Mexico – Puebla 2016 (research)

My Exchange in Mexico was my first one (and hopefully not the last one). I had been interested in  this country for a while before I saw it on the list of countries I could choose for my Exchange. That is because as a contact person I met some Mexicans who were the most friendly people and also told me many great things about Mexico. What is more, there was GA in August 2016 in Mexico. So my choice was made very easily. Now I know that my decision was 100% right. All Mexicans I met were as friendly as those in Slovakia, food was delicious, country side wonderfull, weather crazy with cool mornings, hot afternoons and rainy evenings.

Let´s start from beginning. I kept in touch with my CP over a month before my travel. Her English was not really good but she answered my questions. When I came to Puebla, she and her parents came to pick me up from the station and hosted me for all month. I shared a room with my CP. In the house there were 6 other people (3 generations) and one dog and they were all very nice to me despite they did not speak English and I did not speak Spanish. But it was a challenge and I accepted it J

The first problem came out when my CP told me I had no project. I was really upset because I chose a project that I really liked. Other problems were SIMcard, the CP was not informed about the Money for food and transportation to labs. I was accepted to a lab testing HPV samples which was a long travel away from my home and I got lost few times because the public transportation in Mexico is very confusing. Doctor in the lab was nice and friendly but did not speak English, as we worked with samples from real patients I could do only one electroforesis myself and after one week they all went for vacation and the lab was closed. So I spent two weeks in a private hospital in a private cardiologist´s Office listening to patients and watching EKG and thomography. He was nice but it was boring. I complained few times to my CP but nothing changed. Fortunatelly, I got to know a plastic surgeon who allowed me to see a surgery.

There was only one more Exchange student – a guy from Sweden who also did not get his project, was also upset and also spent his time in the same lab and with the cardiologist. When it comes to our social program, there is not much to talk about. We saw people from LC during our „welcome dinner“ but actually, our CP was the only person from LC who spent more time with us and her family took us for two great trips in the state Puebla. One other girl took us shopping and to karaoke. Luckily we met other students and had a good time with them. They took us to Veracruz and those days were one of the best in my life. If you travel in Mexico, you enjoy it better if you travel with Mexicans who know places with no tourists and real home-made food.

To sum it up, my Exchange did not meet my expectations when it comes to research and social program. LC has a lot of work to do to improve SCORE. But thanks to the nature of Mexican people I am happy I spent one month in Puebla. I still miss reggaeton in busses, smell of tacos and fresh sweet mangos on streets, chilli on every food (even ice-cream), rice drink agua de horchata, salsa in clubs, swimming in jungle lakes, eight people in one uber car, dinner at 11pm …


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