Spain or Mexico

Hi all, I am a Psychology and Spanish double major with a minor in Peace and Global Studies, and I plan to study abroad in Fall 2021. My goals are to become fluent in Spanish, immerse myself in a new culture, make connections with people who are different from me, and gain something for my professional goals of doing some kind of work in international/intercultural human services. I am choosing between two programs. Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and Loyola Andalucía in Seville or Córdoba, Spain. I have had some initial pulls toward Mexico because I would likely be working with Mexicans in the US and because I care about learning about people many Americans don’t know about, but I also cannot help but feel a little worried about my safety in such a big city. I do not like making assumptions about people and I prefer to see the good in people but I come from a very small town, and I am worried about feeling so nervous during my semester abroad that I can’t enjoy it due to my awareness of a crime rate that is greater than my town especially towards American females. One benefit I see to Spain is that it feels much safer. However, I do not know if I will get as much out of it in terms of my professional goals. I don’t want to count out Mexico due to over-exaggerated fears, but I also want to feel safe and be able to enjoy my semester abroad. I’m really struggling between these two programs and I would love some advice or input from people, especially those who may have studied abroad in or visited these countries or universities. I would love all input, but if you could specify where you’re drawing your opinions from that would be great so I can accurately compare. Thank you!

My daughter had those options for an internship.

She chose Madrid because, although she is Mexican-American and speaks Spanish, she has largely caucasian features and is tall and stands out (which would work in DF, but would stand out in Oaxaca-where her assignment would be in Mexico during mosquito season).

We spoke to several of her advisors, as well as family professors who have taught abroad, and we settled with Madrid because of their approaches and investigational research of medicine- both holistic and western.

But she had two incidences in Spain which she did not report to us-an attack at an ATM which was immediately interceded by others to protect her, and another situation which she doesn’t want to discuss. Spain does have issues with the “gypsies”. So, choose your battles; no place is 100% safe.