Adélo, can you tell us something about yourself? What do you study? Where did you spend your exchange stay?
Hello everybody, my name is Adéla Jehličková and I study a Master’s degree in Security Studies. I love traveling and discovering new countries and cultures. This was also one of the main reasons why I decided to spend one semester at CIDE in Mexico City.
Where did you learn about the inter-university/ inter-faculty programme? Why did you choose this programme?
I was a first-year Master’s student and an offer to go and study abroad appeared in a newsletter from the faculty. Since I had already been on Erasmus and wanted to try something different, I applied for the inter-faculty programme and it worked out which made me extremely happy. Overall, I would recommend this program to everyone for at least two reasons. First one is that this programme allows you to study outside of the EU and gain a very important and beneficial perspective on the world. Second reason is that it is less paperwork than one must do if they choose ERASMUS+.
Why did you choose CIDE?
I chose CIDE because it is one of the best universities in Mexico and in Latin America in general. The professors that teach there are real experts in their fields. Furthermore, it has a very nice campus; they have their own canteen and gym and they also provide a school bus for students.
Could you tell us something regarding your first days? Any acclimatization problems or culture shocks?
I arrived a few days before the start of the academic year to get used to everything and see how everything works. Advice from my friends who had been to Mexico before on a study abroad programme helped me tremendously. And I turned to the exchange students who were in Prague, and they also helped me a lot.
As far as acclimatization is concerned, Mexico is a completely different country and although I had some idea about Mexico, I did not really know what I was getting into. Everything surprised me. From the weather, the people, the public transport to the (non)functioning police. There are countless things that surprised me, but at least you get used to some of them (some with time and some maybe never).
Would you share with us your favourite experience?
I probably do not have only one favourite experience. I have a lot of them. I really got in love with Mexican people, they are amazing. I also enjoyed Mexican food and travelling around the country. Once we were traveling to Hidalgo and we went to buy a cup of ponche (traditional Christmas drink), the seller asked us where we were from. When we told him we were from the Czech Republic he could not believe it. He started grabbing his head, laughing, and poured us an extra cup of ponche.
For sure, the fundings awarded by the university and faculty are nice but not sufficient. So how difficult is it to get by? And if it is not too personal, could you tell us approximately how much of your savings did you have to use?
If you want to see at least a little bit of Mexico, if you want to travel, funding from the university is not sufficient. However, it helps a lot. You can save a lot of money by not traveling so much. But I decided to go to Mexico because I also wanted to explore the country. For this reason, I had to use my savings. I used approximately CZK 35 000.
Would you recommend the destination to other students? Would you recommend this type of mobility?
I would recommend Mexico to everyone, although I would warn them that they are leaving the European Union and that a lot of things work differently there, and they have to take that into account. And as far as the academic program, I would definitely recommend this type of trip to everyone, it is worth it.
Sometimes students do not want to go on an exchange as they do not want to leave their comfort zone. What would you tell such students?
Start living your life.
What’s next? You are in the second year of your Master studies. What are your plans after you finish your studies? Are you thinking of returning to Mexico?
After completing my studies, I would ideally like to work abroad and experience new countries that I have not yet explored. But I would also like to go to Mexico again. It’s a huge country and there are still a lot of places I’d like to explore someday.
And the last question- Anything IO should do differently or improve to make the preparation for the mobility easier?
I’m incredibly grateful for the help from people who are in the business of handling student mobility. They are always terribly kind and helpful in every situation, and I really appreciate that. In addition, this thanks also goes to everyone who is responsible for approving this mobility because they always try to help and accommodate students. At the same time, having contacts with students who have been to Prague but are normally studying at the university I went to has helped me a lot. Their advice was very much appreciated and beneficial.
Do you want to go abroad as Adéla did? Check out the current outgoing opportunities.