University in Colombia

Now that I’ve had my first few weeks of classes, I figure it’s time to share a little. And lucky me, I arranged my schedule to only have class Tuesday-Thursday, meaning 4-day weekends all the time (better for travelling!).

Class Itself

I’m currently enrolled in 5 classes, two in Spanish and three in English. Yes, my first Spanish lecture was incredibly intimidating but surprisingly enough, I followed along quite easily and have thus completed my first ever business paper in Spanish.

Overall, the classes are small with approximately 20-25 students, a combination of both locals and internationals. My university, CESA, has a strong focus on entrepreneurship and many students here already have, or want to, start their own business. Therefore, my courses are focused around leadership, project management, building strategic brands effectively and creativity.

The Professors

The staff on campus are incredibly kind, from professors to security to administrative staff, everyone is willing to lend a helping hand. At the beginning of the semester before the first lecture starts, a staff member will introduce the professor with information on their background and qualifications. It’s kind of cool. As well, their will be a waitress that will bring both water and coffee to the professor. It’s definitely clear that the professors here are greatly appreciated.

The School

CESA is an incredibly small campus. I would say its about the size of the residence area at Carleton University, if not smaller. The campus is surrounded my cobblestone sidewalks, guarded by 24/7 security and a national park is right beside it. The buildings look old-school, with stained glass windows and brick walls but doors are glass and automatic. It’s like a urban designer stepped foot into a castle.

What is absolutely crazy is the way students access textbooks. The professor will assign a textbook to the class but rather than having to spend a gazillion dollars on it, a photocopied version is available at a lower cost at a shop on campus. You would never see that in Canada. Also, there are rooms dedicated to napping, playing video games, table tennis and more. There’s also an “innovative building” that has a slide going from the top floor to the who needs that?

What is it like being the only Canadian?

As you may have read earlier, the university I am attending is very small with only about 2000 students and about 35 of them are exchange students. And me, I am the only Canadian on this campus. #Proud #Strong #Free #Woo

While at times it can be kind of lonely, not having someone to gossip about the CUSA/RRRA elections with, or laugh about how we are not knee deep in snow and the air does not hurt our face here or even share a love for poutine, being the only Canadian is incredibly rewarding. Every day I am forced to go out of my comfort zone and speak Spanish with strangers in my classes at an attempt to make friends. This is going incredibly well so far!

Also, I find that I’m building solid connections with the other exchange students by exploring the city together and sharing different aspects of our home countries with each other.

I’m excited to get busy with assignments, to finally have some sort of structure while I’m here as right now I’m just gallivanting everywhere. But that’s not never a bad thing 😛


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