The first thing that surprised me when I arrived at the ITESM university in Monterrey was the university and the Mexican school system: First, the size of the university impressed me: this university has large financial means that They re-invest to partly serve students: There is a lot of infrastructure and activities offered on the campus: fast food, gym, university, free doctor, swimming pool, sports, etc ... and a group of Mexican students were created to welcome the new international each semester ans make them feel comfortable in the campus.
I was also very surprised by the relationships between students and professors.
Teachers are extremely close to their pupils and establish a relationship of trust with them.
It is not uncommon to hear a teacher tutoyer his pupil or even to see him laugh and talk about more personal things after classes with his pupils. Personally I like this teaching method very much because it makes you feel comfortable with the teachers and it allows a better communication with them.
The relaxed Mexican attitude also surprised me: Mexican people are also known to be very relax in their behaviour and their mentality and it’s completely true ! That’s why they were very frequent delays during the class, students were allowed to wear their cap in progress or to use his laptop, everyone is free to go out at any time of the course without asking permission, to answer a call for example, or just to go to the bathroom.
The culinary culture is also very different from that of France: I personally found the food much less varied than us and much more fat: I felt the proximity of the city of Monterrey with the United States because there are similarities in their diets, especially in their food-habits with the fast food which are very common and multiple. However Mexico also its own food and specialties, such as the famous tacos, or the "cabrito" which is delicious. In general, the meats are accompanied by spicy sauces which are very appreciated by the Mexicans.
Mexico is currently the most obese country in the world.
The link between Mexican people and football is also very special and strong. Even if football is very popular throughout Mexico, it is even more popular in the city of Monterrey. In this city the sport is followed in a very family way, and everyone supports a team: either the Rayados team or the emblematic team of Monterrey: the Tigres which has among its players the French Gignac, considered as the star of this team and even from Mexico.
When you see a football match at the Tigres stadium, you can notice that everyone is present: the mother, the father, the girl, the cousins, and everyone wears the jersey of the team. This relationship to football is completely different from the one we have in France.
Finally, I was also very amazed by the mentality and the Mexican state of mind. Mexicans are very welcoming people who do not hesitate to take the first step to come and talk with you and get to know you. The Mexican state of mind is felt in the evening, and their good mood and state of mind very open makes international students at once very comfortable, and the language barrier is quickly forgotten.