In this post I thought I would explain in greater detail the class system in Tec de Monterrey. Even for those who cannot speak a word of Spanish, it’s likely that the name ‘Tecnologico de Monterrey’ makes you think of something to do with tecnology. The tec has a great department for the sciences and engineering, and you will find that many people specilise in these type of degrees. However, if you are like me and even the word maths makes your head hurt, do not worry! The tec also has great business, humanities, marketing etc departments.
Choosing your classes
For my first semester, i was sent an email inviting me to ‘provisionally choose’ my classes about 1/2 months before I arrived. This made me think that once I had arrived I would be able to review my choices properly choose my classes. However this was not true! We were given our schedules in the orientation days, and then had a small window of tine to change/drop classes, but this seemed quite a over complicated and time consuming task, so what I suggest is that you properly take the time to choose classes you are sure you want to take.
There are classes avaliable in English and Spanish,with slightly more avaliable in Spanish but still a good selection in English. For me, as a student of Spanish all my classes are in that language, and if you want to take class in Spanishyou have to complete a quick online test to prove you are able, and also to determine what level you are.
The Tec offers credited classes of Spanish, which range from Basic 1 to Advanced 2. You have it 4 times a week, with each class lasting 1.5 hours. I really recommend to take one of these if you can, even if your degree is not Spanish, as whilst it is possible to come to Mexico and study without knowing Spanish, I think it is always good to learn some of the local language. Another I would recommend to all is Cultura de Mexico, or Mexican culture. This class runs in both Spanish and English and it a great way of getting to know more about the customs of this country and its people. Included in the class is trips to a local market and trips to nearby Mexico City.. Now, and this is more specifically for those studying Spanish, the other classes I have taken this semester and those I took last semester are:
Fonetica yFonologia – This class focuses on the correct pronunciation in Spanish.
Distrezas Comunicativas II Y III – This is a class focused on improving conversational skills in Spanish, and one I really recommend.
Fundamentos de la escritura- A back to basics course in writing correctly in Spanish
Literatura, cine y cultura – Analysing films from all around the world
Literatura y poder en Latinoamerica- Analysing novels from Latin american authors, which focus on issues or concepts important in these countries
Times and punctuality
Classes can begin and finish earlier and later than in Glasgow. The earliest to have a class a class is at 7am which, thank goodness, I have managed to avoid. The latest can finish at 10pm, of which I have one class this semester – a strange feeling to be going to class when i usually would be eating but one I will just need to get used too. Class either lasts 1.5 hours or 3 hours. As I think i have already mentioned in a previous post, punctuality to classes is a serious thing here. Technically, there is a 5 minute window in which you can arrive to classes. For example if you’re class begins at 10, you have from 10-10.05 to arrive, and if you arrive after you would receive an absence. However, how strict this is followed depends on the teacher. From my experience, the teachers who teach the international classes, tend to be more lenient, but I do have one teacher this semester who will give you an absence if you arrive even 1 min late!
This is something to watch out for, as here every class a register is taken, and if you have over a certain amount of absences, you will fail the class. It is an interesting, and different way to Glasgow´s system, and I have to say i prefer the system back home. For me, you should be going to a class because you want to, not because you ´have to´ or else you fail. The way it works right now is you are entitled to 3 weeks of absense from a class, this is to say if you have a class once a week lasting 3 hours, you are entitled to miss it 3 times.
Level of difficulty/work
Of course this aspect varies in each class. I would say the ´international´ classes, as to be expected, give less home work, as they are aware that everyone is here to experience Mexico and not just study. Other classes there is more work, such as my literature class there is a book assigned for us to read every week etc. However this I do not find a huge amount of work, it only takes longer as the books are all in Spanish. Perhaps there is less amount of work to do for the end of the semester, or the ´finales´, as here we have partial exams too, and a lot of your overall grade weighting is determined throughout the semester.
Thanks for reading, I really hope it has been useful to anyone interested, or coming to the Tec! As always any questions just send me an email 2196715P@student.gla.ac.uk or on Facebook as Kirsten Phillip.
Once again apologies for the loooong delay between posts but I will have 2 more up in the following days with more of what Mexico has to offer! Including pics