Upon my arrival in Uruguay I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Tucked away between the giants of Brazil and Argentina, Montevideo doesn’t have the same glamorous ring to it as Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires. However, this country with a population of only 3 million has European charm, friendly people and a nearby beach so I was off to a good start.
The university itself has been a different experience to what I’ve come to know at UTS. The Universidad de Montevideo is a private Catholic university with only 2500 students, so much like Montevideo in general everyone knows each other. The main building is always full of students greeting one another with the customary kiss on the cheek or sharing a ‘mate’ (a popular tea throughout South America) in between classes. The small size of the university and exchange group, as well as the kindness of the Uruguayans, has made it easy to meet people. This sociability is also strongly encouraged in the university through the opportunities to participate in sports, volunteer or attend university events. In my experience through two different exchanges (UTS ICS and Global Exchange) one of the most important things when on exchange is to throw yourself into all the opportunities that are made available to you.
The classes at the UM also encourage interaction with other students and professors. Much like UTS, the UM seeks to keep classes interesting and participatory, whilst also teaching through practice and theory. Unlike UTS, the UM does not incorporate a lecture component to classes but only has a more ‘tutorial’ style class. I am currently taking a mixture of communications and business classes which require attendance and participation in class, as well as assessments throughout the semester. Although presentations, participation and oral assessments in Spanish still make me nervous I am thankful for the practice that it gives me as I am seeing constant improvement in my language abilities. However, the university also offers a range of subjects in English for both international and local students if desired. From my brief experience thus far in Uruguay I can safely say that I am eager to see what else the country, university and semester will bring.
Bachelor of Communications & BAIS
Universidad de Montevideo
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au