María José Villanueva of Systemic Psychology obtained the international scholarship to study at the Universidad Mayor de Santiago de Chile.

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

Yes, actually that was one of the main reasons why I chose UNI, because it was my dream to be able to do some exchange.

When you entered your career, did you think you would go to live and study abroad?

It was a little difficult, because I was constantly being told that being a psychology student made it more complicated to win a scholarship, but I tried very hard and although sometimes I applied for the scholarships and did not win, I was never discouraged and I kept trying until I succeeded.

Have you ever lived or studied outside of Mexico before?

No, it is the first time I travel outside of Mexico and the first time I live alone, so it was a lot of new experiences, but I can say that it is one of the best things that has happened to me.

What prompted or motivated you to study in another country?

To fill myself with new and different knowledge, to see how my profession was developing in another part of the world, but I also wanted to meet people, to be taught their culture and to be able to teach mine as well.

Why did you decide to study in that country?

Because I had read that in South America the studies in psychology have an impressive progress and that there was very good preparation in this regard.

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

It was very scary, because at the beginning I did not understand that it was not a vacation, that I was going to live in a country far away from mine and that I had to say goodbye temporarily to everything I knew, but at the same time I was very excited to know that I could say that the first time I left Mexico was to study, that I finished my career in another country and that the first time I lived alone and became independent was in another country.

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

 The teachers and school authorities were always very kind and attentive to all of us, they were even very permissive because, although they understood that we were going to study, they also understood that we were going to learn and they gave us a lot of freedom, but without ceasing to demand our responsibilities.

What will you miss most about Mexico and UNI?

 What I miss most about Mexico is my family, the food, my friends and my routine, I left my comfort zone and very drastically, but without a doubt something that has made me sad these last few days is that I missed my graduation with my friends, I missed my ceremony and although I wouldn't change for the world to be here, I can't deny that I would love to return to spend it there and live that moment that I waited for 4 years.

What is the most exciting thing you have experienced so far in this experience?

I think what excites me the most are the friendships I have formed, that have become family, and have been in good and bad times, because even when we are living a very good experience, not everything is rosy all the time and I am happy to know that I have them, I am excited to know that they are friends that I will keep and that our friendship will not only stay in Chile, that later I have a house in Germany, England, Italy, Spain and that they know that they also have a house in Mexico.

And the hardest part?

 For the same reason that the most exciting thing has been all the bonds I have created, definitely the hardest thing at this time are the goodbyes, knowing that this moment is coming to an end and everyone must return to their country, but it is part of the experience.

But also the famous "homesickness" was complicated the first few months, feeling so far away from everything you know and knowing that there is still time to return to that, made some days not so good, but it is also part of.

What do you expect as a person and as a professional from this experience?

As a person I am happy to know that I come back as someone completely new, that I have matured and learned many new things.

Professionally, it is something that I am sure will open many doors for me and I will be able to put into practice everything I have learned here.

Would you recommend these UNI opportunities to your peers?

Yes, definitely, because they are unique opportunities that often only happen once in a lifetime, so you have to take advantage of the fact that UNI gives them to us.