Maria Costa Moncho is an undergraduate student at IE University, currently in her third year of the Bachelor in Business Administration program. Recently she enrolled in our international exchange program because she wanted to explore other places besides her native Spain. She decided on studying at the University of Warwick, located in Coventry, England.
IE University has a multitude of programs and opportunities for students to expand their knowledge and skills and explore their interests, and the Undergraduate Exchange Student program is one of them. I decided to complete my exchange program in the United Kingdom—I studied at the University of Warwick in Coventry for the spring and summer semesters. I chose Warwick because it’s ranked as one of the top ten universities in England, and relatively close to Spain so I could visit my family and friends and they could visit me, as well.
Two of my friends studied abroad there and recommended the university, the environment and the people. I have always felt a strong connection to the UK; ever since I completed my A-levels at a British school, I have felt comfortable with the British educational system. Exploring a new world of possibilities in England was a dream of mine and I knew I would immerse myself in its culture and meet new people.
Diving into a new culture when new to a city can be overwhelming and fun at the same time, but I felt extremely at ease with my new environment. I met many people from different countries and learned about their lives and cultures, as well as their life at the University of Warwick. I was happy about the new experiences and I truly enjoyed meeting new people from different parts of the world. I enjoyed getting different insights and ways of teaching from the university, too.
Classes were different and exciting, as well. I learned from experts about business and different ways of approaching problems in the business world. I stepped out of my comfort zone and became more confident. I grew so much during my time there; I was appreciative of the opportunity and happy about my participation in the program because I became more independent and motivated to get the best out of this amazing exchange experience.
The knowledge I gained was also amazing. There are experts and professors from the specific field of study and I was able to gain advice and insights from them. Although I wasn’t able to complete an internship, I know that students can have the opportunity to do one while they study abroad, something I also recommend because you’ll gain hands-on experience that prepares you for your career.
A highlight for me was my time on the university’s campus. I stayed in an on-campus dormitory and the experience was absolutely unforgettable. The University of Warwick had excellent facilities, with many different places to meet and hang out with friends. In addition to the dormitories, there were study spaces, several restaurants and hang-out spots, gyms and many other facilities that kept all students entertained every single day of the week.
I definitely recommend studying abroad if you’re given the chance to do so; it changes a student’s life forever. It definitely changed my life for the better. By studying in another country, you know more about other cultures and become lifelong friends with people you meet while abroad.
The positives of studying abroad are just too many. From traveling around the UK and other countries nearby, to becoming more responsible and independent, the educational journey and personal growth that came from it were substantial. Stepping out of my comfort zone prepared me for the future—whether in school, my career or in my personal life. It really was an experience that was beneficial for me and effectively prepared me for a job after university.
All in all, the studying abroad experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I don’t regret it at all and would do it again in a heartbeat; it was enriching and unforgettable. I’ve never looked back and it ended up being a world of endless possibilities for me.