Traveling during college doesn't mean an escape from your responsibilities and may even improve your course of study. As an addition to your classroom education, travel is akin to "fieldwork," where you get to physically immerse yourself in your studies. To reap the benefits of world travel, you don't need to go far. Mexico is close and it's one of the best cultural experiences you'll ever have. Here are six ways that traveling to Mexico will add to your college experience.
1. Enhances Language Studies
If you're studying foreign languages or world affairs, there's no better way to learn a native tongue than through immersion. Traveling to Mexico allows you to enhance your existing Spanish skills, as well as pick up local phrases, lingo and all the nuances that go with it. Even if you're only in Mexico for a couple of weeks, you'll pick up a lot of Spanish through road signs, menus, checking into hotels and interactions at stores. Improving your Spanish can open the door to a world of new possibilities.
2. Makes History Come Alive
Whether you decide to fly into Mexico, or take an exciting Mexico cruise, you'll have access to many historical and archaeological sites. For example, sailing the Riviera Maya gives you access to notable parts of the Mayan Empire such as the pyramids of Chichen Itza and the famous "El Castillo," located in Tulum. You can also visit the Mayan ruins of San Gervasio, located right on the island of Cozumel. In fact, the entire country of Mexico is filled with fascinating ruins and active digs, some in urban areas.
3. Immerses You in a New Culture
Most people have known only one or two cultures their entire life, but travel allows you to experience a completely new one. It's one thing to learn about lifestyles and traditions from textbooks, but experiencing them firsthand gives them dimension. Consider traveling to Mexico during Day of the Dead when you can see parades, art displays and try delicious, traditional foods. Also, spending time in smaller towns away from touristy areas will provide you with a richer experience.
4. Changes Your Perception of Current Events
Until you travel to Mexico, or anywhere else, your attitude towards a foreign land largely depends on what you see and read in the news. The news only shows a small portion of what's happening in a specific area at a given time. Traveling will show you the "big picture" of what goes on around these stories. Meeting and talking to locals may even change your perception of current events. Getting the real scoop on what's happening in the world may awaken something inside you that ultimately changes your career path.
5. Allows You To Become More Independent
One of the greatest ways that travel adds to a student's education is by forcing them to become more independent. Students have an enormous amount of responsibility within the college bubble, but what about in the real world? Traveling to Mexico gives you a chance to be self-sufficient and learn how to depend on yourself. You'll need to budget your money, arrange transportation and buy things in another language. You'll return from your trip knowing that whatever circumstances arise, you'll be able to tackle them on your own.
6. Gives You a Well-Deserved Break
In addition to all the educational benefits of traveling to Mexico, you'll also get a well-deserved break from school. Taking a vacation during college isn't frivolous; it's a necessary way to destress from the constant demands placed on students. You have a better chance of excelling in your courses when you return refreshed and ready to go. Mexico offers world-class beaches, fantastic cuisine and endless recreational activities. Best of all, Mexico is right next door!
If you're considering a trip to Mexico during your college break, you'll get more than just a vacation. You'll acquire new language skills, experience history up close and gain a new world perspective.