Education And Schools in Mexico For Expats – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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From our previous article, we have highlighted why Mexico is the best destination for expats. While we walked you through the pros and cons of living in the country, many things to know about its educational system. Guess what! You’ve come to the right platform today.
Mexico’s educational system has continued to improve in recent years. The country ranked fifty-eighth in 2018 on the Legatum Prosperity Index Education Sub-Index out of the 149 countries, measured by the London-based Legatum Institute. As of today, public schools class sizes in Mexico are more significant than the global average, with one teacher for at least every 28 students.
We can say that attendance is mandatory for students ages 6 to 15. And they’re given the option to continue schooling at the high school level. Aside from the public schools in Mexico, there are other private and international schools, which are popular choices for expats in today’s modern world.
However, if you’ve been surfing the internet to get the right information about education in Mexico, look no further as we’ve got you covered. While a list of some international schools in Mexico can be found on the U.S Department of State Website, we have compiled some of the lists on this platform.
In this article, we have compiled the education and schools in Mexico for foreigners. Not only that, but you’ll also understand the ultimate guide to schooling in Mexico as a foreigner. Are you ready to go through what we’ve unleashed? If that sounds like a YES, read further to get the detailed information.
Education in Mexico (2021 Updates)
As an expat, you should know that public education in Mexico is split into three levels. They include; basic education, upper secondary education, and tertiary education. In Mexico, children begin primary school at the age of 6, while they continue to the upper level at 15.
At this point, they can choose between high school and professional technical education. Besides, after finishing high school, they can then move to tertiary education in the country. Similarly, international schools can be the perfect solution for an expat looking for education in the country.
With that being said, an international school provides similar standards of schooling around the globe. And they offer an easy transition between schools whether they are in France or other countries in the Western world. Moreover, schools may follow a curriculum model from the US, UK, and France.
10 interesting Facts about Mexico Education
In order to understand the facts about Mexico’s education system, we would like to walk you through some concepts. This is due to the fact that the history of education around the world is very different. While some countries had their first educational system a thousand years ago, others still struggle to create a good structure. Without further ado, below are the 10 interesting facts about Mexico.
1. Education before the Spanish Conquest
In Mexico’s education history, Quetzalcoatl was the Aztec god of air, wind, and learning. This means, even before their contact with the European civilization, Aztecs had schools where they trained their warriors and priests. Also, the priests had a high status in society, and the warriors were the strongest force.
2. Involvement of Catholic Church
One of the most amazing facts about Mexican education is the speed with which the colonists used the civilization as one of their reasons to conquer New Spain. Not only that, but the involvement of the church was crucial, and it kept an authority position in the education system. Although very few girls attended the school at establishments run by nuns while fewer girls receive tutors from a private instructor.
3. Royal Pontifical University of Mexico
Research made it known that Harvard College is the oldest American institution of higher education and was founded in 1636. On the other hand, the royal pontifical university of Mexico was founded in 1551, being the first university in North America. Meanwhile, as at that time, they educated people on the secrets of religion, medicine, and law.
4. 21st Century Educational System
In Mexico today, you have primary schools from 1st to 6th year followed by junior high schools from 7th to the 10th and two more years after that for the high school. After high school, Mexican teens can go to the university following a 4-year bachelor’s degree, a 2-year master’s program, and a three-year doctorate.
5. Quality of Schooling in Mexico
The quality of schooling in Mexico in today’s modern world is awe-inspiring. Almost all Mexican children attend primary school, but not even half graduate high school, unlike it used to be. Now, the best university in the country is considered to be Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. More so, you should always understand that the cost of a university year in Mexico is, on average, around $5000.
6. School Uniform in Mexico
While children at government-run schools in Mexico are not required to wear uniforms by law, the education ministry recommends state schools adopt them. So, as an expat, you should expect to see students in uniform. For instance, the skirt is the basic garment of a girl’s daily school uniform, while trousers are for boys.
7. Cost of Education in Mexico
While public schooling in Mexico is free from grades one to 12, students must purchase their own textbooks and school supplies. However, in private schools, fees vary, and bilingual schools tend to be the most expensive. Overall, expect to pay a first-time admission fee, additional charges, reinscription fees, after-school activities, and many other things, to mention a few.
8. Learning Safely at Home in Mexico
On top of this, distance learning assumes that girls are pretty safe to learn at home in Mexico. On the other hand, the research disclosed that previous pandemic has even caused a significant problem. And this has made many expat and teachers work from the comfort of their homes. So, if you’re considering studying in any Mexican school as an expat, be rest assured that you’re free and safe from COVID-19 restrictions.
