Your guide to living and studying in Merida
Merida is the ideal city to live and study. I lived my whole life in the state of Tabasco and moved to Merida about five years ago to study International Business. I have to say that I’m glad I chose Merida as the city I wanted to move in. I’ve seen the city grow and I’ve grown with it.
From my point of view, and from what I worried about before coming to Merida, these are the things you should know if you are thinking about moving here to work or study:
Merida is, from what I’ve heard, seen and read, one of the safest cities in Mexico. Here you don’t have to worry about that late walk home after school or work because the city is often very calm. Just take a look at local news and you’ll notice. Of course you have to be vigilant, like in any other place in the world, but at least not as much as if you lived in Mexico City or other big cities. If locals see something, they say something. That’s like the rule here.
While having a car is not a necessity, it helps a lot. Some locals consider a car as a symbol of status, I once heard someone say “you’re nobody here if you don’t have a car” but worry not, because mobility in public transport is actually pretty good, buses are not expensive but they are rusty and some routes don’t have a/c so if that’s not a problem for you then you just have to figure out the routes. A way better option is Uber, it works exactly as it works in other parts of the world and soon, Cabify will join the competition. Local taxis are also a good option, but the price is a little bit high for what they offer.
There’s also a company called “El buen chofer” where you can “rent” drivers for a day, a week, or however you prefer. If you walk, be prepared to walk under the sun, get your sunglasses and sun blocker before going out.
I had the privilege of studying in a great University, the Anáhuac Mayab. Studying here opened doors for my future that I didn’t even know existed. “La Mayab” has great mobility programs for students from all over the world and also locals. While studying there I had the opportunity to be part of the Disney College Program, a program which no other University has in Merida.
Other Universities here also have great programs, UADY is a well known University nationally, it’s the number two in medicine after UNAM, while Universidad Modelo is known for the results of their alumni in CENEVAL (an exam you have to do to finish your major).
If you happen to be looking to study other things, like languages, UADY offers courses and even majors in some of them. There’s even a public institute Called Confusio where you can study Mandarin full time and also aim for a scholarship in China.
It’s just a matter of research to find which insititution is the ideal for you.
Nightlife here is so broad and for all tastes and what’s best about it, is that (compared to other states and countries) it’s also cheap. If you happen to enjoy those hipster places where people just dance and enjoy themselves then Cantinas in Downtown are for you, there are plenty of cantinas in Downtown Merida such as La Mezca, Mayan Pub, La Pulquerida, Pipiripau, La Negrita … well the list is endless, and all of those places are fun to visit, the only bummer is getting there, because if you have a car then parking is a little bit hard to find and if you don’t, then getting there is a problem, it’s easier to carpool and pay for parking.
If you enjoy fancy night outs where you have to wear your best looks and “farolear”(snob) for a night then there are clubs like Shotimilco, Tequila and Poem in the north of Merida.
The best part. Yucatan has a LOT to offer, you’ll never finish visiting the beaches, the cenotes, the museums, etc. From Chichen Itzá to Las Coloradas, Sundays are the best day to make a road trip with your friends, since mostly anything tourisitc is free on sunday (showing your ID).
Yucatecans are the most welcoming people I’ve ever met, hospitality is everything to them, just ask for directions and you’ll notice how they’ll stop everything they’re doing just to help you get there. Some people say Yucatecans are “closed people”, that they don’t get along with people from other groups but that’s the biggest lie I’ve ever heard, YOU are the one who has to approach people, the thing is, people tend to think Yucatecans “hate foreigners” but the truth is most of them don’t care, I’ve come to love many people from Yucatan and they’ve become like my family away from my real family.
This of course depends on what you want to do with your life after you finish college, but if you happen to choose to stay in Merida to live then you have to know that there are plenty of opportunities here, as the city keeps expanding so do jobs, you just have to be patient, remember that what is good takes time. Yucatan is a touristic city, but it also has a port, two airports, tons of real estate properties, factories, universities, etc, so it is a nice place to start planning your career path.
If you want to see the pictures in better quality you can check out my instagram.
By Guillermina Santana, International Business Student, Anáhuac Mayab University, for TYT