With a pocket full of knowledge, friendships and experiences Marco Diez, junior career student of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University Juan Agustin Maza, returned to Mendoza, after taking a semester at the Universidad Bernardo O’Higgins. This exchange experience was managed by the Direction of Extension Programs and Institutional Relations of UBO.
Why did you decide to do an exchange semester UBO?
More than anything else, I wanted to do it to get that personal experience, and because the Director of the School of Kinesiology at UBO, Jaime Ocaranza, traveled to the University Juan Agustin Maza and presented us the opportunity to spend a semester in Chile, especially for those who went from second to third year in the career-which was my case. As you can see, I was the only one of my generation who dared the challenge.
Before coming to Chile, were you more nervous or excited?
At first I was quite nervous. You know, new classmates… this added to that I was away from my family. The time you come to study is not small, it’s six months, but as I progressed through the semester, it passed fairly quickly. But of course, there is a mixture of nervousness and excitement, especially when you don’t know what you’re going to face being in another country.
After these six months you studied in UBO, how was your experience?
The experience of studying in the School of Kinesiology of UBO has been very good. On one side are the career subjects, which have been a considerable advantage, as it has helped me quite in the advancement of my knowledge. Second, I’ve felt very comfortable in the city. I had a good stay, good relationship with teachers and peers. But of course, it does not mean that everything is perfect if you leave your home country, there are advantages and disadvantages, but so far everything has been positive.
And the disadvantages?
Maybe it wasn’t a disadvantage, but what cost me the first few days of my stay was the speech. Ie, understanding what they were saying when shopping or when I was using words that in my country are commonplace, but were not known here. But the most fun was that some in Chile have a double meaning, so it was like ”ups, sorry”.
So would you recommend to your colleagues to take a semester at UBO?
I fully recommend doing the exchange, but two aspects must be taken into account when wanting to study abroad: the desire and willingness to be away from home for a considerable period of time; and second, in the case of studying Kinesiology at UBO, the academic benefits the career delivery.
So that means you’d come back to relive the experience of an exchange …
I have a year and a half to finish my career, but definitely if given the opportunity, I would do an exchange or some graduate program. The good thing is that I leave with many contacts; both teachers and students that will be useful in the future.
“I needed to learn about anti seismic engineering and why not doing it in the best country in the world”
I’m from Torino, where I study Civil Engineering of Infrastructure Systems in Transportation at the Politécnico di Torino. I will attend my last year of my masters here in Chile, at the Universidad Católica. I needed to take some compulsory classes about anti seismic engineering and I would like to study in the best country in the world when it comes to it. Besides, I’m fascinated with South America and Chile seems different to me.
In Italy, you don’t see a big gap between rich and poor people. It is not only about the money, it’s also related to the culture and family, and I like that. I don’t see this as something negative, but as something good where you can learn a lot from people.
I like the university a lot, the campus is fabulous. There a lot of green areas and it’s perfect to study, live and rest. I find this amazing; we lack this in Italy a little bit. The courses are different, I think they are efficient. We have studying-teaching here, we have to study more often, and it’s more intense.
Chileans seemed to be fascinated with Italy, so they always ask me questions. Everything has been positive.
Studying a postgraduate course abroad was my goal since I started my undergraduate training. Being able to do the Magister in Marine Ecology at Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción has been a very enriching experience from every point of view. From the academic point of view, it was crucial to find the necessary knowledge to specialize in one of the most integral areas of science, such as ecology and particularly focused on the marine environment, given my previous training as a marine biologist in addition to the passion and love that I feel for the sea.
In addition to my curriculum, my consolidation of knowledge and the incorporation of new concepts, it was very important for me to be able to approach scientific research throughout the master’s degree; to carry out these investigative processes, the faculty and the department of ecology count on very competent professors and investigators, with ample trajectory in their respective fields, besides being good at transmitting their knowledge and motivating to work for the main objective of science.
