The 4th-year student of GNMI, Laura Algué, and Sophie Dietrich, an exchange student from MCI Innsbruck, share their opinions about participating in the ESCI-UPF buddy program.
It all started in 2020 when I decided to go for a semester abroad in the Erasmus+ program in Innsbruck, Austria. There, I found out the importance of having a buddy, someone who knows the city, who can show you around and introduce you to people, and someone of confidence to ask for everything when you find yourself lost.
I appreciated the work my buddy did for me. Joining the buddy program meant returning the kindness I received and starting a “favours chain”, besides knowing new people and enjoying the Erasmus from another point of view.
Sophie, the exchange student I got assigned, is from Germany but studies in MCI Innsbruck. No coincidence that this was my exchange University too, as the buddy program is designed to match people who will have things in common to make the relationship even more effortless.
She stayed in Barcelona from September to December, and we got on well. She expected me (her buddy) to help her with the organisation, to find a place where to stay, offer guidance on understanding the public transport, show her around Barcelona and to give her previous advice about the courses in ESCI-UPF, as well as introduce her to new people in the Uni.
We struggled together to find somewhere affordable and under suitable conditions, for her to stay, but we faced the challenge together and finally got over it. We also shared the most challenging classes notes, covered some medical inconveniences, and solved any issue that emerged during her stay in the city.
About the University, Sophie states: “I would really recommend it. I enjoyed the great variety of courses and the fact that some lessons were full of exchange students and some were mixed with the Spaniards, so I was given the opportunity to work with all kinds of people”.
Although she certainly liked the University, Sophie mentioned that you must work very hard here during the semester in order to get in the continuous evaluation, but working during the lessons allows you to get rid of the pressure on the final exam, as it doesn’t represent the whole grade of the subject.
What she enjoyed the most about the University, aside from the courses, was the building, which was noticeably modern and centric. “It is very easy to find your way around”, she explained.
Moreover, she could enjoy the benefits of being part of the UPF University, such as the library or the Campus, and also joining the ESN organisation helped her meet new people, digging into memorable events (the integration weekend was the one she appreciated the most) and having fun in a different way around Barcelona.
Laura Algué, GNMI student
Sophie Dietrich, MCI Innsbruck exchange student