“When you land at the airport, you say to yourself: I’m here. At that moment, everything begins.” Marta Peralta, a fourth-year student of Advertising and Public Relations, knows that feeling well – it’s reserved only for those who opt for international mobility. She recently returned from Chile where she benefitted from a Santander-Ibero-America Scholarship.
Her stay was over before she knew it, even though she made the most of the months to visit San Pedro de Atacama, Buenos Aires, Patagonia and Bolivia… “I’ll return, I’m sure; it has changed the way I see things and I made great friends there.”
Well, until you leave us, we’re going to take advantage of the fact you’re still here to tell us about it… What impression do you get from the system at Universidad del Desarrollo?
Over there everything is very practical. The classes are based on practical cases, the exams are about real cases. Chile is gaining power when it comes to advertising – many large Argentine companies have moved to Santiago – and this is evident in what we got taught. It is also a University at which they are very strict in controlling attendance. I thought it was difficult to match the level of attention of the teaching staff and the practical aspect of learning at CEU Valencia, but the University surprised me in a good way.
Give us an example of that practical vocation you’re talking about…
One of the most interesting activities in which I participated was a publicity competition. The University brings together all Advertising courses for it. It is an intensive day, on a Saturday, working on a real brand. I was also able to collaborate with small entrepreneurs from a disadvantaged neighbourhood, Lo Barnechea, a commune in Santiago. Over the course of a week we advised them in order to improve their product and their sales. In a sense, that involves you in the labour market.
How were the first days?
Upon arrival the first thing we did was a tour of the University, and the next day we had a guided tour of the most symbolic areas of the city. To look after the students who recently arrived, there were two types of people: the ambassadors, to whom you could go every now and then if you needed something; and the “buddys”, who worked full-time during the first days. Two of my classmates were ambassadors, which made my arrival a lot easier.
And personally, what has this international mobility brought you experience-wise?
There is a before and after to this scholarship. I have grown in every sense. I got to know myself much better. In fact, one of the classroom activities was to work as if you were a brand: explain how a product is described, detail the benefits, explain your brand value. They teach you how to discover yourself: I think I’m a better brand than before! You learn to say no, to organise yourself, to get going without depending on anyone…
What song will remind you of this experience for a lifetime?
I remember one by a group that is called “Deu Onda”. It’s Brazilian music; we used to listen to it before leaving for Italia, a neighbourhood in Santiago.