Exchange Student Profiles
Guido Biggio, San Andrés Exchange Student
It is never easy to describe with only words a wonderful experience, and this is not the exception at all. I came to UW three months ago, not knowing anyone, with as much information about the university as I could get from the website, and used to a quite different scholar system. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Furthermore, although had been learning English for almost 10 years, I hadn’t either spoken, written or even listened to it since I got into college two and a half years ago.
My first weeks were not easy, and not because I missed home, my family or friends, just because of the fact that I felt completely lost. I was not sure what to do, where to go, or with whom. Moreover, university campus seemed impressively huge.
Nevertheless, since orientation week started, and especially thanks to FIUTS activities, things began to rapidly change. I started to know more people, to meet other international students, and basically to get to understand how things worked around here.
Since then everything was to try to enjoy as much as possible. Thanks to my academic advisers, I could finally register myself for the courses I wanted, and was able to manage a very convenient scheduled. My classes were not very different from the style we use to have at San Andres, though quite intensive in group projects.
A very interesting point to remark is that since you study at a different country, in a different culture, you tend to learn almost twice than what one usually does at home. In fact it is not only in class where you learn, but, at least in my case, hanging around with students from different nationalities along with some Americans, taught me more about the world, economy and business than I would ever expected.
Even more, when I thought I had already seen it all, Saturday came, and the Husky football team was playing at UW. I couldn’t believe the amount of people dressed in purple that were heading towards the stadium. It looked like the whole city was there; and most of all, everybody cheering for our university. Since I’m a great fan of sports, this was heaven to me. I will never forget what the Huskies represent to everyone around, the excitement each time some other team comes to our stadium, the band, cheerleaders, the whole environment that grows around them.
At the beginning I thought that UW would be just a place where to study and meet some people for a few months. But probably, one of the greatest things I will take from it is that as time goes by you start to appreciate all the small details about it: the buildings, the bookstore, the ave, the dorms, and so on. I was totally impressed that as time goes by you start to incorporate them more and more to your daily life and suddenly you cannot walk apart from them. This is most probably a feeling that grows among most exchange programs as long as you are able to understand those little aspects that makes you feel good just by taking a look around. This is mainly why I encourage students to come to Argentina, since I think they would be able to appreciate everything as much as I did here. There are many things in common we can share and also some differences that are the ones that actually make the experience totally worth it. Buenos Aires is a bigger city, with people every around, lots of places to visit and specially to go out at night. These might be the main differences I found with Seattle. Some say people may seem more friendly, but I really cannot say because I had such a great time in Seattle.
Finally what I think take the most, is the feeling of how proud people feel towards its university, and of being part of it. This is definitively not that likely in my country. Although San Andres is one of the best business schools in the country, and it is really good, it definitively lacks the spirit that made UW such a great university to me. I’m not sure how is it in other North American universities, but I totally feel I’m a Husky now, and would not enjoy nothing more than having some UW students to come to Argentina and share their experience with us.