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Study Abroad - Valentina Cruz Mahecha

Name: Valentina Cruz Mahecha

Degree: Psychology

Home University: Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia

When did you study at Northumbria University?

From September 2018 to January 2019.

What subject did you study at Northumbria?

Psychology.

Why did you decide to do Study Abroad?

I decided to study abroad because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, and being able to do so while experiencing living in a different country was great. I always wanted to live in the UK be able to improve my English skills. I am from a Spanish speaking country and having a better English level increases my employability. I also wanted to experience living on my own, and having to be responsible for myself. That’s why studying abroad taught me a lot, not only academically, but also about life.

Why did you decide to come to Northumbria University?

I always wanted to study in the UK, more specifically in England, and my home university had a partnership with Sussex university, Bath university, and Northumbria university. Out of the three of them I liked the city of Newcastle a bit more than the other two, because of its student friendly environment. Also, Northumbria university offered a great set of module options for me to choose from. They offered modules I could never find in my home university.

What is your favourite memory of being at Northumbria?

I can’t possibly choose only one memory, but being able to meet people from all around the world, sharing my culture with other people and also learning about other cultures was amazing. I lived with four European girls (Poland, Germany and France), and I learned so much from them. Also, having the opportunity to travel around the UK and seeing beautiful places like Edinburgh, Belfast, Durham, and Alnwick were the highlights of my semester abroad.

Did you find living in Newcastle expensive?

It was expensive. I spent more than I usually do living in Colombia (or in any Latin American country). Accommodation and food are pretty expensive, but you can always save money by buying your vegetables and fruits in the Grainger Market, cooking rather than eating out a lot, or shopping clothes when on sale.

How will you use your experience of Studying Abroad at Northumbria in the future?

I gained so much experience from living on my own and having to take care of myself, which will help me in my general life. Also, I developed my English skills, which are very important nowadays both for career and life. Moreover, I believe having seeing the world, and having experienced not just one culture, but also many more through friends from other countries, helps me understand the world from other perspectives.

What advice would you give to a student who is thinking of coming to Northumbria to Study Abroad?

Do it. You probably will never have an opportunity like this one ever again. It will be scary at first, and it will take you out of your comfort zone, but it will be worth it. You will gain so many life skills, you will see the world from a different perspective, you will learn a lot about you, you will meet people from all around the world, and you will make friends for life. It’s a great experience, and trust me, you will not regret it.


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