Mariana Prado, from Artes Culinarias, in Medellín, Colombia.

When you entered Uni, did you know there were international programs?

Yes, in fact, it was the main reason why I decided to study my career at the Uni de Celaya.

At what point and why did you start thinking about applying for a scholarship and studying in another country?

Practically since I was in my 3rd semester, although I already had the idea of leaving since I entered, I needed to apply as soon as I had 50% of my credits. I did it because I had always wanted to go on exchange and I thought I had nothing to lose by applying for the scholarship.

Why did you decide to study in that country?

Because of the affordability and I was already planning to visit Colombia, I just didn't have a specific date.

How was the scholarship application process?

For me it was full of mixed emotions, as some friends went to a different place than I did and I was anxious about leaving alone (with classmates I didn't know) but very happy to have the opportunity to leave.

How did you prepare for this new experience?

I didn't do much, students from past semesters who were in Medellin gave us some tips and I made a group with the classmates with whom I would go on exchange to be all on the same page and get to know each other a little before the semester started.

How did you feel when you arrived in the new country?

It was an incredible feeling, that I was achieving what I had set out to do so long ago, that I was finally accomplishing a goal and living a dream.

How have you been received at the university where you arrived?

I was very well received, in general Colombians are very warm and friendly, so throughout the whole process I felt confident that, whenever I had a problem or needed something, I could go to the corresponding teachers without any problem.

What do you miss the most about Mexico and UNI?
Definitely the food, my family and my colleagues.

What is the most exciting thing you have experienced so far in this experience? And the most difficult?
The most exciting thing was meeting people from different countries and getting to know a little about how people live in their native countries. The most difficult part was getting used to the class material, since they were subjects that I did not have in my career.

How do you think this experience will influence you as a person and professionally?

Definitely in my character and attitude, I think I grew a lot as a person because of everything I lived there and that helps me to see life in a different way, valuing absolutely everything, especially the present.

What advice would you give to those who are about to go on exchange to another country?
They should try to live in the moment and let go of what they need to appreciate and live the experience in the best possible way.

Would you recommend these opportunities offered by UNI to your colleagues?

No doubt about it.

I am very grateful for the opportunity, it was without a second thought, the best experience I have had so far in college.