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Top 5 Cheapest Tuition Universities in Mexico for International Students

    Although it is geographically part of North America, and shares borders with the US states of Texas, New Mexico, California and Arizona, there is no doubt Mexico is truly a Latin American country – with a unique set of culture and people. Beyond the traditional images of sombreros, tacos and tequila lies a fantastic culture and history that can be studied for thousands of years. From the ancient Mayan ruins, to sumptuous dishes, Mexico will always surprise you with its rich mix of cultural traditions and urban modernity.

    Highlighting its rich culture, the country houses 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Of these, the most popular is the ancient site of Chichén Itzá, named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. International students may also be attracted by the azure coastlines of Baja California, the vast cactus- and cowboy-covered deserts in the north, and modern, highly developed urban hubs such as Mexico City, Tijuana and Cancun. Although a heavily bureaucratic nation where it’s unlikely for everything to run on time, the country offers a good transport infrastructure, as well as thriving arts and culture scenes. Mexico is especially notable for its music culture, which includes the traditional Mexican folk music of Mariachi.

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    Applying to universities in Mexico

    To study in Mexico you should apply directly to the university through the admissions department. Admissions requirements typically vary from institution to institution but you may be required to sit for an entrance exam, and/or a test of language proficiency depending on your circumstances.7

    Visas for Mexico

    If you intend to study in Mexico for less than six months, you are able to enroll at a Mexican university as a tourist. Based on your nationality, you may or may not be required to pay for a tourist visa upon arrival at their airport.

    If you intend to study in Mexico for longer than six months, you will be required to apply separately for a student visa at the nearest Mexican embassy or consulate in your home country. To do this, you are expected to officially accepted into an academic course at a Mexican university.

    In order to obtain your student visa, you will be asked to provide a valid passport (valid beyond six months of your planned stay), proof of acceptance into a Mexican institution, proof of sufficient cash (US$300 per month of stay) and proof of your return ticket. Visa fees vary, but typically range from US$18-$30.

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    Your student visa has to be valid for just 30 days in Mexico, during which you’ll be asked to apply for a resident’s permit with the National Registry of Foreign Citizens. This permit will last up to a year, allowing you entry into many countries.

    If you’re planning to study in Mexico as a tourist or on a tourist visa, you will not be eligible for internships.

    Tuition fees and living costs

    Typically, tuition fees at universities in Mexico vary based on the program you take and the institution you are interested in. Generally, the average cost of tertiary education overall are around US$5,000 per year, please note that this varies greatly. Public institutions in Mexico can charge as little as $378 up to $818 per year for undergraduate courses, while private institutions will charge roughly $1,636 and $16,353 per year.

    Living expenses are reasonably low in Mexico. Housing in Mexico’s major cities can go between US$150-200 per month, and even less if you live outside of the center. Traveling within Mexico is equally affordable, with the metro train going for US$3 per day for consistent use and buses costing US$2 per journey.

    All expenses, including housing, transport, food and drinks, will amount to US$400 on a strict budget and as little as US$500 on a standard budget. If you intend to travel, shop and eat out a little bit,then you should budget some more. When calculating your total expenses you should also take into consideration the fact that international students are not eligible to gain paid work while in Mexico.

    But there is the potential to apply for and be awarded a scholarship for study in Mexico, either through your home university or an external organization such as CIEE or Boren.

    List of Cheap Tuition Universities

    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

    Tecnológico de Monterrey

    Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN)

    Universidad Anahuac 

    Instituto Tecnológico Autonomo de México

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