Mexico is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations globally, with its cultural heritage of Mayans and Aztecs, warm-hearted people, and pleasant climate. This largest Spanish-speaking country in the world is a great place to enjoy life in endless fiestas and cultural fairs while pursuing an international degree.
Mexico is one of the most underrated countries in international education, which is rapidly changing as the country’s development is on the rise. With generous scholarships in Mexico, its decent standard of living, low cost of education, and being home to some of the best universities in Latin America are the main reasons for a growing number of international applicants.
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Living Costs in Mexico for International Students
Mexico is an inexpensive country for international students, especially for those fluent in Spanish. Markets in the provinces can be highly affordable, but English-speaking buyers might get the price on the higher end. Eating out can cost you as little as USD 1.5 only if you avoid super luxurious restaurants, where the prices might be on par with the center of Paris.
Rent is relatively cheap around Mexico, but beach resorts function on a different financial scale. A single-bedroom apartment in Mexico City can be rented for around USD 200, while in the provinces, you can pay as low as USD 80 for the same apartment size. While water utility bills are low (USD 7), people mostly drink bottled water, which is an additional expense. Saving electricity is always advised as the electricity bill might range from USD 80 to USD 200, depending on the use.
Can international students work in Mexico?
The Mexican government does not allow international students to work whilst on their academic stay in the country.
Top Universities in Country:
The largest and the most academically referenced institution in Mexico is the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
The second-best university is the Monterrey Institute of Technology, boasting with 15th position globally for the number of billionaire alumni and the first in Latin America.
Panamerican University holds the third position according to the QS Rankings and a second position in the category of private universities.
Like Panamerican University, the Universidad Anáhuac México is also a private university founded by Catholic societies. Finally, the Autonomous University of Baja California is one of the top five higher-level institutions, located just across the border in Tijuana.
Best Scholarships in Mexico
The National Autonomous University of Mexico has one of the best scholarships in Mexico for international students studying in undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and postdoctoral programs. UNAM has a brilliant reputation in engineering studies, but applicants can also benefit from their sciences, economics, management, architecture, and art specializations. One of the requirements is official proof of the knowledge of Spanish. At UNAM’s scholarship page, international students can find information on the following Mexico scholarships:
- Scholarship Program (PBII) is available for B.S., Master’s, and Ph.D. degree students, focusing on developing cutting-edge engineers with a strong background in research and academic expertise. Interested international students must have a GPA of at least 8.0 on a scale of 10.
- Emilio Rosenblueth Fellowship awards a few exceptional postgraduates each year. The awarded candidates would do scientific research with solid output in renewable energy, hydrology, and alike.
Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology (ITAM) is a private, non-profit university that provides financial aid to a third of its student body. ITAM selects its awardees based on academic excellence or low economic status, and it is famous for its philanthropy and progressive mindset. International students who can maintain a high GPA have their tuition fees waived for the rest of their academic cycle. In addition, students can opt for any of the three offered programs with its subprograms.
ITAM and SEP Scholarships require a GPA of 9.0 or above, an entrance exam, and an official statement explaining why the student cannot cover the full tuition costs. Once the student is enrolled and the status verified, ITAM can reduce from 10% to 90% in tuition fees.
Special Scholarship Program has several unique Mexico scholarship options for international students. For instance, Baillères Scholarship can cover the full tuition if the student keeps a 9.0 GPA until graduation. In addition, the Miguel Mancera Scholarship for Sustenance is awarded to economics, engineering, and political science students, who can receive a monthly grant of 500 UDIS (Mexican Investment Units).
Graduate students interested in corporate carriers can receive substantial funds and tuition waivers from Procter and Gamble, JP Morgan, and Siemens.
Tecnologico de Monterrey is one of the seven top universities in Latin America, especially in the fields of economics and engineering. Its alumni are one of Mexico’s most successful politicians and CEOs. Even though Tec de Monterrey is a private, non-profit institution, it offers many Mexico scholarships to national and international students.
The university bases its criteria on socio-economic status and academic, student, entrepreneurial, or leadership talents. External funds are also offered to aid talented or underprivileged students. In addition, special socio-economic funds are available for international students with proven low economic status and a five-year residence in Mexico prior to application.
Scholarship for Academic Talent can cut down up to 70% in tuition fees. For one of the most expensive in Mexico, this is still a substantial reduction in costs. Moreover, the Leaders of Tomorrow scholarship reduces 100% in tuition fees and includes health insurance into the package. Finally, the Socio-economic Scholarship Program for Foreign Students limits their funding to a maximum of 50% of the total tuition fees, which is still generous for a non-merit-based international scholarship at such a high-end university.
The Organization of American States, including Mexican and regional organizations under the AMEXCID Program, provide scholarships for students from OAS member states. Eligible students must come from one of the 31 member states from North and South America and the Caribbean.
AMEXCID covers housing expenses for international applicants and basic medical insurance. However, a limited number of students receive a one-time grant of USD 1,200. In contrast, a certain number of candidates can expect a waiver of their full-tuition fees, for which they may apply if they belong to a university in the OAS Consortium Network.
The Autonomous University of Baja California welcomes undergrad and grad students to apply for their one of the most generous scholarships in Mexico. This non-profit state university has three main campuses in Mexico, with several more sub-campuses. It has well-recognized research facilities, and it is an excellent place for international students interested in natural sciences, humanities, architecture, and health.
The best option for international applicants is the “A Modality,” funded by UABC. Non-Spanish speaking undergraduates can receive MN 35,000, whereas Spanish speaking bachelor’s degree applicants can expect MN 30,000.