Along with all these processes, bonds and academic relationships are also formed with Chilean colleagues and from other parts of the world, relationships that are very important when carrying out projects since the sciences are transversal and require a joint effort to really may be the path of progress and understanding.
On the other hand, studying and living outside your country is also very rewarding personally. You know a way of life different from yours, it allows you to strengthen yourself as an individual, it gives you the possibility of knowing incredible places that you probably would not know as a typical tourist, it brings you closer to the art, culture, gastronomy of another nation. All this knowledge is as important as the academic, because it reminds you that, despite the differences, we are all human and live and feel in the same way. Love, curiosity, hope and more connect us. All this comes to the fore when you face the world away from your comfort zone.
As a Latin American I am also very proud of having been able to study and live in Chile, because here I found the fellowship and affection that we should always have for what we are: heirs of a continent that has gone through centuries of difficulties but that always comes forward thanks to the effort, tenacity and dreams of its people.
Finally, I have to express how deeply grateful I am to have lived this experience, grateful to my colleagues, friends, teachers, the faculty, the university, the city of Concepción and Chile.
My name is Jose Luis Cruz Paco. I am studying the Magister in applied mathematics at the Catholic University of the Most Holy Conception. I am a Bolivian national and have a degree in Mathematics from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, in the city of La Paz, Bolivia.
I came to the city of Concepción to continue my studies in the Science of Mathematics. I got to know the postgraduate course when professors of this prestigious university went to my native country to spread the investigations that they develop.
My experience as a student to date has been very satisfactory, as I met many people who from the beginning received me with a lot of kindness and cordiality. At the University, getting to know the specialist teachers, the field of research they develop and learn from them is a very relevant experience. Learning the applications of this science gives a new vision and a very special sense to mathematics.
I am very grateful and very pleased to choose to study at this university.
Carlos is from Spain. He is studying accounting and finances and came to Chile to attend one semester at Duoc UC. Learn about his experience through his photos. His instagram is @cgonzalezru in case you want to see more pictures and trip experiences or, as he says, “to invite you to come to Chile, living here is magical”.
As soon as we arrived to Santiago, we went to the place where we spend the first few days. It was a hostel, very welcoming and people were very nice to us. Here’s where we met for the first time with people originally from here. My map was my friend and helped me navigate through Santiago very well.
Here I am with whom has been the nicest person with me during my exchange program. She is our friend, our mother, our older sister; she is the international relations coordinator. She has been there for us and she has made our experience here “bacan”. Thanks for everything, KENA.
Valle Nevado is a wonderful place where you can ski in the mountains during winter. The views are amazing and the weather too. We spend the day with the company “Amazing trip”. The coordinator was very cool and treated us very well. In the picture, I’m with some friends from Spain who we meet shortly after arriving here and end up being our neighbors.
Pedro Magalhaes from Brazil had the option of studying in Barcelona or Santiago, but at the end he decided for the capital of our country because he wanted to live in a country in Latin America. “At first, I wanted to study in Spain to learn Spanish, but when I found out that Chile was an alternative and I research about Chilean education, I didn’t have any doubts about going there for my studies”. After selecting the country where he was going to study the Carioca student had to decide between Viña del Mar or Santiago, nevertheless “I decided to change the beach for the urban life” he says.
“Before coming to study here in Chile a lot of Brazilians told me that the country was very rich and I have very surprised the quality of life of Chileans, the country is modern and living here is better than I imagine” he expressed.
Pedro arrived to Santiago at the end of February to become part of DUOC UC and he is amazed with the university environment, “They really care about my stay here at DUOC and my classmates are nice, the infrastructure in my faculty is also wonderful”. he says.
One of the things that have called the attention of the carioca students is the interest of people for culture “In Rio daily life s all about the beach, in Santiago people are more interested in cultural activities, which are offered frequently. I love the cultural environment of Chile, I can go to a concert, to the theater walk and listen to artist in the streets and squares, definitely what I’m most impressed about is the cultural environment of Chile”.
