When I came to Pamplona last year to start my career at UNAV I was, in a certain way, numbed. Everything was so fast: getting on the plane, taking the train, moving things out, saying goodbye. It was a blur and I didn’t quite realize what was happening until I was alone the first night in my room. Then it hit me: I am here, all by myself, thousands of miles away from my family, starting a new phase in my life and, somehow, I have to manage to get through a whole year.
At the beginning I had plenty of questions: how do I wash this? Where’s the post office? Are those rubber boots really worth it? Where do I get my ID? Why does it rain all the time in Pamplona? How am I supposed to dress when it snows? What is the right bus? Tons of questions flooded my mind and for many it was a trial and error situation. I spent a lot of money on international calls with my parents asking them for advice and they could only help me so much. In the end, it was my responsibility to learn how to do, well, almost everything. But what at the beginning seemed like an impossible task by the end of the year was almost routine.
Now that I am in my second year of college I look back and see how much I’ve grown up, but I also realize that I couldn’t have done it alone, and so I think of all the people that did not only help me, but joined me in my journey. It was their company, their support and their advices, along with the one from my own family, that everything was possible. So I want to be able to do what my friends, my family or simply the people I bumped with along the way did for me.
So this blog answers to that need, to be helped and to help others. Being in a different country, to experience a different culture and to be far from your loved ones, that leaving aside the fact that you have to study, can be overwhelming; but, given our different backgrounds: I come from Venezuela, two of our group mates come from Corea, one is from Ecuador and the last one is from Spain (the insider), we hope that our experiences can be useful and that anybody who visits our blog leaves with a new tip that will help him or her to overcome any obstacle. In the end each and every experience, whether they are good or bad, is a lesson for the learning process that is life. The key is to discover it and embrace it.
-María Fernanda Callejón