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Study Abroad - Andrew Fleming

Name: Andrew Fleming

Degree: International Business Management with Spanish

Location(s): National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

Graduation: July 2018

Why did you decide to do study abroad?

The study abroad options were actually one of the main reasons I chose to study my degree at Northumbria, in my case due to a love of Spanish I always knew I wanted to spend time in a Spanish speaking country in order to really absorb the culture and significantly improve my language skills.

Why did you decide to go to the university you went to?

UNAM is the best university in Mexico and one of the best in Latin America and is in the top 200 universities ranked worldwide. Although there are a number of university options within Mexico, UNAM stood out for me as the best choice for me to really engage with the local culture and people and also take classes from the best academics in the country. Not to mention that their campus is bigger than the city of Newcastle itself and their football stadium seats over 60,00 fans!

What was your stand out moment during study abroad?

I have to be honest, the travelling around Mexico was incredible, I went to 5 different beach resorts across the country, I saw pyramids, cenotes, jungles, hot springs, deserts, I could go on...and I popped over to the states a good few times too. I remember I got a return flight to Miami for less than £200 which is never going to happen if you fly out of the UK. Also, the concerts in Mexico City are out of this world, I went to see DJ’s at festivals I could only have dreamed about in Newcastle. I was living the dream! Oh and the food and drink, I mean it’s the home of Tacos and Margaritas and Corona, need I say more?

Was it expensive to study abroad?

Not really, I had saved up a good amount before leaving (which I really recommend if you want to get out there and travel) but also with my student loan/grants, I lived extremely comfortably, especially as my rent and bills only came to about £150 for a decent room just outside the university campus. Mexico is CHEAP!

Do you think your experience helped you in your studies at Northumbria and your career?

Absolutely, I studied International Business Management with Spanish whilst at Northumbria and picked up some fantastic business knowledge from my time at UNAM and the cultural experiences that I had within Mexico made for some great essay writing for my Spanish modules. Believe it or not I actually moved back to Mexico shortly after graduating as I just couldn’t get enough of the place after my year abroad here. I now have a job that I love in a place that I love…can’t complain!

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of going on study abroad what would you say?

Do it! And don’t take the easy way out by just hanging out with other people on exchanges and taking classes you know will be a breeze, immerse yourself in the culture and with the local people there and challenge yourself at the university, you will feel all the more satisfied for it afterwards.

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