Mexico, or officially the United Mexican States, is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. It is also the 7th most visited country globally, according to World Tourism rankings. With 31 UNESCO World Heritage sites, a unique blend of cultures, and a satisfying climate, why wouldn’t it be?
But besides tourism, Mexico is becoming one of the largest studies abroad destinations in North America for international students, too. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Mexico for international students.
Is Mexico Good for International Students to Study In?
Mexico has one of the largest economies globally and the country invests predominantly in education. There are nearly 1250 institutions for higher education, including vocational and technical schools. Over half of the universities are state-funded or public, which are regarded as more prestigious. Most universities have received autonomous status as well, which is equivalent to the US’ regionally accredited universities.
Tuition and living costs will depend on the program and the state the university is located in. However, international students can expect to pay between 4500-5500 USD only per semester. This modest fee covers study fees, accommodation, meals, and supplies. Furthermore, most universities offer scholarships and grants to deserving international students.
Mexican universities offer degree programs in almost all fields of knowledge. Most programs are in Spanish, and students fluent in the language or interested in learning may find it very rewarding to study in the country. Nonetheless, there is an increasing number of programs in English and other languages, too.
Can International Students Work in Mexico While Studying?
International students and holders of a Mexican student visa are generally not allowed to work while studying in universities. If you really wish to work and have received a job offer, your Mexican employer must apply for an official Work Permit at the National Immigration Institute on your behalf.
Check Also: Available Programs for International Students
Can International Students Stay in Mexico After Graduation?
Foreign university graduates who want to stay in Mexico after their studies need to replace their student visas with another type of residency permit. Usually, foreign nationals apply for the Temporary Residence Permit from their home countries, which will allow them to stay in Mexico for more than 180 days. But if you have a job offer right after graduation, you can directly apply for a Mexico Work Permit with the National Immigration Institute.
Top Universities in Mexico for International Students
1. Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM)
The Metropolitan Autonomous University, or the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, is the best university in Mexico for international students. It was established in 1974 to answer a need for education reform in Mexico. The UAM offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Basic Sciences & Engineering, Biological Sciences & Health, Communications Sciences & Design, Natural Sciences & Engineering, Social Sciences & Humanities, and Science & Arts for Design. The university was the first to offer programs in Environmental Engineering as it aims to have a strong link to the human and social environment.
The UAM is composed of five academic units with campuses spread out in Mexico City and adjacent states. Every campus includes foreign language centers, sports facilities, medical centers, a library, several bookshops, and other student services.
2. Monterrey Institute of Technology
The Monterrey Institute of Technology is a private secular university system with 26 campuses across the country, as well as 18 offices around the world. It was founded in 1943 by local businessmen to educate and produce highly skilled individuals for the booming Monterrey corporations at the time. Today, it educates local and international students on Engineering, Medicine, Management, Social, Arts, and Human Sciences, and with the values of entrepreneurship, efficiency, and responsibility.
Internationalization has always been a priority at this top university in Mexico and it was the first foreign academic institution to be accredited by SACS or Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a highly-recognized accreditation agency by the US.
3. National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
The National Autonomous University of Mexico is the largest institution for higher education in Latin America. The public research university was established in 1910 and has since produced several eminent politicians, artists, scientists, and notable personalities of the nation. It comprises 20 schools in a wide range of disciplines and eight national schools more focused on practical experience. The UNAM also manages an Open University and Distance Education System, as well as scientific research institutions focusing on renewable energies, biomedical sciences, and nuclear sciences.
The UNAM has one of the most expansive campuses in the world, while the main campus is a recognized World Heritage Site. The university has active student associations, annual cultural traditions, and year-round sporting activities.
4. Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC)
The Autonomous University of Baja California, one of the best Mexican universities for international students, is a public state university that focuses on teaching, research, and outreach services. It has three main campuses in Baja California, while five other branches are spread out in Mexico. The university has several study programs for international students, ranging from humanities and law to health and natural sciences, to engineering and architecture, which are among the 16 academic divisions.
The university educates over 64,000 students through more than 1300 full-time faculty members. UABC provides a holistic education with comprehensive tutoring services, industry-linked internships, entrepreneurship, and engagement in cultural and sports activities.
5. Autonomous University of Hidalgo State (UAEH)
The Autonomous University of Hidalgo State, or the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, is a public university located in Pachuca, Hidalgo State of Mexico. This top university in Mexico was established in 1869 and traces its roots to the Literary Institute and School of Arts and Crafts in the same region. Today, it educates students in the following areas of knowledge: Physical Math & Earth Science, Biology & Chemistry, Medicine & Health Sciences, Humanities & Behavioral Sciences, Social Sciences & Economics, Biotechnology & Agricultural Sciences, and Engineering Sciences.
The UAEH is active with multidisciplinary research as well, with a focus on Environmental Geology and Gerontology. As one of the oldest universities in Mexico and Latin America, the UAEH is home to 40000 students, including international learners.
6. Autonomous University of Mexico State (UAEM)
The Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) is one of Mexico’s leading universities in terms of globalization and international cooperation. It’s one of the best schools in Mexico. The UAEM values fostering connections with other Higher Education Institutions. Their departments include Academic Development, Vocational training, Internationalization Management Services, Foreign students, Planning and Administrative Support Unit, and IT Unit.
