Katia Corinne Lachner is in fifth semester on International Management at Technische Hochschule Ingolstad in Germany. Today she tells us her story in UPAEP since her arrival.
Why did you decide to come to Mexico and UPAEP?
Before, I have been in Ecuador, but I needed my Spanish to become better and wanted to go back to Latin America. There was a meeting at my University where I heard a lot of classmates talking about their exchange experiences and said that UPAEP was a good option. Besides, I made a good Mexican friend that was the last thing I needed for me to finally make the choice to go.
People that are close to me were kind of skeptic because even though I have been in Ecuador before; Mexico still has a prejudice of being an unsafe city. But I did not mind, I was just looking forward to be here.
What do you think about the international office?
The internationalization office organization is really good; every time I sent an email because I had some questions, they were always answering as soon as possible. They have a lot of people that are willing to help; for example, my University only has two or three persons in the area; therefore, the process tends to be a little bit slower.
Before coming to Mexico, did you have any ideas about it?
I thought Mexico was going to be a little bit more like South America; smaller and not so developed. After that, I was really surprised because I can see the influence of the United States a lot, it has more improvement. I realized that you have your own culture and you are very attached to it in the way people talk to you and treat you.
So far, what do you think about UPAEP?
I like this University a lot; it really resembles to a United States Institution because of the movies; it is big and clean; it also has a lot of space to do sports; it is even bigger than my own University.
The orientation that you have for exchange students is really good; there were pretty interesting activities such as food tasting and conferences. The not so positive thing was probably that during the downtown tour, our tour guy talked very low and it was hard to listen to him. However, it was worth it.
What about culture shock?
My first culture shock started as soon as I got on the plane and there were people talking to me; but of course, that happens to everywhere you go, in the University too and it ends up to be kind of nice. The most Mexican thing you can find out is not tacos but its people.
When it comes to the food, tacos, nogada chilies are my favorite. Although it might sound weird, the sushi here is also pretty good because they put their Mexican style with chili, mango, and other kind of stuff.
How do you find your courses in comparison with your country?
I really like Macroeconomics because it definitely put me out of my comfort zone which is what I was looking for in the first place; the course is completely in Spanish, so I have to adapt to it.
Here you have a lot of homework and tests; it also depends on the subject; I am not use to it because in Germany I only have one exam at the end of the year.
Something that it is very different is how a student interacts with the professor, the relation is closer and more open. Germany has around 70 students per classroom; therefore, the professor cannot really remember your face.
Did you have a negative experience so far?
Finding a place to live was my least favorite. In Germany I was checking options through the group until one finally convinced me, I paid the deposit and made the whole process. When I arrived, the landlord told me that the house I paid for was already full which is why we went to another one that was almost full except for two rooms that were still in construction. It was almost ready and supposed to be mine but promised to another girl as well. I took the last room, but it was smaller and I negotiated a cheaper price because of the size even though the landlord did not want to.
What do you take with you from this exchange?
Coming to Mexico really made the purpose and it has helped me a lot with the language; nevertheless, traveling is the best memory I take with me since here it is really cheap and so is the food besides good. Eating out and balanced is possible while in Germany is too expensive and most of the time not so healthy.
In my professional future I see doing a Master degree maybe in Spain; and for that, Mexico was pretty useful henceforth the language.
Will you recommend UPAEP?
Absolutely, I liked coming here because the sport choices are very varied and everything is inside the campus; therefore, you do not waste time transferring between places. Besides, the professors and the campus are excellent, it really makes you feel welcomed.
Click here to read the original text in Spanish.