Dec 30, 2010, 8:47 PM
I'm in Mexico City, and my kids have gone through the system from primaria to posgrado. Primary grades are referred to as años, as in ¿En qué año vas? En quinto. The word for class is grupo, as in el grupo de tercer año; the third-grade class. The 3 years of secundaria are called primero, segundo y tercero de secundaria. The 3 years of prepa are numbered following on from secundaria; that is, they are called cuarto, quinto and sexto. I don't know how general the undergraduate terminology is, but UNAM students, at least, say facultad; i.e. Cuando estuve en la facultad... means "When I was an undergraduate." The word for program (major) is carrera; i.e. "What is your major?" is expressed as "¿En qué carerra vas?" And graduate studies is posgrado, or, if being specific, estudios de maestría or estudios de doctorado, as the case may be. An expression that was new to me was "recibirse" for receive a degree; e.g. me recibí de ingeniero; I got my engineering degree (not me; that was a hypothetical example).
Another word connected with university studies, which has a unique meaning in Mexico, is pasante. This is an almost-graduate who has finished their coursework, but still has some requirements to fulfill before they can get their degree, usually finishing their thesis and/or doing their social service requirement.
(This post was edited by Maesonna on Dec 30, 2010, 8:58 PM)