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.