Our student Erika Jazmín Cortez, from the Culinary Arts program, won a Uni scholarship thanks to her effort and dedication, with the opportunity to stay at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

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

            Yes, when I was looking for my options they explained to me that at the university in Celaya they had many scholarship opportunities of all kinds and that they made a lot of use of the scholarships that the State of Guanajuato also offers.

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

            Honestly no, it was something that terrified me because it was something completely different, besides I imagined that it was a very complicated procedure.

Have you ever lived or studied outside of Mexico before?

            No, it is the first time I leave the country and to be honest I am having a great experience.

What prompted or motivated you to study in another country?

            Getting out of your comfort zone is something very complicated, so that's what motivated me to improve myself personally and professionally, to make a change in my life for the better.

Why did you decide to study in that country?

            I chose Brazil because since high school I had a great desire to know its festivities, especially the carnival. Also its gastronomy is very interesting and I wanted to learn the language, which is Portuguese.

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

            I felt a lot of fear since arriving to a completely different place is difficult, I didn't speak the language and communicating was complicated even though Spanish is a bit similar to Portuguese. But it's not all bad, I also felt very excited and happy to experience new things and learn more.

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

            I was surprised how all the professors and mobility students receive you with much affection and enthusiasm, they give you a lot of support in anything you need, whether it is paperwork or shopping. I am very grateful to the University for the welcome they gave us.

What will you miss most about Mexico and UNI?

            From Mexico it would be my family, the weather, festivities and above all the food because there are no two like ours. From the university to my teachers and friends, I think also the way of evaluating.

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

            Undoubtedly it is to have met many new people and create bonds of friendship, also tourism is very good, but it is always complemented by good people.

And the hardest part?

            Being away from my family would be the most difficult thing, apart from the situation that we live in COVID-19 this complicated my stay here in Brazil but being far from home. Although I am grateful for the support that PUCRS University gave me.

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

            I am no longer afraid to experience new things, not to stay in a comfort zone. I want this experience to help me grow more in my professional field since I know a different gastronomic culture, that this will be an impulse to continue learning and traveling more.

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

            I recommend it 100%, this is an experience that no one should tell you about, you should live it. If you have the opportunity and the support of an institution you must make the most of it, what better time than now?