Gerardo Sanchez is studying Industrial Engineering and was awarded the Uni international scholarship to study for a semester in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

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

That's right, in fact, the admissions department was clear about study abroad opportunities, although I honestly didn't give it much thought at the time.

When you entered your career, did you think you would go to live and study abroad?
I never imagined having an opportunity like this, as I did not know the benefits that a stay abroad can bring.

Have you ever lived or studied outside of Mexico before?
No, this was the first opportunity I had to live and study in another country.

What prompted or motivated you to study in another country?
Personal growth, as I consider that this also complements a professional, and the Going out and getting to know how people from other countries think, and what their culture and ideology are like, adds to the growth and learning of any professional.

Why did you decide to study in that country?
I had the opportunity to travel to Brazil a year before my exchange, precisely with the HPVC team from the University of Celaya, and this country impressed me with the warmth of its people and the way they use their educational system, as it is very different from what I have previously experienced in Mexico.

How did you feel when you arrived in the new country?
Excitement, because I was arriving again to the country where I experienced one of the best trips of my life, and at the same time I felt uncertain about the difficulties that lay ahead, such as language, culture, gastronomy, and most importantly, security.

How have you been received at the university where you arrived?
Honestly, I did not feel a great reception from the staff of the Internationalization department of the PUCRS, although the other departments in general were and have been very kind with the different situations that have arisen.

What will you miss most about Mexico?

Obviously to my family, because they are my driving force to move forward and take advantage of this opportunity.The food here is totally different, and sometimes difficult to get something similar to our Mexican gastronomy.

What about the Uni?

Comfort in terms of the system or way of working, because being an institution where I already know all the procedures, I can feel comfortable when I need to start any process. Here everything is completely new and full of departments that specifically solve each problem, which makes a simple process complex.

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

A few weeks before leaving, what excites me the most is knowing that I can now start and maintain a conversation in Portuguese.This makes me very happy, because I remember that in the first weeks this was a huge problem.

And the hardest part?

I was involved in a car accident, so this experience will become unforgettable.

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

I believe that as engineers we must know the needs of our clients in an accurate way, and the fact of knowing the ideologies and cultures of people from other countries has allowed me to broaden my mind towards the fact of analyzing such needs also considering cultural, local, ideological and even political fields.

Do you recommend these opportunities provided by Uni to your colleagues?

I highly recommend it to those students who feel the need to seek personal growth, because for me, the true meaning of these opportunities is to broaden our cultural knowledge and open up to new personal experiences..