Semesters are divided into “odd” and “even”. Programs under the odd semesters are offered from August to December while those under even semesters are released during the months of February to June. International students are invited to enroll in all of the courses save for the medical internships because of the limited hospital capacity.
7. Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL)
The Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL) is a top university in Mexico consisting of six campuses: Mederos, Ciencias Agropecuarias, Ciudad Universitaria, Ciencias de la Salud, Sabinas Hidalgo and Linares. UANL strives to create an atmosphere of cooperation and inspiration where possibilities for students are endless. This can be achieved through the university’s framework: government-business-academy.
Focusing on multi-cultural engagement amongst the students and inter-organization collaboration on local and global agenda, the UANL’s Department of Student Affairs holds projects and initiatives that international students can be part of. Likewise, the Department of Athletics conducts athletic trainings under club teams open to all students.
8. National Technological Institute of Mexico (TecNM)
The National Technological Institute of Mexico (TecNM) is part of the Technological Institute founded in 1948. Currently, TecNM houses a total of 254 institutions including the notable Interdisciplinary Center for Research and Teaching in Technical Education (CIIDET) and a National Center for Technological Research and Development (CENIDET). In TecNM, the improvement of technology and science are forged towards the betterment of Mexico’s economic, social and cultural landscape.
Upon acceptance in TecNM, students can enjoy school events such as the National Meeting of Escorts and War Bands of the TecNM and National Sports Event (OMETEOTL Award). For those international students who are fond of sports, TecNM is the perfect university for you.
9. Autonomous University of Querétaro (UAQ)
With the unconditional support from the Queterana community, the Autonomous University of Querétaro (UAQ) remains a top-ranking university in Mexico. UAQ is known for their 26 onsite and online libraries and Intensive Summer Programs which trains students to give back to local communities during summer period.
Students also benefit from access to the online university portal where enrollment, acquisition of transcripts and certificates, and consultation of academic statements are conducted. Furthermore, student life is made easier with the strong online presence of UAQ as it also has its own virtual university where teachers and students can communicate.
10. Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY)
The Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY) is the 8th best university in Mexico, according to the Times Higher Education and Scemago Ranking of Universities. UADY is a public university that encourages their faculty and student to create innovative solutions that would address timely issues in science, humanities, and technology.
The General Coordination of Cooperation and Internationalization (CGCI) is established to forward the university strategy of internalization. The CGCI aims to put the university in the forefront of academic innovations and a world-class education. Students can enjoy flexible learning; they can opt for face-to-face, mixed or virtual education.
11. Autonomous University of Sinaloa
Formerly known as Rosales Lyceum, the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS) was established in Culiacan, Sinaloa in 1873. The university boasts of its accreditation from the ANUEIS and Secretariat of Public Education of Mexico. The excellence of UAS in its field in higher education stems from the university values of honesty, equity, freedom, and solidarity.
Athletic international students may also become part of the prestigious UAS varsity teams which won several medals and trophies in the local and national level. UAS also holds Suicide Prevention Course-Workshop together with the Mexican Ministry of Health.
12. University of Guadalajara (UdeG)
The University of Guadalajara (UdeG) has a wide range of vocational, high school, undergraduate, and graduate degrees to choose from. Not to mention, UdeG played a votal role in the artistic and cultural scene in western Mexico.
International students are deemed at par and equal with local students in UdeG. The university ascertains that each and every international student shall enjoy similar rights and possess the same obligations under the Organic Law.
13. University of Colima
The University of Colima is a 5-campus university located within the borders of Colima, Mexico. The university offers degrees in Education, Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, Health Sciences, and Business Administration among others. Internship programs specializing in Chemistry, Hospitality, International Trade, Medicine, and Multidisciplinary Community Care can also be taken.
Students spend an average of 25 to 30 hours on coursework weekly. Extra-curricular activities exist for those who want to maximize their time at the university. Students can participate in intercultural dialogues at high schools and departments of the University of Colima and at the Colonia Mirador de la Cumbre II.
14. Anáhuac Network of Universities (Red de Universidades Anáhuac)
Belonging in the top 2% of best universities in the globe, the Anáhuac Network of Universities is also among the top 3 private universities in Mexico. Anáhuac University currently offers a diverse range of bachelor’s degrees which includes Surgery, Biotechnology, and Industrial Engineering for Management. They also have specializations, graduate, and post-graduate degrees in Actuarial Science and Mathematics, Law, and Education.
Involvement is the key to getting the best out of Anáhuac. International students are invited to school-sponsored events such as Recruitment Day and Integration Day. They can also visit Anáhuac Beach and be members of the Federation of Student Associations (FESAL).
15. Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP)
Backed by Mexico’s Secretary of Public Education (SEP), the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP) is a renowned university granting Licenciatura and Bachelor’s degrees for international students. Completing a Licenciatura program allows a student to acquire a job title.
Some of the services international students within the campus can avail themselves include Food Services, Banks and ATMs, Libraries, and Residential Colleges. International students can also be part of the Cultural Representative Teams (CRTs). These CRTs take pride in representing their local communities while nurturing solidarity and collegiality in the student body.
We hope that this article on the best universities in Mexico for international students was helpful! To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!