9. You’ll Become Multilingual
If this is your first time relocating to Mexico, you’ll become multilingual as an expat in no time. While there are over 60 other indigenous languages spoken in Mexico, Spanish is widely spoken in the country. Be aware, however, that Latin American Spanish is different from that of European Spanish.
10. Home to 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Of course, as we’ve explained in our previous article on this platform, Mexico is home to 35 of the world’s 878 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Perhaps the most iconic of all is the Mesoamerican pyramid of EI Catillo in the ancient site of Chichen Itza, which was also named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. With this in place, you’re definitely going to enjoy the country’s educational system.
Barriers to Quality Education in Mexico
When it comes to academics in Mexico as of today, the most impoverished children in Vietnam outperform the wealthiest children in Mexico, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment. Despite Mexico’s recent progress in ensuring that young people finish school, there are many barriers to receiving a quality education in the country. Without further ado, below are the barriers to education.
Poverty and wealth Inequality
Poverty and wealth inequality are considerable challenges in Mexico today. Research also made it known that about 18 percent of the country lives in extreme poverty. Among poor communities, absences, school dropout rates, and grade repetition are severe problems in the Mexican educational system.
Additionally, poverty doesn’t only affect whether children are likely to attend a school or not but also affects the quality of the education they receive when they do attend school. Again, PISA revealed that leaders in rural schools are more concerned about the material resources available than other things.
Indigenous communities are disproportionately poorer than non-indigenous communities, and this factor impact access to education in the country. Furthermore, indigenous students face more barriers related to a history of discrimination, including cultural gaps, less relevant teaching, and discrimination.
However, expats could have related problems. With that being said, we advised you to wait in your home country to receive an admission letter from any Mexican institution before you travel to the country. This is because; it’s difficult for expat to secure admission while living in the country.
Gender Inequality Problem
Another thing to consider if you want quality education in Mexico is to check out international schools for expat. This is because; gender inequality problems might affect you while studying in a local school or institution. Also, Mexico’s gender gap in education has fallen significantly in the past 30 years, making Mexican girls more likely to drop out of school.
Latin America is the only region in the world where child marriage is on the increase, and 83 percent of married Mexican girls leave school. So, as an expat, get yourself admitted into an international school to avoid the problem of gender inequality in Mexico’s educational system.
Economic Problem and Challenges
Shrinking economy is significantly affecting the Mexican educational system. Meanwhile, the international community foundations have been working with many excellent organizations to alleviate poverty, eliminate gender inequality, and reach several indigenous communities. Therefore, economic pressures have caused the Mexican government to cut its education budget by more than 11 percent.
International vs. Local Schools in Mexico
Expats in Mexico can choose between public, private, and international schools. Before we walk you through the best international schools and local schools for foreigners, let quickly compare and contrasts the differences between the international schools in Mexico and the local schools.
Public Schools in Mexico
Public schools are by law free and secular in Mexico. Not only that, but they teach in Spanish, and it’s not an easy option if the child doesn’t speak the English language. Although they might have English classes, but all the subjects are taught in the Spanish language. In addition, the school year is from August to June, but depending on the grades and socioeconomic status, Mexican students can go and study almost anywhere.
Private Schools in Mexico
Private schools are another option for foreigners that want to school in the country. This means; if your child speaks Spanish, there are many Mexican private schools to choose from. However, keep in mind that the quality of foreign language lessons may be considerably lower than other international schools. So, you should always visit the school before deciding whether it’s the right place or not.
International Schools in Mexico
International schools provide the easiest adaptation for expat children because of the vast expat community and their effort towards international students. Aside from that, most international students are in big cities, but any city with a sizable international community will have its choice of schools. Moreover, tuition costs are considerably higher in international schools than in other private schools.
How to Choose a School for an Expat
Regardless of whether you choose public, international, or private schools in Mexico, there are certain things you need to consider before making your decision. Also, ensure that you follow the proper COVID-19 rules and regulations in Mexico. Below are the ways to choose the best schools in the country.
- If you plan on making Mexico your home for a long time, take into account that many schools only accept specific grades. Therefore, you might need to think ahead and plan out long-term schooling options.
- Your choices of schools will always be greater in big cities. So, if you’re going to a small town or city, make sure you’ll have options that will meet your desired educational standards.
- Bicultural schools mix the Mexican system with a foreign system in today’s world. Decide which one best fits your needs and future plans while relocating to the country.
- It’s also essential to understand that every child is different in their ways. So, select the right place that’s good enough for your support and intellectual growth
- Consider your expenses and plan when you plan to move overseas for work.
Best International Education in Mexico City
With plenty of international schools in Mexico City, the country has a genuinely admirable variety of international schools, offering a range of educational choices and curricula for expats. While public schools in Mexico City are free, they’re often crowded. Let’s take a look at the best schools for expat.
