Study Abroad Experience: An Exchange Student’s Journey
Study abroad exceeded Danali Rodriguez expectations. She was an exchange student from Argentina and did her Semester abroad at the School of Architecture and Civil Engineering. She reports about her experiences when she studied abroad program in architecture at the Campus Spittal of Carinthia University of Applied Sciences:
I would like to begin this report with a special mention to my home university Facultad de Arquitectura, Planeamiendo y Diseño – UNR, which provided me the opportunity to live this amazing experience and made it possible for me to study abroad. Without the support of this institution and all those in charge of the international relations office, as well as the professors and institutional managers, this agreement would not have been possible.
Big change at the beginning of the semester abroad
The experience of living and studying in Austria exceeded my expectations. Months before arriving at Spittal I was not able to imagine what these five months living in a new city would be like. Everything was uncertain, my first time in Europe, in a new city smaller than my hometown. And also a different climate, I had to adapt to a much colder weather and still being my daily student activities.
To study abroad is easier with helpful fellow students
I consider that the biggest challenge I had to face was the language. I do not speak German and I had not spoken English for a long time. However, a few days after starting the course it became easier for me to communicate. I think the main reason for this was the support of all my fellow students and teachers. They have always tried to understand me and explain everything to me clearly.
Valuable experience during the semester abroad
The experience of a student exchange gave me new academic tools to put into practice in my studies in Argentina. I had the opportunity to experience different studying methods which I believe enriched my knowledge and has provided me with a better global perspective of the educational process.
In contrast to my university in Argentina, at Carinthia University I had the possibility to experience classes with smaller groups and a more direct relationship with the professors. I consider that both styles are equally educational and I am grateful to have been able to experience both.
In addition to allowing me to access new knowledge in my area of study, I believe that this type of program granted me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. During these five months I was able to meet people from Russia, Germany, Iran, among many others. But it is not only about getting to know people. It is also about getting to know their culture and their habits. I think that is an unique experience, to be able to share daily life with people who live thousands of kilometers away from my country.
Besides, this exchange makes you a little more aware of the diverse realities and current affairs of other countries. Also, another important aspect for me is that now I have great new friends around the world.
On the other hand, for students from Argentina, a trip like this to Europe is often not accessible. The existence of this type of institutions that to try out these experiences and make them possible is a great source of hope to many young people who decide to get an university degree.
I think that this experience in Austria will also be beneficial to all the students in my local university. Because when I come back to Argentina I will be able to promote this exchange and help them to access this incredible program.
Study abroad means to learn new skills – academically and especially personally
Finally, I believe that after this experience I have been able to develop new skills both academically and especially personally. I am very grateful for the opportunity and I think it meant a great growth for me. It is an experience that I will always remember since it was the one that gave me the opportunity to get to know the world a little more and to see new ways of living by keep on learning about my passion: architecture.