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Welcome Event


Once again Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) is preparing to receive its international students. The Welcome Event was held on the Getafe campus on September 2nd, and some 800 foreign students of diverse nationalities enrolled for the 2014/2015 academic year were invited to attend. They are not the only ones, as 500 more are expected in the second semester, for a total of 1,400 international students for the entire academic year. Among them are Erasmus scholars, exchange students and free movers.

They have different reasons for choosing this University. Many decide to come to UC3M because of its academic prestige. “I wanted to go abroad and I heard that the University’s Department of Economics was very good and that’s why I decided to come,” said Timothy Gay Zhiwen, from Singapore. Other students like Beatrice Testori and Alberto Bozzola, from Italy, came because of the attraction of Spain and Madrid as tourist destinations. Miezi Tanella, from France, like many others, wanted to learn Spanish.

The Welcome Event is a moment of reception and orientation for these students. First, they listen to an informative talk that covers all aspects of university life, such as IT services, the library, the Language Center, the Students Space and the Arts Hall. They also receive information about other kinds of services, such as the Erasmus Student Network, the Chinese Students Association and the Disfruta Más Madrid web site. Some Erasmus students found this talk useful because of the number of services it advertised “and because I finally got to see a map to orient myself,” said Margueritta Kavani, from Italy. After this session, groups (see photo) toured the campus to become familiar with the University’s main facilities. For the first time, this year a special presentation was organized for students from the Leganes campus in a special session held the following day.

Another initiative mentioned during the Welcome Event was the Buddy Program, whose purpose is to help international students integrate through volunteer students who accompany them for the duration of their stay, helping them get their bearings. The Buddy Program is the evolution of the Compañeros program, already offered by the University to first-year students.

The University is one of the largest recipients of international students in Spain, while the country has the most incoming and outgoing Erasmus students in all of Europe, as was observed by Alvaro Escribano, Full Professor and Vice Chancellor of International Relations, during the Welcome Event presentation. Moreover, the program has grown over the years.  UC3M receives “four times the number of students it did seven or eight years ago, and the same is true for national students,” noted Carlos Lopez Terradas, director of the UC3M Office of International Relations (initialled SERINT in Spanish). In addition, the university possesses qualities that make it more attractive for international students, such as the wide range of bilingual degree courses it offers. In fact, there are even some degree courses that are offered only in English, such as International Studies, Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Energy Engineering.