Read the experience of Pedro Barros, a student from Brazil, who studied International Business and Administration at the Duoc UC Antonio Varas campus.
He joined Duoc UC in February 2018, a decision he took thanks to the experience and extensive infrastructure offered by the Institution to its students. “It has been an incredible experience”, acknowledged Pedro Barros, student of International Business and Administration at the Antonio Varas campus.
The student of Foreign Affairs of the Universidade do Sul of Santa Catarina (Unisul), Brazil, highlighted the methodology of the teachers. “The classes are much more practical. Also, they teach you from different points of view. Undoubtedly, this exchange program at Duoc UC is an opportunity to grow and develop”, he said.
However, at the beginning, it was not all that easy for Pedro, especially because of the cultural difference, having to learn new concepts that were completely unknown for him. “Thanks to the constant support of teachers, peers and student tutors, I was able to incorporate them”, the student said.
Chile: a new phase of maturity
Despite the fact that this is not his first exchange, it has been very significant, as it has marked a before and after for the student. “Now I am much more aware. I share a house with other colleagues and I had to learn to cook. This semester has been the best, above all, to get to know the reality of this country and its beautiful people. I recommend this experience, personal development is great, and I’m sure you will not regret it”.
Léa arrived in Chile from France, from the Sciences Po Rennes University. She was attracted by the idea of knowing the landscapes of Chile and studying Spanish in this land. It was then that he decided to make five months of exchange at the Bernardo O’Higgins University, in the career of Social Sciences.
“I chose Chile because I like landscapes to travel and discover a country in Latin America, I also chose to practice Spanish, and in the case of UBO, I chose it because I loved racing and classes. As well as the diversity of landscapes, the atmosphere and the people, which is very good vibes, “said Léa.
Thanks to a scholarship granted by the Faculty of Theology and Sciences (FATEC), in Brazil, Naiara Bianchi fulfilled her dream of doing a student exchange abroad. Thus, in July 2018, she undertook her journey to Chile to study at Duoc UC and expand her horizons.
It was an opportunity that has exceeded all the expectations of this student of Engineering in Electricity and Industrial Automation. “I am very happy to have chosen this Institution, since it has excellent levels of technology and infrastructure. I was lucky to have lessons in the Smart Grid laboratory, which is unique in the country and one of the best in the region.”
Likewise, Naiara highlighted the closeness and warmth of the teachers, collaborators and her classmates. “At Duoc UC I have received quality training with people always willing to help, and I also found a great family.”
The second semester of 2018, the Universidad Bernardo O’Higgins received the student of Psychology, Daniela Ramazzi, from Argentina. Daniela is a psychology student, from the Universidad del Aconcagua, in the neighboring country. During his time in Chile, he highlighted: “The order, cleanliness and technology” of the Bernardo O’Higgins University.
My first reason for taking an exchange semester was that I wanted to learn Spanish. I decided to go to Chile because I study History and I feel that the history of Chile in the twentieth century is very interesting.
I have been fascinated by this country for its varied beauty. During this exchange I went to San Pedro de Atacama, La Serena and the Elqui Valley, in the desert area of northern Chile; to Valparaiso, Pichilemu and Isla Negra in the central coast; to Chillan and Pucón in the south; and to Cajón del Maipo, in the foothills of Santiago, among other places. I especially loved the beach of Pichilemu, because there you can surf.
It is said that people in Santiago isn’t friendly, but I don’t think so, at least with foreigners. For example, when I arrived I didn’t find my apartment. I asked a person in the street and he said, “I do not know, but I’ll call someone.” My sense is that people care about the safety of us foreigners.
Why did you decide to study a semester as exchange student at UBO?
Because I really liked Chile when I came just to get to know Chile, as tourist in 2014. Then, when the opportunity to study here came I was really interested. The UBO was the only University that had the academic mobility program in Chile. I researched about the University and saw that it was good and it would be an unrivalled experience.
