1 Exchange semester in Cuernavaca by Alje Dijkema 1 st semester 2014/2015 A General report 1. Host institution and exact dates of semester abroad Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Cuernavaca. Address: Cuernavaca - Chilpancingo, Real del Puente, Xochitepec, MOR. The study period for the 1 st semester was from august 4 till December 9, Contact with home faculty, preparation and journey There was some contact with the home faculty for information concerning the Marco Polo grant and the courses I wanted to follow. Other than that, no real contact was needed. When you re preparing for your stay abroad, make sure you have the following: - All necessary documents and papers (valid passport, all papers from the host faculty, your vaccine book, ticket, hostel booking papers, etc.). - The required vaccinations. These might not be checked when you arrive, but it is for your own safety. - Book a hostel before going. This gives you some peace of mind when you arrive. When travelling to Cuernavaca, it is easiest to fly to Mexico City. From there you can take a bus for about 12,- to Cuernavaca. Although it is very alluring to pack as much as possible, since you re going away for a long time, better to not do it. Stick to one big suitcase or backpack that you check in, and take a smaller suitcase or backpack with you onboard. You will be dragging it around a few times before you find a house, and when you go travelling at the end of the semester, you might have to take it with you.
2 3. Residence abroad Arrangements visa/ residence permit At the moment there are no visa requirements if you stay shorter than 180 days. Make sure you check this before leaving, this changes from time to time. Kind of vaccinations and how to prepare the health check Hepatitis A/B, Tetanus, Typhoid. Check this as well, sometimes this changes. Furthermore, there are areas with malaria and rabies is still a danger. Avoid wild animals at all costs, even dogs or cats on the streets. Arrival and departure dates I arrived the July 30, 5 days before the semester started. During these days I explored the city, looked for a room and met some of the other exchange students who stayed in the same hostel. My departure date is the 17 th of December. Some students leave before the holidays, others at the end of January. This really depends on whether you want to travel or not. Accommodation The first few days I stayed at Hostel Experiencia Cuernavaca. The host university recommended this. It was very quiet and not really clean or well kept. Two other exchange students stayed there as well and we started looking for a house together. At first we found one called Posada Cocos, in the street Puerto Belgica. The owner was very nice and had 12 rooms, all fairly big, as well as a common kitchen and pool area. It was very decent, especially for Mexican standards, but also expensive. We had to pay 4500 pesos a month, around 250,-. After staying there for a week, a Mexican student at school advised us about another house being available for 9 students, called Skybrux. The address is: Otoño 82, Lomas de Trujillo, Tres de Mayo, Morelos This is the place I recommend. We stayed here for the remainder of our semester for only 4000 pesos a month per person. It has a big garden, pool, garage, three separate apartments with everything you need. Reception and introduction The first week was an introduction week. We got a campus tour, signed up for classes, got introductory lectures on the university and Mexican culture. It also included a day trip to a nearby city and a day of introduction games and activities with all the other new students. The staff was very nice and helpful, any questions you had you could ask and finding the right courses was something that they helped with a lot.
3 Student life, culture and leisure Most students still live with their parents, this is very normal. The culture is very open and friendly and Mexicans like nothing more than meeting someone from a different culture. Expect to be invited to plenty of parties, dinners, etc. Everyone is friendly and very willing to help you out, although don t trust everyone you meet on the street or when going out. The students usually spend entire days on campus, to go to class, study and do sports or other activities. Exchange students join in this routine pretty quickly, although most go home earlier to enjoy the sun by the pool, grab a bite to eat, or grab a drink. Leisure during the week was usually spent by the pool. The city has very little to offer in terms of activities or interesting sites, and after a few weeks of exploring you will have seen most of it. During the weekends we either stayed at home to chill out and party, or we went away. Some of the cities we visited are Acapulco, Taxco, Oaxaca, Mexico City (very often), Puerto Escondido and Puebla. Language On campus most people speak some English or at least understand it. Outside, most people don t. You can find your way around without speaking Spanish, but it is going to be a lot harder. My advice would be to take at least some preparatory classes or do a language course before the semester starts, it will save you a lot of hassle. 4. Grant - Amount : more or less 1000,- - Information on the adequacy of the grant etc. The grant allows you to buy a return ticket, if you re lucky and find a cheap one. Other than this you are on your own. Mexico is not expensive compared to Europe, but it certainly isn t cheap. - Overall information about expenses abroad (living, food, travelling, vaccinations Housing: 250,- Transport: Taxi s from and to school: around 4,- per ride Food: lunch at school costs 3,-, going out for dinner 10,- and groceries costs about the same as in Europe. Travelling: Hostels cost 10,- per night, buses depend on the destination but are not cheap. Anywhere from 6 to 40 per ride. Vaccinations: Are covered by a decent insurance.
