Communication made us friends for life

I meet them in our TV & Radio Studios. They do not know it yet because they have just started their studies, but they will spend a great part of their degree here. Between cameras, microphones and editing equipment, Juan and Ivonne seem to be in their natural environment. She is from Nicaragua and he is from Venezuela, but their friendship is very Spanish. We talk with them about their experience, their vocation… and podcasts.

Students of Communication at CEU Valencia
Juan and Ivonne are studying our Pathway to Audiovisual Communication and to Advertising, respectively.

Why did you choose Spain for your studies and how did you find out about CEU Valencia?

Ivonne: First of all, I wanted to go to Canada because my brother is studying there and we are very close to each other. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a visa because of the current situation in my country. Finally, I decided to come to Spain because my grandfather is Spanish.

Juan: Well, my situation is quite similar. I’m 20 years old right now so I graduated 2 years ago and had already started studying Modern Languages at the University. I liked it but it was a little bit boring for me. I always wanted to study Audiovisual Communication but in Venezuela there’s only a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since I’m not very interested in journalism, I couldn’t study the thing I was dreaming about. Then the situation in my country got really bad and I decided to come to Spain. On one side, my grandmother is Spanish and living here means that I still have family by my side. Also, I found out that this University has really good reviews, so I decided to go for it.

Did you always want to study Audiovisual Communication and Advertising?

J: I always knew I was going to be in this field. Either being the one that has a starring role or the one who is producing. I am passionate about photography and video editing. I even did an internship in a local radio for 6 months and during that period I knew I belonged there. That same feeling is still there. In less than 2 months I have had so much more fun than in 2 years studying Modern Languages.

Juan: “Everything is so exciting. I am happy with the things I’ve done and experienced so far and the people I’ve known. And the best part of this is that it’s just starting!”

I: I have to say I had many options while choosing my studies. At first I wanted to be a veterinarian because I love animals. Then I decided to become a doctor because I love the idea of helping people. Eventually, in my last year, I decided to relate my studies more specifically with Communication. I always liked graphic design and I was always interested in trying to create my own commercials.

Students of Communication in our facilities
Juan and Ivonne at our TV & Radio Studios

How did you guys meet each other?

I: We met here at the University during Welcome Day for international students.

J: Since that moment we always sit together, do projects and work together even though sometimes we are in different groups… We somehow clicked from the very first day.

I: It’s nice to be surrounded by students from Latin America. Having Latinos by my side makes me feel more like at home.

J: Even if we are both from South America we have many cultural differences even though we come from the same part of the world. That’s why sometimes we start speaking in English after classes because it’s kind of easier for us to understand each other. We have very different ways of speaking Spanish!

Student of Advertising and PR
Ivonne, from Nicaragua to CEU Valencia

Ivonne, Can you give me a briefing of your friend Juan?

I can put it in one sentence. If you want someone to make you laugh really hard, that’s Juan. Juan literally makes me so happy. If I’m down, I know he’s going to be there and he will make me laugh. And you can definitely rely on him. If you have any problem or you’re going through something he’s going to be there for you.

How do you imagine the world of Advertising?

Advertising is not only communication with words but also with pictures. It doesn’t have to be a picture you took with your camera but also the one you created using graphic design software. I think it’s the way we communicate right now. For example, now we are all putting pictures on Instagram and this is the way we communicate our life to others. Through pictures.

Where do you think will Ivonne be in 5 years?

That’s a hard question. I still don’t know. I still don’t know if Advertising is something I want to do for the rest of my life. However, if I stay in Advertising, I would like to work in makeup company and help them in this area. Because I love makeup and I want to work with something that is more creative and empowering to women.

Ivonne: “It’s nice to be surrounded by other students from Latin America. Having Latinos by my side makes me feel more like at home.”

What do you like most about your studies here?

The facilities are really nice and I like the building where I’m studying right now. I’m not calling it home but it’s truly a place where I feel very comfortable. I actually love my classes and I love my schedule. The whole program of Advertising. It’s all about humanities and that’s what I like the most!

What would you say to convince students of 16-18 years that your studies are the most entertaining in the whole world?

The most important thing is that you can be very creative. There are no strict rules or formulas like in math. Of course we have to learn the theory but most of the time you have to create something spontaneously. You have to communicate. It’s a degree that is really entertaining and unexpected. You learn a lot about yourself, about things that you like and about other people, and of course to communicate and connect with them. Then, you can incorporate pictures, designs and other creative features to the idea you want to communicate.

Juan. from Venezuela to Spain to become an expert in Social Media
Juan. from Venezuela to Spain to become an expert in Social Media

Juan, tell me why you think Ivonne is currenty the best communicator in Europe…

I think she’s an expert in her field of studies because she is very determined and has a very good order of priorities while doing things. Which will drive her to success. She’s so focused and so more mature than she looks. She inspires me to be a better student and a better person. Her discipline is something we could all learn from. You will be successful in your profession, Ivonne!

Ivonne: “We are all now putting pictures on Instagram because this is how we communicate our life to others. Through pictures.”

About your motivations: Radio, television, social media, photography… or a bit of everything?

Everything… I like all of them! I do have my favorites, though: Social media, radio and from the audiovisual part specifically TV series. Those are the ones I would like to work in. But all of them are amazing and interesting to me. Also photography, which is one of my main hobbies.

Could you give me a headline that would recap your experience here in Valencia?

Exciting and unexpected. Because a year ago I didn’t know I would be studying this and having such fun. There are many experiences and things I’ve learnt since I got here in Valencia last July. I am learning a lot from many different cultures, which makes you grow a lot and this is also exciting. I am happy with the things I’ve done and experienced so far and with the people I’ve known. And the best part of this is that it’s just starting. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

As for the future, I don’t have a specific plan. I would love to start in radio after I graduate, even if it’s in a low position. After radio maybe I would move to TV media. I could mix the experience from the radio with the one I already have with social media!

Imagine that Ivonne and you have to work on a project that needs to be new, innovative and ground-breaking.

I: I know Juan has this idea of making a podcast so maybe we could do it together, coming up with ideas for the podcast, answering questions or just thinking about topics to talk about and then mixing that with communicating to others: Join us, listen to the podcast, ask questions, suggest new topics…

J: We can mix that with the things we are interested in working in the next years. For example, you’ve talked about makeup so we could do a podcast with makeup reviews giving our opinions. Mixing that with advertising and interviewing people, brand representatives or users of those brands could also work. Mixing our knowledge with something that we love would really help I think.

I: And we could also make like an independent Youtube channel and post videos!

J: She could be the one who decides what’s on display and I would create the content, edit, create, record. With her knowledge in advertising she could be in charge of social media to make it viral.

I: Maybe it doesn’t sound groundbreaking but it is for us because it would become an experience of what we are studying. So we get the experience, we get to learn from it.

J: I think we could do something extraordinary from something simple and ordinary.

I: I think it would be fun!!!

Students at CEU Valencia
Juan and Ivonne, friends for life!

At this moment I think I have lost the connection with Juan and Ivonne. Trapped in a conversation about their hypothetical audiovisual project, I think they have forgotten that I am here. But it is such a delight to hear them talk about planning, media, project management… and they are just in their first year!

Juan and Ivonne, Ivonne and Juan. It was fate that they met here in Spain. They are very young and have probably never heard of it, but I walk away from them humming a song that became very famous several years ago: “Amigos para siempre means you’ll always be my friend. ‘Amics per sempre’ means a love that cannot end. Friends for life, not just a summer or a spring. Amigos para siempre.

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