After having spent five months in Mexico, I became the ultimate expert of the student life in Mexico. Since I know the ins and outs of the Mexican student life, I’ve listed six points for you to read and prepare when your child goes abroad to Latin America. After reading this article, you will be ready to say your son or daughter goodbye!

Share this article with your parents to make them stop giving you a hard time.

Why I am thé expert

I can imagine that you think: what do you know about going abroad? I’ve been to Mexico for a semester exchange, and I can assure you that it was lit (means amazing)! I hear you asking: what do you know about having children? Well, I’m not a dad, but after some wild parties in Mexico it was a close call though.

I learned that going abroad was not only breaking down my brain cells, it also added knowledge. I learned more about myself because I was put out of my comfort zone and I learned how other people perceived me. I believe that if your child goes abroad, he or she will come back wiser and more experienced.

I am thé expert because I not only went to parties, I also hosted them! I’ve drunk all the Mexican booze there is and I was an expert in the ‘Mañana Mañana’ culture. I’ve done some strong theoretical discoveries during my studies there: I’ve found that the Mañana Mañana culture is ‘significantly correlated’ with tequila!

1. When to Skype

I can already warn you that reaching your child abroad is very difficult. That’s why I will give you a timeslot and explain you why timing is so essential.

First of all, the time difference is important to understand. If you’re from Europe, the time difference with Mexico will be -7 for the main part of the year. In Colombia the time difference is -6 or -7 if you’re from Europe, and Curacao has a difference of -5 or -6. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll just use the times of where your child is abroad.

Understand that your son or daughter has a busy schedule. At 11:30am they’ll usually wake up, and the next two hours are planned for processing the hangover. Although Skyping with your child at that time might give you a glance of who could potentially be the mother or father of your grandchild, these are stressful hours and we HIGHLY recommend you not to skype! If your child likes the away game, another hour is added for not to Skype them, because he or she will have to travel back home first.

If you’re planning to call after 5pm, don’t. Your child is probably avoiding traffic jam and arrives early at the pre-drinks. So at 5pm they’ll get their first drink and the first hour should be dedicated to catching up with friends. At 6pm he or she will be drunk and having a good conversation will be rare. This will take until the next morning, so don’t bother Skyping them in the evening at all actually.

I’d also recommend not to call them during the weekends. Your child will be travelling to world’s most beautiful places in the weekends. They will either not have internet or time to talk to you.

The perfect time to call is between 1:30pm and 5pm during the weekdays. These hours are meant for study, so no problem reaching them ;)!

2. If you should visit

My mom wanted to visit Mexico as well while I was there. But I’d warn you to do so. The culture shock is real when you’re not prepared! In order to prepare for the culture shock, please follow the preparation bootcamp below:

  • From 3 to 2 months prior to your visit: start with drinking one beer* or wine* every two hours from 6 pm to 2 am. Tip: buy the cheapest beer or wine you can get in order to minimize the culture shock.
  • From 2 to 1 month prior to your visit: drink both a beer and wine every hour from 6 pm to 9 pm. After 9 pm, mix them together before drinking it.
  • From 1 month prior to the visit: drink 4 beers or wines and 6 Tequila shots every hour from 6 pm to 10 pm. Throw up at 10 pm and continue while adding 2 Tequila shots every hour until 3 am.

I’m not liable for any damages caused by this preparation schedule.

3. Ensure safety

As young people can be a little uncautious, I believe you can definitely help your child prepare. I recommend that when the time comes your child goes abroad, to give him or her a goodie bag. Include 25 condoms, 5 packs of strong Ibuprofen and a map so they can always find their way back home if they are out of battery. At Tellanto we say: “Better safe than sorry!”

4. Welcome back home

As we recommend you to turn up the drinking game before you go visit your child, the same applies in reverse when your child comes back. I believe it is medically irresponsible to let your child stop drinking cold turkey when he or she comes back. A sophisticated, well calculated and researched rehabilitation program is essential.

As I would love to build a schedule for you, this is something very complex. It depends on many different factors. For example, has your child been drinking tequila from Puebla, was it Mexican City tequila or even rum from Medellín? Other factors are the humidity, temperature and amount of Scottish people involved.

5. Get to know the culture

Whether you will be visiting your child in Latin America or not, getting to know the culture is highly recommended. Latin American people find it very important that you understand their culture. An example of how it could go wrong when you don’t understand the culture is when your child comes back home with a new flame from Latin America, you don’t want to upset a temperamental Latino or Latina. Yes, chances are big that your child will fall in love with a Latino or Latina, simply because they are beautiful (mainly Colombians!).

This is also why we recommend you to keep your husband in the Netherlands.

6. Spice it up!

If your child is back home, as with alcohol you’ll have to help them not to get in a shock when it comes to food. Your child will have developed a high tolerance for spicy food. Especially when he or she stayed in Mexico.

When you’re cooking and just when you think you’ve spiced it up enough, double it! Especially when you’re child comes home with a Latina, you’ll have to outcompete with spiciness!

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For All The Mothers: 6 Expert Tips for When Your Child Goes Abroad
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