This is not the first time that Ms. Maldonado decided to study abroad. The first time was six years ago when she was 15. She went to Montreal, Canada, to an English school called "Geos."
The opportunity opened up to her because her English professor thought it would be a good way to better her English. Ms. Maldonado's trip to Montreal lasted for about a month. During her trip she says that she did not get to experience the culture as much as she would have liked. Most of her time was spent with other international students.
"I spent more time with Mexicans and foreigners. There were people from Colombia, Germans, Japanese and Czechs in my class. The most important thing I saw is that Montreal is a very diverse and international city. There are people from many different countries that have settled there," said Ms. Maldonado.
Ms. Maldonado says that her experience at Eastern has been different because she has been able to get more involved here and take part in the culture. She says that she has really enjoyed her time here. Before coming to the university she felt nervous and was afraid that the classes she needed to transfer would not be available. Ms. Maldonado says, however, that she was able to take classes to transfer over and that she will be able to graduate on time.
"I have liked everything, my teachers, the people (the majority has been really nice to me), the classrooms, even the chairs,” said the international student “Probably what I like the most is that there are many events, cultural activities and shows organized by Multicultural Affairs and ASAB.”
She explains that there are many differences between Mexico and the United States. For example, there is no form of public transportation between cities. In Mexico it is very common for there to be some kind of transportation since most students do not own a car. They get around with public transportation.
Ms. Maldonado says another difference that stands out is the way people greet each other here. It is customary when saying hi to kiss someone on the cheek in Mexico. The only exception to this is when a younger women meets an older man for the first time.
“I am very used to saying hi to people with a kiss on the cheek, even to unknown people,” explained Ms. Maldonado
It seems that events, too, are different since they start right on time and don’t end till much after the time that was anticipated. The English student explains that in Mexico events usually start 30 minutes after the given time and end right on time.
Regardless of these minor details, she says that she enjoys the American culture and would like to continue studying abroad. She loves to learn about new cultures and her ultimate dream is to one day teach English at a school in the United Kingdom.
Ms. Maldonado says if there was one thing she could tell people about Mexico is that it is not as bad as it seems.
“Even though Mexico looks dangerous, it has a beautiful side, too. We are very diverse people and that it is not good to generalize who we are,” said the proud student.