4 5. Study (general) - Introduction, general advice, etc. The level of the courses is generally easier than back at home. However, you have to attend all the classes and you cannot be absent for more than a total of three weeks, after which you will automatically fail a subject. Also, almost every course gives homework on a weekly basis. Assignments, essays, presentations etc. With 6 courses this means having classes 18 hours a week. Add to this the time between classes and the time you spend on homework and you will easily spend around 30 hours on campus/on your studies. In the first week of classes you are still allowed to switch. Attend as many classes as you can to find out which ones you like and to see what is required of you. This way you can make an educated decision and save yourself some headaches later on in the semester. - Dates of beginning and end of lecture series and examination period Lectures began on August 10 and end on November 27. There are three exam periods, two of which are partials and one final. The final exams are from 27 November till 9 December (2014). - Remarks on the organization of the study program Every teacher is allowed to design their own syllabus. They also change these from time to time, meaning that some classes are given one semester and cancelled the next. Also, subjects that don t get enough enrolled students are cancelled. However, if you find enough students to join you in the first week, you can ask the teacher to commence with the classes still. - Study facilities/ International Office abroad The campus facilities are very nice. A big library and computer room allow you to study quietly or to do your assignments. You can rent books for free and almost all books that you might need are there. The classrooms are very decent and contain a beamer and computer. The international office is very friendly and helpful. Any problems you have they will help you with, whether it is personal, study related or whatever. - Summary of subjects taken Check the specific report for a summary on each course.
5 6. Other relevant info you want to share with our future exchange students Cuernavaca is not a big city to Mexican standards, but it will still take you a lot of time to get around. When you look for a room/house, get one that is close to the school, not to the center. Also, it is a lot of fun to live together with other exchange students, so once you meet a few of them you like, start looking together. Don t settle for the first thing you find, there are plenty of options. 7. Summary impression of the study period abroad and any advice/suggestions/tips for students or academic staff who will be involved with the host institution in the future. Overall the period abroad was a lot of fun. The courses are interesting, even though the university is run more like a high school. Mexicans like to see Mexico as a first world country, but it is not. Far from it. Mexico is still very dangerous and wherever you go, be cautious. Most violence is directed at gang members or other conspicuous members of society, but innocents do get caught in the mess at times. So be careful. Furthermore, time is relative and coming on time is not something Mexicans do often. Keep this in mind to avoid frustration.
