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Gaétan Zausa, a student from IÉSEG School of Management in France who did his academic exchange at the La Sergio ´s International School of Management and Marketing, tell us about his academic and personal experience during this first semester of 2020.

Gaetan Zausa intercambio Universidad Sergio Arboleda internacionalización Ieseg School of Management Francia

By: Gaétan Zausa
Student of IÉSEG School of Management

When I thought about making an academic exchange, Colombia caught my attention because I wanted to improve my Spanish and I knew, among other things, that it is a country with wonderful landscapes, with a low cost of living and with very hospitable people.

Also, I wanted to know Bogotá and have the experience of living in a big city, because I´m from Lille, which is small city. At the same time, I wanted to get closer to the reality of the country, see the differences that exist with France and have a point of view more focused in the social aspect.

In January I arrived in Colombia. From the beginning the accompaniment of the Sergio Arboleda University was very good. At first, I was surprised by the academic variety of the institution, because in France, we are used to universities specialized in a single area of study. The fact that La Sergio had many careers meant that I was in a huge place. That really liked to me.

I also enjoyed everyday life. Since I had few classes, I could go to the gym, practice basketball with team members and visit the library to develop my academic and personal projects.

New friends

Although I don´t consider myself very sociable, and even at first I thought it would be difficult to meet new people, the reality was different. I enjoyed make Colombian friends, with them I spend part of my free time and went to the parties, so was very interesting.

But the best thing that could happen to me was having the opportunity to live the quarantine time outside the city. This was thanks to my friend Sergio Alejandro Bustos, who also studies at the university. He, at the beginning of the restrictions period due to COVID-19, invited me to his family´s farm in Guamal, Meta.

There I had the opportunity to discover the culture in a completely different way than it could be done in a traditional exchange. I got used to the rhythm of the countryside life: I used to got up and went to sleep very early. I learned to work with the Bustos family, I discovered the nature of the country and shared with very valuable people.

This was definitely an excellent decision. In Bogotá, my bedroom was very small and I´m sure that if I had stayed, I would have been sad. In Guamal, on the contrary, there was a lot of space, a very beautiful garden and many sunny days.

Remote classes, a big challenge

With the arrival of the pandemic and its consequent confinement, the university implemented remote classes. This was complicated for me, because I didn’t have a good internet connection, but despite the circumstances I was very gratified to see the effort of my teachers, who did everything to develop the sessions in a normal way and to be able to conclude the academic program. It was a real challenge because in classes like “Sales Management” interaction is needed to have a better learning, to be more focused and thus not lose the interest.

Despite these difficulties, I would not hesitate for a second to take the decision to live once again this great experience. And I’m clear that I will always speak well of the Sergio Arboleda University, since it is an institution that offers great learnings on personal and academic level, and gives the opportunity to share classes with many Colombians and meet new people. I returned to France, but I´ll never forget Colombia.

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