[The young lady from Tajikistan tells us how she felt in love with Mexico and UPAEP.]
November 12th, 2018
Gulnora Umarova Bekmurodovna studies Clinical Psychology in Ural Federal University in Russia but she comes from Tajikistan. Nowadays she is studying in UPAEP for one semester and tells us about the Institution and Mexico.
How did you end up studying in Russia?
My parents are not able to move out a lot since they need to take care of my grandmother; therefore, I decided to go on my own to Russia and I also wanted to feel freer and more independent.
Why did you decide to do an exchange and why Mexico?
I wanted to learn Spanish so by the end of April I went to the international office, checked out all the programs since it was a dream for me to do, and above all my options I had Spain, Colombia and Mexico. For me, Europe is really expensive and I chose Mexico and not Colombia because I did not know a lot about the country.
In 2016, there was an international fair at the University I study at and that was my first contact with Mexico before actually being here. I saw the dancing, customs and all the cultural part and it hooked me right away. However, what it really made me decide for it was how kind the Mexicans in Russia are. It was a plus since I could also talk in English with them.
How did you feel your arrival to Puebla?
Once I arrived to Puebla I was extremely tired since I traveled for two days and a half, from Ekaterinburg to Moscow, then Madrid and finally Mexico. But after that, I also needed to make the trip to Puebla.
I spent my first days with Mexican friends that I met in Russia, but the first week I slept a lot because of the jet lag. Nevertheless, they were pretty understandable. Besides, my luggage got lost in Madrid, so I had to buy very basic things in order to get dressed. Especially since my stuff arrive a month later.
How did you adapt to the University?
I like the University a lot, it is pretty big and pretty and safe too since I see a lot of policemen hired specifically by UPAEP.
When it comes to the academics, it was hard to choose the courses, but I feel proud to be taking them for around 4 hours every day in order to get better at my Spanish.
The professors are very different because in Russia they tend to be older and very strict; but here, they are younger, friendly and open mind, a little bit more flexible.
The course that I like the most is emotional intelligence since we get to talk about our own stories and I find that pretty useful.
What do you think about Mexican culture?
I have been here three months and it is so much different from the Russian one; here everybody is friendly and they make you feel at home, they smile a lot and are pretty warm. In Russia, people tend to be a little bit more serious.
Something that really surprised me was that even though Mexico is so close to the United States, not everybody speaks English. However, so far it is not an obstacle because everybody helps you to understand in the kindest way.
When it comes to the food, I am really impressed because I do not like onions and here they are huge! Everything is really spicy and in Russia there are not many Mexican restaurants. Russian people talk about that a lot and I was really looking forward to come here and try them. So far, my favorite food is cemitas.
In the social part, I experience quite a culture shock when I was in the supermarket. There, I see a lot of old people packing my groceries while in Russia I do it myself. Seeing them doing that for me made me feel a little bit sad.
Tell us something good and bad about living in Mexico.
Something good is that I have been able to visit what you call “magic towns”, Mexico is beautiful and I wish to get to know more; more food, more of everything. Unfortunately, something bad is that I have to walk a lot because I cannot use public transportation. I really do not find it as safe as in Russia. You always need to be careful and taking care of your stuff.
Will you recommend UPAEP?
Totally! I have already done it to all my friends in Russia. I find it a pretty good University; besides, I totally recommend taking the chance. I came here without asking for advice or tips because I wanted to get to know it for myself.
Click here to read the text in Spanish.