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An Epic Journey to Canada: Part II

Mexico

“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”—Frida Kahlo

Hello readers! I hope that you’re enjoying reading this blog as much as I am writing it. I’m so impressed with all of the comments I have received from my first blog entry and I want to encourage you to message me with your feedback, suggestions or questions on my Facebook page (which you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/juliet.garcia.16)!

WHAT AM I DOING HERE?

So you might be wondering what I’m doing here in Canada. Well, I’m a Mitacs Globalink Research Intern, which means that I’ll be in Windsor for 12 weeks as part of a research project about the entrepreneurial culture at EPICentre. The goal is to understand Canadian best practices in innovation and entrepreneurship, share Mexico’s entrepreneurship culture and make some interesting collaborations and connections with both experiences in mind.

This blog is the easiest way to keep track of the entire experience and to document even the smallest of my findings. I have spent over four years writing my own personal diary and it’s amazing how I can look back and reflect on some of the things I have experienced and see how things have changed, as well as how much I have grown as a person since then.

INTERNATIONALIZATION: MEXICO’S EDUCATION IN PERSPECTIVE

Mexico doesn’t have the best level of education compared with other countries. In fact, we often rank low on international test scores and educational gaps are a huge issue. Let me just try to give you some numbers to put this into perspective.

Only about 18% of youth are expected to get a degree from a University, 4% are expected to get a Master’s degree, and just 1% will obtain a PhD (OECD,2015). Of these numbers, about 41% of the universities are considered public universities, the other 59% have to pay around $2,500 and $6,000 CAD per semester. I have been fortunate to be part of the privileged students getting a degree at a top public university, and even more privileged because I have been able to travel abroad and have a global learning experience.

I know by experience what internationalization can do for a person, not just academically, but professionally and personally. Traveling abroad makes you embrace the things you took for granted while you had them and changes you as a person when you return home.

Whenever you break out of your comfort zone, even the most insignificant thing can represent a real challenge and it’s when you overcome these challenges that you suddenly realize that you have grown significantly as a person. Furthermore, in this level of exposure to diversity, you’re invited and forced at the same time to embrace these new experiences. You’ll find yourself becoming more tolerant, understanding and respectful of things you’re not used to being exposed to.

With that being said, can you imagine what the percentage of Mexicans who have experienced this is? Global citizens that can return and share this new mindset and encourage the ones who haven’t done it to actually do it?

As public universities get funding by public contribution, I consider it my duty to return home and give back what society has invested in me so far. It’s my goal to empower students by providing them with opportunities to experience some of the things that have changed in my life.

Don’t miss the next edition to find out how YOU…yes, you…can help me!