[Victoria Lopes, student from France shares her experience as an Exchange student in UPAEP.]
“The first day during my orientation, I knew that Mexico was the place to be because all the people made me feel at home, everyone was really nice and I got a connection with all of them. It was so good, that the first day I made 4 new friends, and I still treasure them”, said Victoria Lopes, international trade exchange student.
Victoria comes from France and studies in Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense. She arrived with a lot of questions and felt lonely like any other student, she was afraid to let her parents down; she thought about going back home; however, as soon as her orientation in UPAEP started, all of her fears went away.
She confessed that Mexico was her choice because of all the culture it has and she always wanted to get to know it. Besides, above all her options, she considered UPAEP the best.
“People are very kind and it is much different from France; and as foreigners, we love changes. My family was really worried because of all the insecurities issues, but it is just like any other country; every time you go to an unknown place, you have to be careful. My parents know I am a serious person, but also dependent to them. Therefore, they knew this was a good opportunity to grow up”.
However, the reason why she chose UPAEP’s dormitories was also because of the prejudices in Mexico and her dependence of her family. There, she was able to practice more Spanish because of the Mexicans and South America students. They were pretty close from UPAEP and “I have no regrets for all the nice people I found".
Like most of the foreigners, food was one of the reminders on how much she was no longer in France; she found out the flavors really spicy and different; nevertheless, she really likes enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas and so on. However, mole poblano was one of her least favorite dished but “the red drink” as she calls it better known as hibiscus water was her favorite.
When it comes to her academics, Victoria Lopes said her classmates and professors were really supportive and even though Spanish was not difficult for her, they were always asking whether she needed help and if everything was understandable.
“With all of this, I never felt alone, I took 5 courses, Economy, Law, International Business and Magic Mexico”, this last one was my favorite because it was also really fun, there were many activities and I learnt a lot about Mexico.
This trip for Victoria changed her life in many ways, she feels more independent and mature; she learnt not only about the Mexicans, but also about her friends from different parts of the world; which also made a multicultural experience.
“Once I leave the country, I believe I am going to cry a lot because of the people, the environment and because of being used to be surrounded by them since I was never in my room alone without doing anything; whenever I had free time, me and my roomie always went to visit a new place".
Finally, she invited her friends in France to have a similar experience in UPAEP since the University is so pretty and well organized. “If I could find an internship here, I will be more than glad to do it".
Click here to rear the original text in Spanish.