Knowing how to deal with cultural differences

My name is Ignacio Peluaga Lozada. I was born in Argentina, but moved to Spain at the age of 7.

In Spain I study Computer Science. But I wanted to go to a German speaking country and to a big city. From the available list of German speaking destinations Zurich was the biggest city so I applied to it. Then I found out I would go to Winterthur and not Zurich as it was stated on the list, but this was not a problem at all.

My first impression as introduction was at the Technikum: the building is old, but it’s clean. Back at home the building in which Computer Science is taught is quite new but not as clean and organised as the ZHAW School of Engineering. The infrastructure at the ZHAW School of Engineering is top in my opinion so engineering students can really learn what is needed for nowadays engineer positions.

My most memorable experiences are the ones I lived with the people I met there, specially the other exchange students at the ZHAW School of Engineering during the first semester. Also I had the chance to learn German and to study at an university which teaches what is really needed in the “real world” and not tons of (in a way) useless theory. Thanks to what I learned at ZHAW I was able to find a job in an area of Information Technology that I really like.

Ingacio (left) and fellow students a the Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen.

I did like living in Switzerland as well. Even though it’s expensive everything is clean and organised. Also going on exchange programs is a unique opportunity to meet people from all around the world and to learn from them. Knowing how to deal with cultural differences is important nowadays.

My advice to people who are planning on doing exchanges is not do an exchange year when its going to be your last bachelor’s year and you have to pass 60 credits. You do not know what you will find at the destination university. ZHAW School of Engineering and my home university have different teaching methods and it is quite difficult to get used to this and therefore pass all the exams and get all the credits. Besides that, I would suggest that exchange semesters should be mandatory for Bachelor students because what is learned during that time can not be learned in any other way.

Ignacio (middle) and other exchange students on their trip to Schaffhausen.

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