time!

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Leave tips

In Mexico, in general, tips should be given for all services delivered that have been satisfactory. Many workers receive little or no remuneration and their wages depend mainly on tips from customers.

The most common is to tip in restaurants and bars for an average of 10% of the bill. Indeed, the waiters’ resources almost come exclusively from tips.

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Do not refuse food 

In Mexico, it is very frowned upon to refuse to taste food offered by someone. For example, if you are invited at a Mexican friend’s house and he offers you to taste the dish he has prepared, he may be offended if you refuse it. It is seen as impolite and discourteous. 

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Avoid taking an unauthorized taxi

When you take a taxi, make sure it’s registered. In Mexico, there are so-called “free” taxis but they aren’t official ones. They are almost clandestine because they are not certified by the government. Those taxis aren’t safe. Aussi, il faut toujours se mettre d’accord avec le chauffeur sur le prix de la course avant le départ. Sinon vous risquez d’avoir une mauvaise surprise à l’arrivée!

What we advise you above all is to take Uber or another ride service company.

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Take a seat at the right place on public transport

One last little piece of advice we can give you is not to sit in the yellow seats on public transport, as they are reserved for the elderly, pregnant women and for people with disabled access.

It also makes sense, as it does in Europe, to make room for an elderly person or pregnant woman.

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Avoid going out alone in the evening

As in most cities, you have to be careful when we go out alone at night. In Mexico, it is even more advisable not to walk alone after 10pm. Indeed, there are more thefts due to the fact that more than half of the population lives below the poverty line.

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We hope that our tips for your exchange semester in Mexico will help you a lot to acclimatize yourself to your new country.
Read this article to discover all the differences between Mexican University system and the European one!