I have now been in Mexico City for about a month and it has been an interesting experience so far. For starters, attending university in Mexico City is very different from going to school in Evanston. Unlike students at Northwestern, students at Universidad Panamericana (UP) are all commuters. This means that socializing with other students outside of class takes more effort as not everyone lives close to the university. Furthermore, because students here start preparing for a set career since their first year, it is a little harder to meet and interact with students pursuing a career different from one’s own.
Another aspect of attending school at UP that differs from the Northwestern experience is the role religion plays on the way the school’s appearance is maintained. For example, many of the classrooms at UP have a picture of the Virgen de Guadalupe hanging from the walls. Additionally, there are various statues around campus that proudly display the university’s Catholic background. Religion also plays a role in the way the medical students, specifically, practice their skills. One example of this is how medical students at UP are discouraged from instructing the patients they see during their year of clinical rounds on how to use birth control.
Overall, attending school at UP is challenging me to think of different ways to form meaningful friendships with other students and of the role culture, particularly religion, has on the way medicine is practiced every day not only here but also in the US.