Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

@Alejandra Acedo

Learn more from Jesús Pascual, a Communication and Digital Media student who decided to spend his semester abroad in the US at the University of Texas at Austin.

One of the perks of studying at IE University is the opportunities you will receive by participating in the daily life of this international and diverse community in the heart of Spain. However, these special learning experiences at IE University transcend borders and many of our students decide to study abroad and participate in one of the many exchanges that we have with some of the world’s most prestigious universities. Read more about Jesús Pascual’s experience studying abroad at the University of Texas at Austin, where this Communication and Digital Media student was able to leave the comforts of home and learn in a new and exciting environment.

Why did you choose to study Communication and Digital Media?

I chose to study a Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media because of the opportunity it would give me to take interdisciplinary knowledge and skills that I have acquired throughout my four years of study and put them into practice. This degree also has allowed me to discover and learn about the different research focuses in the communications field by building upon my journalism writing and technical skills. This has led me to have the chance to carry out tasks and group projects in which I have produced audiovisual content and created integrated marketing communications campaigns.

What do you like the most about living in Segovia and Madrid?

My class was the last graduating class to have spent all four years of studies in Segovia. The amount of bachelor degrees on offer at IE University has increased within the last two years. As a result, students currently spend their first two years in Segovia and then move to Madrid. In my opinion, it is the perfect combination. Having spent my time at IE University in Segovia, I truly believe that it is the perfect spot for a student with its small-town vibes, which allow you to strengthen your relationships with your classmates while getting the chance to discover its surrounding natural beauty. Plus, if you want to travel to Madrid, you can get there by train in just 30 minutes or by bus, which takes up to an hour.

Where did you live during your year abroad?

I spent my semester abroad at the University of Texas at Austin in the United States. It was not my first time in the States, but I did not expect to have all of the amazing experiences that I was able to enjoy in Texas’ capital city. The university is huge, with a campus made up of 18 schools and more than 50,000 students from all over the world. The city was vibrant as well and there was always something exciting to do. I also learned a lot of important life lessons while living abroad.

Why did you take the initiative to go abroad?

Since the very first moment I found out about IE’s study abroad program, I started to figure out where in the world I wanted to spend a semester. I think spending a semester abroad provides students with both linguistic, cultural, and personal development while they are able to continue their studies. IE University offers placements in some of the most prestigious universities worldwide; an opportunity I could not miss out on!

What are the biggest advantages of living abroad?

Living abroad has an unthinkable amount of advantages. First of all, it helps students to learn how to handle themselves in situations that may be out of their comfort zones. Secondly, the study abroad program will help you build lifelong connections with people from many different countries. Plus, it provides students with the opportunity to enroll in a different university and participate in classes that use diverse methodologies and resources. Lastly, it helps students expand their understanding of other people’s customs and traditions.

Why did you choose this particular university?

I chose the University of Texas at Austin (UT) because of the excellent reviews I had received regarding the city’s unique lifestyle and the overall reputation of the university. During my first years of studies at IE, I frequently asked exchange students from other institutions about their home universities, and I heard loads about the College of Communication at UT, which made me realize that Austin was the most suitable place for me to spend my semester abroad.

What would you most recommend to future exchange students?

I would recommend that they look for the most suitable options available to them for their time away from IE University. I also would suggest that they collect information through the services provided by International Mobility and that they ask their advisors which places they think would be the best fit for them according to their interests and academic backgrounds. Also, they should talk to the exchange students that may be taking a class with them at IE University. Once they find out where they will be heading, they should get to know the exchange students from that specific university and surround themselves with them in order to learn more about the local culture.