Have you ever wondered what is like to live in a place where tacos are found around every corner? Or, in a place where you can still admire majestic structures from ancient civilizations? Or perhaps, in a place where you can admire nature in its more pristine form? If you answered yes to any of these questions (and who wouldn’t?!) then I must inform you that you need to study abroad in Mexico, and here’s why:

A List of top Reasons to Study Abroad in Mexico

1.) Their deliciously unique (and spicy) food.

If you ever have to choose which kind of food you want to eat for the rest of your life, the answer is simple: Mexican. Due to our colonial past, Mexican food is a flavorful blend of Spanish and Indigenous ingredients. Before the Spanish colonized the country, Indigenous people had access to multiple vegetables and fruits, chocolate, chilis, turkey, cactus, corn and many other ingredients that are still present in Mexican cuisine today. The Spanish on the other hand, brought to Mexico other ingredients such as carrots, lentils, pork, goat, rice and many other. As a result of this combination, the Mexican food as we know today, was born.

You should know that most food in Mexico contains corn. Just as in the precolonial times the staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine is corn. You will find it everywhere – gorditas, quesadillas, pozole, chilaquiles, tamales, sopes and if it’s not in the dish, you will then find a stack of corn tortillas on the table.

Another important note: chili is also a very important in our cuisine. According to the National Institute of Anthropology and History, 90% of dishes in Mexico contain chili. In Mexico, chili is used even on fruit and candy. But don’t worry if you don’t like spicy food, most places have the “no chili” option and if not, you’ll eventually get used to it! Because let’s be honest, who can resist to this?

2.) You can explore the ruins of ancient civilizations.

If you are interested in ancient civilizations and cultures, Mexico will feel like paradise. Mexico has dozens of archaeological sites open to the public and most of them are considered part of the UNESCO World Patrimony sites. Many of these sites are home to magnificent pyramids and other structures built by the different indigenous groups that inhabited Mexico before the Spanish conquest. Visiting at least one of these sites is a must if you’re there. Here’s a list of my favorites:

Palenque, Chiapas – An ancient Mayan city located in south Mexico. The ruins are surrounded by a lush rainforest that will transport you back in time.

Monte Albán, Oaxaca – Located in the Oaxaca Valley in South Central Mexico, this site was once the capital of the Zapotec people.

Chichen-Itzá, Yucatán – Also considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico. It is usually full of tourist but with for very justifiable reasons.

Chichen-Itzá, Yucatán

Calakmul, Campeche – If you have more time and like adventure, this archaeological Mayan site is a must visit. It’s not as popular as the main sites and in order to see the temples you must walk through the deep jungle. Howling monkeys can also be found here.

Teotihuacan, Estado de México

Teotihuacan, Estado de México – The ethnicity of Teotihucan’s former residents is a subject of debate. However, its impressive pyramids are considered to be some of the largest pyramids made during Pre-Colombian times.

Teotihuacan, Estado de México

Teotihuacan, Estado de México

3.) You’ll improve your dance moves.

In Mexico you’ll find many different types of music such as mariachi, banda, norteño, corridos, pop, rock and even indigenous music, that it’ll be impossible not to dance . Folk dance is also an important part of our culture and identity. One of the most internationally known dances, Jarabe Tapatío, is performed with long colorful dresses that are swung around while performing a sequence of heel –toe tapping steps. Other important dances include: La Danza de los Viejitos (the dance of the old men), Danza del Venado (Deer Dance), Los Voladores de Papantla (the flyers of Papantla), Matlachines, and many others.

4.) You’ll admire art everywhere.

 Soumaya museum

Ever heard of the self-portraits of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo? Or watched the recent Oscar-nominated film Roma by Alfonso Cuarón? Or maybe seen the now popular blouses with hand-embroidered flowers? From pre-Hispanic times until today, Mexico is a place where artistic expression has flourished since before the Spanish colonized the country. In Mexico, you will find everything ranging from colorful Mayan murals of their daily life and rituals; the murals of Diego Rivera depicting important eras of our history; or the masterpieces of artists that cover 30 centuries in the Soumaya museum.

self-portraits of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo

5.) Its nature will blow you away

Tulum, Quintana Roo

Did you know that Mexico is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world? Our large country’s extension allows for many different types of climates, ecosystems, flora and fauna. From the arch of Cabo San Lucas to the Lacandón Jungle in the southern state of Chiapas, in Mexico you will encounter postcard-like landscapes, including valleys, waterfalls, canyons, beaches, deserts and even volcanoes. So, if you love nature and you like to marvel at mother nature’s creations, Mexico is the place to go.

So… did you already start packing your bags? Mexico is awaiting and Webster University can help you get there! With their study abroad programs in Guadalajara Mexico, you get the opportunity to study in the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG), Mexico’s oldest private university. Located in center-western Mexico, Guadalajara is the second-largest city in Mexico and its well known for its mariachi music, colonial architecture, amazing food and the acclaimed Guadalajara International Film Festival.

For more information visit: http://www.webster.edu/study-abroad/programs/mexico/