Two years ago I was lucky to live in Mexico’s City, the biggest city in the world and the second most populated after Tokyo. I studied abroad here six months, and they were the best and longest ones in my life, and you might discover the reason.
Now I’ll speak a little about the school that hosted me during my fifth period as a media’s sciences student, the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
It is the biggest and most important public university in all Latin America, and one of the 100 best in the entire world. It was founded as the Royal Mexican University in 1550, and became National Autonomous last century.
Nowadays it has several campuses around the city, but the main one is still “Ciudad Universitaria”, known also as simply CU. Is located in the south and it covers about 7 square kms. It was named as World Heritage by UNESCO.
My first steps in this college were literally into chaos. Transients’ circulation is always continuous and it never stops. All campus has a public transport service for free, and it works just perfectly. All street are curves, they’re so confusing and it seems to be a labyrinth. Anyways, one can get accustomed.
The UNAM is famous by its strong student and teacher’s identity with their own school. Its main logo is a puma face, and they all call themselves pumas, including their football team. They’re all very proud about themselves, and I actually understood why after a few weeks.
Further than all the academic awards and scores, the university’s got a lot of attractive sites that deserve to be visited.
Most of buildings in campus were built by the best Mexican architects of XX century. One of its wonders is the Central Library. Outside was designed by the artist Juan O’Gorman. It’s made with volcanic stone (very rife in southern Mexico’s lands) and colored rocks brought from all around the country, which make it one of the biggest mosaics in the world. The wall painting portray our pre-hispanic past, our colonial past, contemporary world and modern university and modern Mexico. The entry stone fountain is shaped as Tlaloc, Aztec’s god of the rain.
It worth to say that, beside the library, is the Philosophy and Letters’ School, so that is usual to see many neohippies and new-intellectual artists (hipsters) smoking lots of weed, so you can smell it.
Behind Library is a big green camp, where students chill out in several activities: yoga, football, dancing, bet games, cigarettes, reading, playing music, visual art, improvisational acting and even very close moments between couples. For me and my friends, was the perfect spot to make our picnics.
Around this camp are located most of the schools: medicine, engineering, architecture, law school, philosophy, psychology, dentistry, economy and languages.
On the west side of campus is the Olympic set that hosted the 1968 Olympic Games. Stadium is quite attractive. Is the biggest one in Mexico and displays also a wall painting in stone.
One of the things that cached my attention was the easiness of buying weed. It’s also legal inside campus. Fortunately is nothing to do with dangerous.
South is the newest area in the city. There, among all the forest, appears the University Cultural Center, a set rounded by an ecological reserve. It has two theaters, two cinemas, one dance hall and one concert hall. There is also a contemporary sculpture path, among the deep forest, perfect place to relax and be alone. This is one of my favorite spots, as mountains around Mexico’s City can be seen from many little-high nooks, and you can totally breathe non-polluted air.
And if you get hungry at any time inside, every school’s got its own cafeteria, where you can purchase three-times menu at very cheap fees. Besides, plenty of street food is offered outside borders, but should be careful, most of them are non-hygienic, and if you don’t eat spicy, don’t forget to tell the cooker or waiter).
CU is cross by Insurgentes Avenue (Mexico’s Brodway). So getting into CU is pretty easy: by subway, metrobus, trolebus, bus and combis.
If what you delight in city is outdoor and free air times, being rounded by nature, sporty days, acting shows, hiking, grass’ dew smell, a coffee and a book (or just students life), then University City is something you should not miss.