6 B Specific report (Separate report for each subject) 1. Host institution and study period Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Cuernavaca. Address: Cuernavaca - Chilpancingo, Real del Puente, Xochitepec, MOR. The study period for the 1 st semester was from august 4 till December 9, Lectures and literature - Number of lectures and seminars per week; number of lecture weeks I attended a total of 6 courses, each consisting of 3 hour classes a week. Some courses had the total three hours in a row, some were split up into two 1.5 hour classes. So a total of 18 hours a week. The semester had a total of 16 lectures weeks and a week of final exams and projects. Management and Business Model Innovation (Spanish) Course objective: The student will be able to analyze and identify how the strategies for the management and business model innovation generate value in organizations. Students should also be able to understand the role of technology in order to respond with greater strategic flexibility to the ever- changing business environment. The course discusses a combination of management and international business and can be comparable to International Business, although this subject uses the discussed theories and applies them to what- if scenarios and cases. Grading: The course was graded based on two partials (each 30%) and a final exam (40%). The two partials included an exam (75%), weekly quizzes (10%) and a number of activities (15%). Suggested Bibliography: TEXT BOOKS: * Richard L. Daft y Dorothy Marcic, Introducción a la Administración, Sexta, CENGAGE Learning,,, Español, [ ]
7 Integrated Marketing Communication Course objective: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to plan, design, produce, manage and assess marketing communication strategies for brands, products, services and organizations, highlighting the design and creative production of graphic and audiovisual materials and applying communication, marketing, consumer behavior, advertising, corporate image, public relations, graphic design, photography, audiovisual production and interactive design concepts, tools and techniques. Students will reflect on the ethical, legal and social issues of marketing and advertising, as well as the possible consequences for themselves as individuals, their organization and society of not observing the activity s codes of ethics and regulatory framework. Because IB only discusses a limited amount of marketing, this course allows delving deeper into the subject. Especially for those considering taking a master in marketing, this course can be very insightful in ascertaining whether or not it is an interesting subject. Suggested Bibliography: TEXT BOOKS: * Belch, G. & Belch, M., Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective (8a. ed.)., 8a. ed., McGraw- Hill.,,, Inglés, * Arens, William F., Publicidad / William F. Arens, Michael F. Weigold, Christian Arens ; revisión técnica, Ivonne Raso Arcaute, Jean Domette N. ; traductores Claudia Cabrera y Jorge A. Velázquez Arellano., 11a ed., en espan~ol., México, D.F. : McGraw Hill, 2008.,,, spaeng, [ ],[ ] * Pricken, Mario., Creative advertising : ideas and techniques from the world's best campaigns / Mario Pricken., New ed., rev. and updated., New York : Thames & Hudson, 2008.,,, engger, [ (ru stica)],[ (ru stica)] The course consisted of two partial grades, each weighing 25%, and one final project that was 50% of the total grade. The partials consisted of several essays that had to be written and presented in teams. Some were cases.
8 Consumer Behavior Course objective: At the end of this course students should have a clearer perspective of consumer behavior analysis as a foundation for making Marketing decisions. They should be able to analyze the implications that consumer behavior has for areas such as marketing, public policy and ethics; understand more about their own consumer habits, resulting in personal and professional growth through the enhancement of their abilities to work collaboratively, honestly, responsibly and respectfully within society; improve their critical thinking, creativity and problem- solving abilities, applied to consumer information analysis, organizing the information obtained into a significant conceptual framework, in which concepts and theories from psychology, sociology and anthropology, disciplines on which consumer analysis is based, should be critically assessed. The course builds on any marketing related courses in a more consumer based view. It is an excellent course to take when interested in marketing and there are no courses in the IB program that are similar. We were graded on a total of 8 activities that we had to write and present. The activities mostly consisted of a number of questions taken from the book that had to be answered. Some were cases, others merely material related. Suggested Bibliography: TEXT BOOKS: Consumer Behavior - Building Marketing Strategy ELEVENTH EDITION, by Del I. Hawkins and David L. Mothersbaugh * Schiffman, Leon G., Consumer behavior / Leon G. Schiffman, Leslie Lazar Kanuk., 8th ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ : Pearson Prentice Hall, c2004., New Jersey, c2004., eng, [ ],[ ] * Hoyer, Wayne D., Consumer behavior / Wayne D. Hoyer, Deborah J. MacInnis., 3rd ed., Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2004., Massachusetts, c2004., eng, [ ]
