Tyler Smith, a Business Administration and Human Resources student from UFV decided to be the first to check out one of our newest partnerships in Colombia: the University of Rosario (Universidad del Rosario). This university is based out of the city of Bogotá, the country’s capital city. Tyler is in his eighth semester, which is further along than most students who study abroad, but it a great example of the flexibility of study abroad. To fit into his degree, Tyler is studying courses which focus on international business which include things such as Interculturality and Innovation Management. Very interesting for our numerous business students here at UFV! Tyler notes that all of his courses are offered in English, but there are occasionally some reading materials which are in Spanish. These can be translated, but what a great way to exercise your language skills!
Curious about his choice of country, I asked Tyler why he chose to study abroad in Colombia: “I chose to study abroad because I thought the integration of living abroad would be the best way to learn Spanish. I [had] taken several courses before, but without practicing daily it was difficult. Living abroad seemed to be a better way to learn. I chose Colombia because it is… not a typical place to study. Before arriving, I knew almost nothing about [it],” Tyler said. Learning a new language is a great reason to study abroad, and the immersion into it will greatly increase your dexterity and ability to carry on a conversation. This is an anecdote shared by many #UFVExplorers!
Although Tyler wanted to be immersed in the language, it was not without its challenges. Tyler reported that arranging things for his departure was not overly difficult until a couple of months before he was due to leave, which included securing his living arrangements and course selection. “It was tricky because it was a very independent process and I had to be very organized. A lot of my correspondence was in Spanish, and at times when corresponding in English there would be some communication barriers. I had a lot of help from Spanish speaking friends at this stage,” said Tyler. Having Spanish-speaking friends would have been quite handy, I am sure, BUT there are also always resources in the Global Lounge, and Google Translate is a heaven-send in these situations!
Now that Tyler has gotten settled and is fully enjoying his experience, he says that he is loving Colombia and that it is a very welcoming place. “I have had many amazing experiences so far. It is easy to make friends in Bogotá, everyone is very warm and welcoming. There are also many other international students here who are in the exact same situation as me and that helps a lot to know. Colombia has a lot to offer as well and I have been busy since I arrived. Last weekend, I went camping in the desert with a group of students and tomorrow I am flying to the coast for the weekend. I would recommend the experience of living here to anyone, my favourite part is that it has been 23˚ and sunny every day since I arrived. I will definitely miss that next winter.” Yes, I can imagine that you will! We’re not jealous over here or anything in this snowmaggedeon…
~~If these encouraging and exciting anecdotes don’t convince you to go on an adventure you’ve been dreaming of, come on in and let us know how we can help! Let’s bust those #studyabroadmyths in your mind and send you packing. You’ll be glad you did. Thank you, Tyler, for sharing your experiences!~~