Interview with María José Guadalupe Hernández, psychology student with a scholarship in Colombia.

When you entered Uni did you know there were international programs?
Yes, in the induction talk I learned about the international programs that the University had in place.

Did you think you would go live and study abroad in your first semester?
No, at the beginning of my studies, an academic exchange was not in my plans.

Have you ever lived or studied outside of Mexico before?
No, it was the first time I would study in another country. I only had the opportunity in my first semester to attend a congress in Cuba.

What prompted or motivated you to study in another country?
Getting to know the culture of another country and creating new friendships with people from different countries, as well as the challenge of having to adapt to a different country all by myself, motivated me.

Why did you decide to study in that country?
For years one of my dreams was to know Colombia, I have always liked its accent, and the little I knew about the country made me want to be here someday. Once I realized that among the options that Psychology had as an international program was Colombia, I did not hesitate twice that it was the country I wanted to go to.

How did you feel when you arrived in the new country?
When I stepped on the land of the paisas I felt a stir of emotions inside me, I was making my dream come true. I will not say it was easy to adapt to the change, I was in another country, with another currency, with words that have another meaning, but nevertheless my desire to eat Medellin was still there intact or better yet, had increased.

How have you been received at the university where you arrived?
Everyone has been friendly and helpful, always giving equal treatment to both national and international students.

What will you miss most about Mexico?
Everything! Food is one of the things I have missed the most, as I have missed the tortilla, the spicy food and the gastronomic variety we have. As well as my family, because I am a homebody.

What about the Uni?
My friends have been missing in the classes and projects I have been involved in.

What is the most exciting thing you have experienced so far in this experience?
Each experience I have had here has been special, since each of them has helped me to grow personally, but one of the ones that has marked me the most and that the university has given me the opportunity to live, has been to participate in a social project with displaced people since I was able to know the other side of Colombia, the one that is more human, the one that is not shown in photos, and that has helped me to broaden my vision and value life even more.

And the hardest part?
One of the hardest things in this exchange has been being away from my family when loved ones who are very important people in my life have passed away and I have not been there to say goodbye, but being away has generated a greater strength in me, and I know that each of the difficulties that have come my way have helped me to be more resilient.

What do you expect as a person and as a professional from this program?
Being here has fulfilled all the expectations I had, since each one of the professors has been part of the intellectual enrichment, because I have a broader work vision and they increased my academic resources. On a personal level I have grown a lot, it has helped me to be more tolerant and flexible, I have created bonds of friendship, I have gotten to know the way of thinking of each one of them and above all this program has made me mature.

Do you recommend these opportunities provided by Uni to your colleagues?
Without hesitation I would recommend to all my classmates to take advantage of the international programs offered by the Uni. Even with difficulties, it is an experience that I wouldn't change for anything!

Thank you very much Uni!

Maria Jose - Colombia 1