9 Geopolitics and Global Changes (Spanish) Course objective: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to perceive, analyze and interpret events, processes and phenomena in the global political scenario from a specific geopolitical and geostrategic perspective. The course focuses in particular on the causes of international conflicts, their development and possible solution. Students will also obtain clear, precise information on the distribution and exploitation of natural resources and their relationship with the use of force to take control of the areas that possess them. The course is related to international relations studies, meaning that there are no comparable courses in the IB program. The course was graded as follows: Two partials and one final grade. Each partial consisted of an exam that counted for 60% and a number of essays, whose average counted for the other 40%. The final was a team- project about any of the treated subjects where you had to involve the community, write an action plan to do this and make a movie with the results of your work. Suggested Bibliography: * Flint, Colin (Colin Robert)., Introduction to geopolitics / Colin Flint.,, London : Routledge, 2006.,,,, [ (encuadernado : papel alcalino)],[ x (ru stica : papel alcalino)],[ (encuadernado : papel alcalino)],[ (ru stica : papel alcalino)] Entreprise Economics (Spanish) A primary course on business economics, focusing mainly on microeconomics. How do markets affect a firms ability to operate, produce and sell products. Uses mathemethics to analyze consumer and producer behavior after and before they make decisions in the market. Learn to calculate the effects of price discrimination, the effect that different types of markets have on enterprises and the models that belong to each. The course was graded on two partial exams, both counting for 35% of the final grade, and one final exam of 30%. There was no homework. The course is similar to the economics courses given in IB, the difference being that this course focuses micro economics instead of macro economics. Suggested Bibliography: Parkin, Michael, 1939-, Microeconomía / Michael Parkin, Eduardo Loría Díaz ; traducción, Miguel ángel Sánchez Carrión., 9a ed. /versio n para Latinoame rica., México : Pearson/Educación, 2010.,,, spaeng, [ ]
10 Leadership for Entrepreneurial Development Course objective: Students will be able to enhance their entrepreneurial potential by developing their skills to identify, create and evaluate new feasible business opportunities and business models based on technology and/or innovation, generating the most possible value whilst being socially responsible. The course discussed how to build a business and how to write a business plan from scratch. Subjects that were discussed are: Financial information, including but not limited to: Investment Opportunities, Cash Flow Forecast, Growth of a start- up, Break- even point, Exit strategy/expansion. Products and services: how do you choose a product or service, what to base this decision on. Marketing and Image: how to develop a marketing campaign, what do you take into account, how can create a favorable image for your company. Subjects discussed were: 4 P s, Public relations, Advertising, Social media, Crowdsourcing. Competitor and industry analysis: Discussion of analyzing competition and the industry with models such as SWOT, Porter s five forces, PESTEL, etc. Other subjects that were covered are supply chains, franchises, app development and innovation. For the course we were divided in teams of five. In these teams we had to develop a business, write a business plan and present our progress. For the final presentation a jury made up of teachers and business veterans was invited to judge the plan on a number of predefined points. The course was very hands- on and required a lot of teamwork and creativity. It was very different from what we have in Groningen. I think the course that matches it the most is the Comparative Country studies, although this focuses on an entire country industry instead of a single company.
11 3. Study load - Estimated time spent on the course, if possible separated into the following: lectures, discussion and preparation with other students, study time "in the narrowest sense". Average time spent per week Lectures Discussion and preparation with other students Study time (essays, exams, presentations) Contemporary Management Integrated Marketing Consumer Behavior Geopolitics and Global Changes Business Economics Leadership and Entrepeneurship 3 hours 1 hour 1,5 hours 3 hours 1 hour 1 hour 3 hours 0,5 hour 2 hours 3 hours 1,5 hours 3 hours 3 hours 0 hours 1 hour 3 hours 1 hour 1 hour 4. Assessment in Groningen - For each course, indicate which lecturer conducted the assessment and how many EC were obtained. The teaching lecturers assessed the courses they gave and 5 ECTS were obtained for each course. MT2006 Consumer Behavior English 5 ECTS 100 MT3027 Integrated Marketing Communication English 5 ECTS 100 AD1005 Management and Business Model Innovation Spanish 5 ECTS 90 EC1008 Enterprise Economics Spanish 5 ECTS 95 EM3004 Leadership for Entrepreneurial Development Spanish 5 ECTS 95 RI2031 Geopolitics and Global Changes Spanish 5 ECTS 96