Our Digital Design student Elizabeth Romero, thanks to the Uni Scholarships, had the opportunity to make an international stay at the DHBW University (Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University), in Ravensburg, Germany.

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

Yes, my sister -who is a Uni graduate- had also told me that there were many internationalization programs with a great variety of calls to apply for scholarships, and that being a good student there were more opportunities to go on exchange.

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

No, I was never interested in any program because they were more related to communication than to my digital design career and also I was afraid of being 6 months out of my country away from my family, when I had never done anything like this before. I had never thought about it until I saw the perfect opportunity with DHBW University.

Have you ever lived or studied outside of Mexico before?

 No, I didn't even have my passport by the time I applied for the scholarship. I never thought I would go on exchange with the UNI program.

What prompted or motivated you to study in another country?

Many of my classmates from UNI had already gone on exchange to Korea and Colombia, they told me about the incredible experience they lived and how it made them grow to be better people and try a little how it feels to be independent for a little while. And from one semester to the next, I decided to try my luck and apply to see if I could win the scholarship. And I did.

Why did you decide to study in that country?

The educational program that DHBW University has is incredible and it is totally oriented to Media Design, unlike the other programs in other countries that UNI offered to go on exchange. So choosing the DHBW program was perfect for me.

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

I was very excited, Germany is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited and the people are very friendly and not at all cold as they say. I think the whole process I went through from the day before I got on the plane, the adventure of leaving the country alone, arriving in Germany in the middle of winter, making layovers and so on for the first time, had me in shock. It took me a couple of days to process what I was going through, plus I left for Germany on the last day of December and it was kind of sad for me not to be with my family in the new year, but this whole experience was definitely the most amazing to start the year.

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

DHBW University is an amazing place, everyone in the international office and all the teachers I met in my exchange are great people, they always try to help and support you in everything you need to adapt and they were always incredibly kind. I learned a lot with my new international friends with whom I did teamwork and learned new techniques to grow as a professional.

What will you miss most about Mexico and UNI?

When I was on my exchange I missed my friends, my teachers and my Uni very much. At the beginning it was a bit difficult to adapt to the English and German classes. I also missed the weather in Mexico, the long sunny days and definitely the Mexican food, especially the tortillas.

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

I had the opportunity to go to a hot air balloon festival with my international friends in Switzerland, I visited beautiful places like Lauterbrunnen and Montreaux. And it was definitely one of the best experiences I have ever had. I also visited the impressive Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, a must-see. Meeting new people of other nationalities, getting to know their culture, their customs, living together on trips, going to festivals and concerts, seeing incredible landscapes, living alone for a while and learning many new things, is an incredible experience.

And the hardest part?

The return from Germany to Mexico was the most chaotic thing I have ever experienced. Thanks to COVID things got complicated, they changed our classes to online, then the borders in Europe started to close and flights were cancelled. So I had to live a couple of adventures, like sleeping in the Munich airport to be able to return to Mexico a few weeks earlier than planned. I also couldn't buy presents, nor say goodbye to my friends, so it was very difficult and sad for me.

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

I really didn't expect to have such a great time, but it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Meeting new people, the intercultural exchange and living in another country really changes your perspective and gives you a lot to learn as a person and as a professional.

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

Of course, there are many opportunities, it is not difficult to apply for scholarships nowadays, it is just a matter of being prepared, being encouraged and taking the opportunities that come your way. And I can confirm that it is a totally worthwhile and life-changing experience, especially for me, I lived an incredible DHBW experience in Germany.

Thank you so much Uni for this amazing opportunity!