In an effort to increase diversity on campus, the University is working with a university in Mexico to attract students who want to study at UNM.
Vice President for Student Affairs Cheo Torres said that because most Mexican students participate in study abroad programs in Europe and in Canada, UNM’s program will make the University a competitive option for international students who wish to attend UNM.
“It’s a lot cheaper than going to Europe and it’s a lot closer than going to Canada,” he said. “We’re giving them options and we’re beginning to communicate.”
Torres said UNM is working with the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey also known as Tec de Monterrey, which has about 30 campuses throughout Mexico. He said UNM and Tec de Monterrey are working to develop academic programs for international students.
Torres said the University has collaborated with Tec de Monterrey for the past five years and that he contacted friends who work with student affairs at Tec de Monterrey.
He said that last summer, 12 student affairs administrators from Tec de Monterrey’s Estado de Mexico campus stayed at UNM to learn about the UNM’s administrative processes and to see if the University is a good place to send students. He said the administrators practiced their English through the University’s Center for English Language and American Culture.
“They were very pleased, and they go back to their schools and they improve what they do,” he said. “They are going to be our best ambassadors to the different campuses.”
Torres said another group of administrators will come to the University through the program next summer.
Torres said that the University plans to host a two-week program for high school students in collaboration with Tec de Monterrey’s Toluca campus. He said the program will likely happen during spring break and will host a class of 40 to 60 students from Mexico.
“High school students, we love to have them here because seniors and juniors can explore the opportunities,” he said. “It’s a win-win for both universities. We learn about each other, we share ideas, and we open the doors for students to have opportunities to stay and to study abroad both ways.”
Torres said the most popular fields of study for Mexican students at UNM are engineering, business and journalism. He said he encourages students to participate in international programs as a good way to learn more about the world and spruce up their résumés.
“Any time you do a study abroad, it’s going to broaden your horizon and make you a better person,” he said. “Globalization is important right now. Our world is getting smaller.”
International Programs and Studies Associate Director Ken Carpenter said UNM students can also study abroad in Mexico through the programs UNM has with Tec de Monterrey. He said the programs allow UNM students to learn Spanish in Mexico.
“Our students get to pay their regular UNM tuition and use all their regular financial aid for those programs, and they don’t have to pay any tuition to the Mexico schools,” he said. “So it is a very inexpensive way to study abroad.”
Carpenter said UNM’s collaboration with universities in Mexico is important because it allows students to learn about other cultures. He said the programs are also beneficial to UNM because exchange students often come back to UNM for their graduate studies.
Carpenter said international students improve the economic standing of the University and the state of New Mexico.
“International students help support the University’s budget and the local economy,” he said. “Last year, it was estimated that international students at UNM contributed around $22 million to the New Mexico economy by studying here.”
Carpenter said international programs are essential to UNM students considering the globalized condition of today’s job market.
“Most UNM students are going to find themselves competing in the global economy and functioning as global citizens,” he said. “We need to learn how to work effectively with people from different backgrounds than ours.”