The country of Mexico is one of the top tourist destinations in the Americas, and now you can visit the country as part of a study abroad program, studying nursing at one of its many colleges and universities.
Officially called the United Mexican States, Mexico is a federal constitutional republic, located in the southern section of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States of America, to the east by the Gulf of Mexico, to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize and the Caribbean Sea, and to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean. With over 2 million square kilometers (760,000 square miles) of total land area, it is the fifth-largest country in the world geographically, and its population of nearly 114 million ranks eleventh internationally. Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, and its federation is made up of 31 states and a federal district—the capital and largest city in the country, Mexico City.
Nursing Education in Mexico
As it is throughout most of the world, nursing is a very important area of study in Mexico, and is offered as a degree program by most of the nation’s major colleges and universities. One of the largest nursing institutions in the country is the University of Guadalajara, where it is offered at the University Center of Health Sciences, abbreviated “CUCS” in Spanish.
The CUCS is organized into three divisions: Basic Disciplines, Clinical Disciplines and Disciplines for the Development, Promotion and Preservation of Health, which are in turn comprised of 20 departments, including Applied Clinical Nursing. Participants of this department are educated in both the theory and practice of nursing, with degrees offered at both the undergraduate (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) and graduate (Master of Science in Nursing) level. The Bachelor degree program spans approximately 4 years in duration, and culminates with the National Nursing Exam, on which a passing score is needed to practice nursing professionally in Mexico. Students who want to continue their education can do so at the graduate level, studying general nursing at a more advanced level, or specializing their studies in one of the many sub-specialties of nursing, such as pediatric nursing, nursing management or geriatric nursing.
The total student population of CUCS is approximately 13,000, while the faculty numbers 1,300, nearly 500 of which are full-time instructors. The Teaching-Healthcare Model of the CUCS allows the center to provide low-cost basic health services to needy families, allowing nursing students a great opportunity to practice their craft while still in school.
Why Study Abroad in Mexico
To say that Mexico has plenty to offer visiting students would be a grand understatement. From the rocky beaches of the Pacific coast to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to all the quaint pueblos in between, the country is a visual wonderland that simply must be seen firsthand to fully appreciate.
Here are just a few of the benefits to choosing Mexico for your study abroad adventure:
The cuisine of Mexico is legendary, known throughout the world, and quite diverse depending on the region you visit. In the inland cities of Puebla and Oaxaca, for example, you can sample different varieties of mole, a sauce made with toasted chilies and chocolate. A trip to the coastal regions will allow you to try some of the mouthwatering local seafood dishes, such as snapper Veracruz-style, a meal made with whole red snapper that’s prepared with tomatoes, chilies and olives. Finally, when visiting Baja California, be sure to try out the delicious fish tacos and wash it down with one of the many local wines for which the region is famous.
Not only is the tuition at Mexican universities more affordable than that of its northern American neighbor, the cost of vacationing in and exploring the country is also much more reasonable. Mexico boasts a number of all-inclusive resorts in cities such as Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan—getaways that are ideal for students looking for fun and relaxation during scheduled breaks from their studies. Additionally, you will undoubtedly find that around campus the restaurants, bars, shops and other local attractions also allow you to get more out of your spending dollar.
History and Culture
Last but not least in terms of the benefits to studying in Mexico is the country’s history and culture. Through the ancient ruins of two Mayan cities, located in the Yucatan Peninsula at Tulum and Chichen Itza, fans of history can be transported back in time to the days when the Mayans ruled Mexico, and traverse the stone pyramids that once housed some of the country’s earliest inhabitants. The artist’s colony of San Miguel de Allende will give you the opportunity to watch artisans in action as they create their handicrafts, or perhaps you’d prefer Mexico City, with an abundance of art museums and galleries, jam-packed with the works of some of Mexico's finest artists, including Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera—just part of the diverse history and culture that defines this great country.