Xareni Stephanye González, Architecture student, tells us about her experience starting a semester at the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria in Madrid.

When you entered Uni did you know there were international programs?
Of course! I think that was one of the main reasons why I got into this university.

Did you think you would go live and study abroad in your first semester?
I knew that I could leave on my own until the third semester and to tell the truth from the beginning I believed that I would leave, since the university offers many opportunities to be able to do so.

Have you ever lived or studied outside of Mexico before?

Yes, for a few months and it was an experience I wanted to repeat, as every place has something new to provide.

What prompted or motivated you to study in another country?

It is a dream that I have always wanted, traveling is a very rewarding experience but if at the same time it is combined with studying it becomes more enriching, it motivates me to meet new people, get involved in the culture and open my possibilities of finding work in the future outside my country.

Why did you decide to study in that country?

Because in Spain as well as in Europe there is so much variety and architectural richness, that for my career it is something fundamental to know and being here gives me the possibility to visit the architectural works that in the first semesters of my career I knew.

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

A great excitement to know that I was fulfilling a dream I had always wanted, as well as a lot of nerves for everything that was coming, school, new classmates, new teachers, in short, everything would be new.

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

The Universidad Francisco de Vitoria is a university that has many student exchanges, it made me feel very welcome and the classmates were very kind.

What will you miss most about Mexico?

Without a doubt the food, of course after my family but I know that my family will always be there, I miss the warmth of the Mexicans, only when you are away for so long you realize that you value your country more than you thought.

What about the Uni?

My teachers, my classmates, my friends, the cafeteria.

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

Every day is so exciting because I know that I will never again be in these circumstances, in this University, at this age, with these classmates, at this moment I think the best thing of all is to meet people who teach you new things about life.

As well as knowing architectural works, that my knowledge and everything I knew in images becomes so palpable, and is seen in such a different way, because now I can see where the architecture comes from and everything I can build in the future.

And the hardest part?

The hardest thing is not being close to your family at important times.

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

I look forward to new opportunities to live experiences that bring positive changes in my life, both professionally and personally, that continue to provide this support to my other colleagues.

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

Absolutely! I think all students should have an experience like this at least once in their lives.