Eton School in Mexico
Eton schools in Mexico City offer a wide range of services for international students. Aside from this fact, it’s an inclusive co-educational learning community that celebrates diversity and welcomes families from different cultures, religions, nationalities, and ideologies. So, be rest assured to study in this school if you’re looking for quality education.
American School Foundation
The American school foundation is an inclusive and diverse community, offering an international, academically rigorous, university-preparatory curriculum based upon the best of American independent education. So, in all aspect of life, the school strives their best to prepare it diverse students with the top-notch educational system, and tools across the universe.
Edron Academy is known to be among the leading British-Mexican school in the country. With over a thousand pupils, the school is a co-educational school, from pre-nursery to eighteen years old, committed to modern and progressive education. It’s no doubt that they shape the leaders of tomorrow. So, expect a unique learning experience because Edron is built on fundamental values.
The Wingate School in Mexico
The Wingate School in Mexico offers an educational program focused on academic excellence, human formation, and creativity. With its highly qualified staff, they provide personalized attention aim to form a community of critical thinkers who have a multicultural perspective and social commitment.
Best Universities for Expat in Mexico
Universidad Nacional Autonoma
This university is ranked among the top schools in Mexico for an expat. They receive perfect scores for four indicators, including for their academic and employer reputations, and is also featured in the world university ranking. Also, its main campus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its outstanding integration of Mexican traditions through architecture and modern art.
Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM)
Heading north to Monterrey is the private Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM), ranked second in the Mexico university ranking. This university has been steadily improving in the world, and it currently appears in 179th place in the world. It was founded in 1943 and has expanded rapidly since the 1960s while it operates about 31 campuses across 25 Mexican cities.
Instituto Politecnico Nacional (IPN)
This university has emerged the third-highest ranked on our list and was placed in the 651-700 range of the latest world university ranking. The IPN is another large public university in Mexico, hosting upwards of 171,000 students, including those in high school. Though it’s primarily based in Mexico City, but it operates research institutes and facilities in about 22 Mexican states.
Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (UAM)
Next in our look is this university, ranked fourth in the Mexico ranking and nearly 751-800 in the world. The UAM also appears in the Qs World University Rankings by Subject 2018 for six subjects, including the global top 100 for art and design. So, as an expat, you can choose to study at this university if you’re craving quality education in art and design.
Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA)
This is also known as one of the best universities for expat in today’s 21st century. Up to 11,000 students are enrolled, and there are 34 undergraduates and 39 graduate programs available in the school. Like other schools like ITAM, UIA, and many others, this university achieves its best score in the employer reputation category of the Mexico ranking, at fourth.
Universidad de Guadalajara (UDG)
This is a public university with around 119,500 students, primarily at the undergraduate level, and is one of the oldest universities in Mexico, having been founded in 1791 as the Real Universidad de Guadalajara. Aside from this fact, this university is ranked seventh in Mexico and 751-800 in the world, while it earns the second-highest score in the country for the web impact indicator.
Universidad de Las Americas Puebla (UDLAP)
This university is ranked ninth in the New Mexico ranking and the 751-800 range of the world rankings. Not only that, but it also earns the third-highest score in the country for the staff with a Ph.D. indicator. It’s one of the best expat schools, and it’s also noted for producing highly employable graduates, with more than 90 percent of students in employment six months after graduation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mexico’s Education
Are there many international schools in Mexico?
Of course, there are many international schools in Mexico suitable for expats to study. While they’re usually located in the city, international schooling is provided for students from elementary school through post-compulsory school.
What are the education options in Mexico?
Well, there are many education options in Mexico, including public schools, private, and international schools. If you read through this article, you’ll understand the slight difference between those schools. In addition, homeschooling is allowed in Mexico, and many expats have chosen to put their children in private, bilingual schools because public schools are often crowded.
Can expat secure employment in Mexico?
Of course, yes! Foreigners who studied in Mexico can definitely secure good employment opportunities. This is to tell you that Mexico’s employment prospects look good because of the low unemployment rate. Also, the country attracts major Multinational corporations. That’s why some expat focus on resort areas where English is widely spoken and travel-related jobs are more plentiful.
What are the major banks in Mexico?
In our next article, we will walk you through the major banks in Mexico for expat. But, be aware that Mexican banks are similar to most banks in other countries in services offered, such as checking and savings account, certificates of deposits, joint account and many others.
There are many options for studying in Mexico, from attending grade school to taking short-term Spanish immersion courses. If you’re traveling to Mexico with children, you’ll need to choose from the various institutions above. Visit this platform for relevant updates about education in Mexico.