Information before a student internship in Mexico

Mexico

Organisation

United Mexican States, consisting of 31 States.

Population

124,574,795 inhabitants in year 2017 (ranked 11th).

Area

1,964,375 km2 (ranked 14th)

Capital

Mexico City

Currency

The local currency is called Mexican Pesos. It is possible to use American Dollars, however locals will see you as a tourist and prices can be higher. So, don’t hesitate to ask for the price in Pesos as well. Note, that $ signifies Mexican pesos while American dollars are indicated with US$ or USD. The VAT, or Impuesto de valor agregado, is 16% in Mexico. The VAT is always included in the announced rates. Nevertheless, in restaurants and bars it is common to add a 10% tip to the bill.

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Climate and Weather

When speaking of Mexico, the focus is often on the country’s mild weather and its beautiful beaches like i.e. Playa del Carmen. But in reality, this country is so much more than that: the coasts are lined up with mesmerizing beaches while the center of the country contains astounding mountains.
The North is dry and moderate with very hot summers and relatively cold winters. The South has a humid and tropical climate with warm and constant temperatures. Two are two different seasons: The hot and humid period from May to October reaching the highest temperatures between June and September. However, this season also contains strong thunderstorms and frequents rain periods from July to August. The dry season ranges from November to May.

Mexico City shows a temperate climate as the city has an altitude of 2400meters.The dry season covers the months October to May. In the period between October and December, frequent rainfalls occur. Fortunately, the temperatures stay around 24 degrees. From January to March the temperatures vernally with only little rain. The temperatures during the nights and morning move around 11°C. Meanwhile, the highest temperatures can be experienced between March and May. However, thanks to the altitude, the heat remains tolerable and do not exceed 30°C. The humid season lasts from June to September and is marked by heavy rain and thunderstorms. During this period the temperatures fall which can mainly be felt during the colder nights and mornings.

The best times for going to Mexico

Mexico has two main touristic periods throughout the year. The months of July to August welcomes a large number of vacationers due to school holidays. While from February to April the Spring Break seasons attracts thousands of students to celebrate in Cancun. The most quiet months of the year are September and October.

Tourist Seasons in Mexico:

  • Low Season: January, February, March, April, May, June, August, September, October and November.
  • High Season: July.
  • Very high Season: December.

Time Difference

Mexico contains 4 different time zones. However, the majority of the country is in UTC-6. Be careful when changing from winter to summer time as the change of hour does not occur at the same time as in Europe. 
This implies a 1h time shift for a few days in March-April and in October during the summer and winter periods.

Cancún, Tulum, Isla Mujeres
Time difference to UK : less than 5h. UTC-5 (Winter) UTC-4 (Summer)
Mexico, Guadalajara, Acapulco
Time difference to UK : less than 6h UTC-6 (Winter) UTC-5 (Summer)
Chihuahua, Los Cabos, Los Mochis, La Paz (Baja California), Ciudad Juárez
Time difference to UK : less than 7h UTC-7 (Winter) UTC-6 (Summer)
Tijuana, Ensenada, San Felipe (Baja California), Rosarito, San Luis (Valle de los Cirios)
Time difference to UK : less than 8h UTC-8 (Winter) UTC-7 (Summer)

Telephone and Internet

It is possible to use your mobile phone in Mexico. From the main phone providers Telcel and Movistar, who have their stores all over the country, you can for example purchase a SIM Card for less than 4 € 42 and easily communicate via WhatsApp, Facetime, Messenger etc. Moreover, you can always recharge and top up your date volume in one of the gas stations or convenience stores such as Oxxo or 7Eleven.
For international calls:

  • From the UK to Mexico: 00 + 52 + city code + number of the correspondent.
  • From Mexico to the UK: 00 + 44 + number of the correspondent.

For emergencies dial 911. The number allows you to contact police, firefighters and ambulances from a mobile phone.

The Hotspots in Mexico which you cannot miss

Discover all the must-see Travel destinations

Entry Requirements for Mexico

Mexico allows tourists to stay in the country for 180 days without a VISA. It is sufficient to hold a European or Canadian Passport which must be valid for the duration of your stay. Nevertheless, when entering as a tourist you are not allowed to undertake a paid activity. When immigrating as a tourist without a Visa you can only do an unpaid internship. Either in the plane or on the boarder to Mexico you will receive an Immigration Document (Forma Migratoria Mutiple). This Document will be stamped by Mexican Officials. It is important to keep this Document with you as it will be needed when leaving the country. For all paid activities/remunerated internships a Visa is mandatory. The Visa must be requested from the Mexican Embassy in your country prior to your departure.

Warning: In case of entering Mexico through the US it is mandatory to have an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). The registration for the Travel Authorization can be made online via their website. The ESTA registration costs 14USD (11€71) and is valid for 2 years. It is recommended to register for the ESTA at least 72h before the departure (Minimum response time). If purchasing the ESTA at the airport through an agency the costs amount to 50 Euros.

Addresses utiles

British Embassy
Calle Río Lerma 71,
Cuauhtémoc
06500 Ciudad de México
CDMX

Tel: +52 01 55 1670 3200
Email: mexico.consulate@fco.gov.uk

Site Web: https://www.gov.uk/world/mexico

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website informs travelers about possible dangerous areas. Moreover, it offers advice in terms of security and the formalities of entry and stay.

Local information

Stay tuned about exhibitions, concerts and events in Mexico City thanks to the local newspaper Tiempo Libre.

Homesick

Join Facebook groups of travelers and expats in Mexico.

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