How the experience at UBO has been so far?
I will never forget it. It has been one of a kind. I’m having contact with a different culture, language, people, habits, a different teaching system and testing system at the University. It’s giving me lots of personal gain.
What did you like most about Chile?
I liked the cold the most, the diversity of places and the organization of the city.
Would you go through this experience again?
Yes! I would like to experience this again a lot, I invite everyone to do so!
Among the most important activities I did while in Chile, first I got to know the country, which has a great ecological and natural diversity. For me, it was enriching in all aspects. In addition, there are enough people from Latin America to enrich us with their cultures, traditions and languages.
Academically, this country is several years ahead of us in terms of trials and, moreover, they are practicing in the Qualifying Tribunal of Elections and attending to conciliation boards. It was very rewarding, and I have something to contribute to my country when I return.
The teachers are highly qualified in Universidad Autónoma, as most of them have masters and doctoral degrees, and that shows they are prepared and trained for what they are doing, which improves us as students, since we have a better learning process and thus a better understanding, even though we come from another country.
I’d absolutely recommend the University to make an exchange. In fact, I have already done it, and several of my classmates will come next semester for an academic stay. Also, I talked to my classmates from Universidad Autónoma and they too were motivated to take the opportunity to study abroad.
Without a doubt, what I liked most about Chile was the relationship I developed with its people. Being able to share my experience with a Chilean family, living with them, made me feel like another Chilean. As for education in Chile, I learned that even with less you can still achieve great things and finally it’s the experiences that make you grow. More than just going to school, there were many people who enlightened me with their knowledge.
In addition, while in Chile I was able to travel quite a bit. I went to Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine in the south. In the north I traveled by car from Valparaiso to San Pedro de Atacama. Sleeping under at the wonderful stars and waking up in the middle of the desert was priceless. This trip has been a great story that I will tell my whole life to my children, grandchildren, etc..
This University is like taken out of a fairy tale. I´ve never seen anything so beautiful. I love that the University has a small size, because you feel you are a student. Here I’m not just a number, here it’s different.
I come from Poland, particularly from the capital city, Warsaw. I decided to come to Chile because I dreamed about traveling to Latin America.
Currently I’m in my third year, I’m supposed to take my final exams soon, but I chose to extend my stay in Chile until next year, because four months are just too short! I decided to stay one year because I want to travel and also because I wanted to take this great opportunity that I received, of working in a mining company, Sierra Gorda (a Polish and Japanese project). I’m really excited about this.
About Santiago, I really like its spirit; it reminds me of Warsaw, which also has its special places. La Vega is what I’ve liked the most so far, for me this market is like the heart of the city. I also enjoy going to Barrio Yungay. Regarding the food, I love a plate of “guatitas”, “cazuela” (a delicious pot), the Pisco sour and “palta” (avocado). Specially that; I’m in love with the Chilean avocado.
I’m very grateful of how people have treated me in Chile. Chilean people are very kind and this country is really precious. In March 2015 I will return to Warsaw. I don’t really want to go back, but I’m focusing on the present. Is here and now!
During my exchange at the University of Valparaiso I grew both academically and personally. I learned many things from Chilean teachers that have very different views compared to teacher of my country. I took various classes that helped enrich my academic career. I liked the more practical approach to teaching, where we made trips and toured the city.As architecture major, this was something that I consider very valuable.
My exchange experience in Chile has been unforgettable, without a doubt the best time of my student life. I lived 5 months in Santiago, spending every day with incredible people from all over the world. I learned so much from them, their customs and cultures, local foods, and most importantly, I made the most amazing friends.
I visited a lot of places in Chile. It surely is a beautiful country, full of incredible northern and southern landscapes. I went to Bernardo O’Higgins University, which exceeded my expectations; my teachers provided amazing lessons, in which I learned so much about nutrition. I can apply all that in my country.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity of studying abroad. It was a beautiful experience to be living away from home in an unknown country, which then became my home for several months.