Incoming: Guadalupe, from Mexico to Bordeaux
Guadalupe López Nava is a Mexican undergraduate student following a Bachelor degree in Science/Biology at the “Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla” in Mexico. As part of her 3rd year, she spent a semester at the University of Bordeaux following the track “Sciences de la Vie” (Life Sciences).
Why did you choose to carry out part of your studies at the University of Bordeaux?
Before starting my Bachelor degree I was already thinking about studying abroad in order to gain a valuable life experience and enhance both my academic and personal abilities, including of course my language skills. I chose France for many reasons: it’s cultural richness, the French language, which forced me out of my comfort zone and last but not at all least, the excellent reputation of the academic and research staff at the University of Bordeaux which convinced me that it was the best place to live and learn.
What were your objectives during your period in Bordeaux?
I wanted to make the most of this academic experience by absorbing as much knowledge as possible from the course, my fellow classmates and my professors. I was duly impressed by the high-level of research based learning and teaching demonstrated by the students and the professors. This will be useful with my preparation for postgraduate programs in the future.
Outside of the academic sphere, my aim was to enjoy a fulfilling experience that would broaden my perspectives as well as my knowledge about the world and also about myself!
What was your learning experience like?
It was challenging as it was a completely new and different way of learning compared to my home country. However, facing this challenge and meeting with the high standards of the French education system helped me gain in self-discipline and confidence. In addition, both my professors and classmates were always ready and willing to help and were thus key in helping me achieve my goals. For this I am most grateful.
What were your impressions of the University of Bordeaux, the people, the city?
Positive! Bordeaux is a city with a great cultural offering: concerts, libraries, bars, museums, etc. not to mention of course the whole wine experience.
I was very impressed by all the (affordable!) sports activities proposed by the University. I was able to learn and practice surf and kitesurf at two training camps at the end of the semester. During the second camp in which other French universities took part, not only did we have the opportunity to practice surf but also paddling, kayak, yoga archery and bachata!
Outside the university, I very much enjoyed an activity known as the “refuges périurbains” (peri-urban refuges) with friends. This consists of escaping (and sometimes spending the night) in charming hideaways in the nearby countryside.
Both in university as in daily life, I met incredible people during this experience who will always have a special and important place in my life.
What did you learn with this international experience?
I very much enjoyed discovering the French culture with local and international students. However I must confess that I never got used to the (rainy!) weather nor to having lunch at the early time of 12pm! Looking back, I can say that I improved important personal values such as persistence, responsibility, respect, tolerance and professionalism. All in all it has, without doubt, been the most amazing experience of my life and I encourage those who may be hesitating to give it a try.