16.06.2023 The CECICC exchange experience of Laura María Aguilar and Silvia Galvis

The CECICC exchange experience of Laura María Aguilar and Silvia Galvis, students of the Universidad del Magdalena at the Philipps Universität Marburg

Laura María Aguilar

When you are asked: what has your experience abroad been like? There is always a lot to say. To get to Marburg I took a 3-day flight: Santa Marta - Bogota; Bogota - Mexico City; Mexico City - Madrid; Madrid - Frankfurt and, finally, a train that would drop me off at the stop of the place I would call from now on: home. My first impression: How welcoming! The city is full of landscapes and bird songs that you can contemplate from your window all the time. I must say that the first few weeks were challenging: understanding some formal processes can seem complicated, however, there is always someone willing to help you.

The buildings of Phillips University are all around the city, it is not a campus, which makes it a student metropolis with a very striking and fun panorama. In addition, the University is responsible for organizing many academic spaces for knowledge exchange in which you can attend to other perspectives, as well as be updated on recent debates in anthropology. 

I am working on a research project as part of the CECICC program Competing (In)Securities Frictions of Violence Transformation and Peacebuilding in the Colombian Peace Process where I am conducting an advanced search for information and data collection from the perspective of political and legal anthropology, fields in which I am really interested: it is the first time I apply this approach! Undoubtedly, the academic and professional growth is fulfilling all the expectations I brought in my suitcase from day one. I am very excited about the challenges ahead!

Without fear of being wrong, I assure my colleagues who are still hesitating to take the first step: You won't regret it!

Silvia Galvis

I have been in Marburg for a month and a half and in this short time I can say that it has been an experience that has changed my life and will continue to change my life. After a long journey of more than 48 hours, I finally arrived at my new home, a room in a university residence. I went to a few foreign student parties and met some fun people who would later become my friends. After learning how to use the German windows (yes, because they are different), and getting everything I needed, I was ready to start my academic semester in Marburg.

Everyone had told me that in Europe the classes were masterful and there was not much discussion between students and teachers, but in my experience that has not been the case. Whenever I have something to say or ask, both the professors and my classmates are willing to open the discussion. Thanks to the project I was able to join the NISANSA research project, in which I will be working together with students from Mozambique. I am very excited about what we will do next.

This exchange has also allowed me to meet people from all over the world, try different foods, different ways of working and of course German beer and sausage. It is my first time in Europe and I plan to take advantage of every moment to meet new people and places and learn a lot in class.

Photo: on the right Laura Aguilar and on the left Silvia Galvis.