Placement Information

Partner Organization: U.S.-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (COMEXUS)

Eligible Program Dates: 3‐6 months from January – June 2025 or September‐ December 2025 

Host Institution Expectations: Participants will be placed with a host institution upon acceptance into the program. Host Institutions are typically public universities with a teacher education department. 

Language Requirement: Intermediate – Advanced Spanish 

Dependent Information: An allowance of $2,000 USD per eligible dependent will be provided as part of the grant. Enrolling a dependent in a Mexican public school can be complicated as it demands a lot of paperwork and permissions and can take a considerable amount of time. Non‐residents often enroll their dependents in private institutions where registration can be more easily facilitated. Private schools are approximately between $300 and $500 per month. The American School Foundation is approximately $1,900 per month plus other fees. For more information, please visit their website


Country Overview: Mexico, located in North America, shares borders to the north with the United States; to the south and west with the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast with Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east with the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometers (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of close to 130 million people, Mexico is the tenth most populous country and the most populous Spanish‐speaking country in the world, while being the second largest nation in Latin America after Brazil. 

Mexico is a federal, representative, democratic republic comprising 32 free and sovereign states, with Mexico City being the capital and its most populous city. The country’s government is divided into legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Elections held in the year 2000 marked an important milestone in the country's ongoing democratic transition, as it was the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that the opposition defeated the party in government, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). In 2018, left‐wing Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the presidential election, becoming the country’s 58th president. With a rich cultural history and diversity, and abundant natural resources, Mexico is among the world’s 15 largest economies in the world. The country has strong macroeconomic institutions, and it is open to trade. The country’s rich culture, history, and natural treasures have been recognized by UNESCO. As of 2023, there are 35 World Heritage Sites in Mexico, including twenty‐seven cultural sites, six natural sites, and two mixed sites.  

Educational System Overview: The Mexican educational system can be characterized by a high degree of centralization. Since 1921, the Ministry of Public Education (Secretaría de Educación Pública ‐ SEP) has overseen the country's public education system which now includes nearly 35 million students. Through 32 state departments of education, SEP provides educational services including setting the national standards and curriculum and textbook selection and distribution to the majority of the 260,262 schools in the country.  

While numbers vary from state to state, completion of tertiary education has increased among young adults (25–34‐year‐olds) to 27% and the share of young adults without upper secondary education has fallen. This trend is expected to continue. An educational reform made pre‐primary enrollment compulsory beginning in 2009. Since then, enrollment rates among 3–5‐year‐olds increased from 64% in 2005 to 74% in 2021, close to the OECD average of 86%. Increasing enrollment extends also to the lower secondary level. In addition to increasing enrollment, results in reading, math and science on the OECD’s PISA evaluation have been slowly but steadily improving.  

Many challenges remain, including graduation rates, quality assurance, and undertrained and under‐resourced teachers. Mexico is taking measures to address these and other challenges. For example, a national program to introduce and strengthen English language instruction through primary education was launched in 2009 (PRONI). With significant cultural, economic, political, social, geographic, and historical ties with the United States, now more than ever Mexico provides an important environment in which to undertake educational research. Through initiatives such as the U.S.‐Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research, the U.S. and Mexican governments encourage student, scholar, and teacher exchanges, increasing joint research in areas of mutual interest, and sharing best practices in higher education and innovation.  

Possible Topics of Interest for U.S. Educators:  

• Use of technology in under‐resourced areas (Mexico’s Telesecundaria program has a long history of using technology to reach students in rural areas) 

• Inclusive education for students with diverse learning needs as well as linguistic and cultural backgrounds 

• Teaching English (for young learners in public schools and for specific purposes) 

• Content and language integrated learning, especially in science education 

• Spanish as a second language

• Post‐secondary educational and career counseling 

• Understanding of Mexican culture in order to increase community involvement in student education

• Improving school completion rates 

• Integrating instructional technology into classrooms and increasing technological literacy 

• Foreign language teacher training paths 

• Speaking, reading, and writing separately 

• How children can learn additional languages 

• Diversity, equity, and inclusion in educational environments 

• Sexual Education at school 

• Returning children from the U.S. into Mexican communities