I spent a year of my undergrad course at the Tec de Monterrey University in Mexico City. While Mexico might not make an obvious choice for someone in tech, it offered me the chance to travel somewhere really interesting and different. I was able to make the most of my Spanish A-Level and as it turned out, gain some really useful tech experience too. Although I had to adapt to my new home in Mexico, it was a really welcoming place and I found it much easier to settle in than I expected.
Tec offers classes in both English and Spanish. In the first semester I stuck to taking all my classes in English apart from a Spanish language class. By the second semester I was confident enough to take regular classes in Spanish which was a challenge at times (especially giving presentations which really tested my nerve). However many students and staff were really accommodating would help me by explaining things in English.
As part of my courses, I was able to take part in a field trip to Cisco's offices in Mexico City and take part in multiple social entrepreneurship projects. One group project I worked on aimed to enable and encourage more people to report sexual assault, which is a serious issue in Mexico City. Another project I worked on in an Android app development course aimed to provide easier access to healthy affordable recipes with the aim of alleviating the serious obesity crisis in the country, especially among lower income groups. These projects required me to work in a completely different context and think about issues which are very different to those we encounter in the UK.
As computer scientists we have an incredible chance to use our skills to make things that can make a real difference to people all over the world. Studying or working abroad during university is a perfect opportunity for you to enjoy travelling, make new contacts, and get your hands on some really different projects. You never know where it could take you!