During the most recent summer vacation we had, I joined the exchange program of studying Spanish and Mexican culture at UNAM in Mexico City for July and August. This was my first time in Mexico and, before I visited, I thought Mexico was one of the most dangerous places in the world because I read some articles about terrible accidents specifically caused by cartels in Mexico. However, I was surprised when during my whole stay in Mexico, I did not feel in danger nor get into any accidents.

I took Spanish and Merengue, which is a traditional Mexican dance at the university. The Spanish class was so interesting and the best part about it for me was that there were a lot of opportunities to talk or discuss with classmates from various countries in Spanish, which contributed to the improvement of my speaking ability. Also, I enjoyed the Merengue class. The surprising thing was that we had to present our dance in front of every student at the end of the semester. We practiced so hard that in the end, it was a great memory.

In addition, there was a cafeteria, which served delicious Mexican food like tacos, quesadillas, Pescado, which is fish, and so on. I really enjoyed the food, especially the quesadillas almost every day and enjoyed the conversation with other students in both English and Spanish. Campus life was impressive for me and I really want to go back again if I am able to.

Furthermore, as a school trip through UMass Boston, we went to Teotihuacan and San Miguel de Allende. Teotihuacan is 30 miles northeast of Mexico City and famous for various types of ancient pyramids, which are registered as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site. Among various types of pyramids, there are two bigger pyramids which are of the sun and moon. We climbed both of these pyramids. I felt the higher we went up, the better the scenery became. Although it was a tough exercise, I was really satisfied with the excellent view from the top.

San Miguel de Allende is in northern Mexico, and the entire city is a registered World Heritage historical site with UNESCO. The city was really colorful, everything was within walking distance, and there were no bad points for me. We were able to visit so many sightseeing places thanks to the warm support of the professors of UNAM in San Miguel de Allende. Among the places we visited, my favorite place was the Mirador, which we went to by trolley bus. When I saw the amazing scenery from the Mirador, I thought I would migrate to San Miguel de Allende when I retire as many immigrants from various countries choose to live there.

After the exchange program, I visited Tolantongo by myself, which is famous for the natural hot spring. It takes almost three hours from Mexico City by bus. Most of the hot springs are in nature so you can enjoy the magnificent view while you soak in the warm water. The temperature of the hot spring was not too hot like a heated pool, so I stayed in the same hot spring for about three hours and was able to have plenty of rest and relax.

Overall, I really enjoyed the stay in Mexico. There are still a lot of places I did not have time to visit, so I would love to go back.

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