Name: Alejandro Rodríguez Peláez
Major: Business and Law
Hometown: Avila, Spain
BS: Tell us a little about yourself.
AP: I am a student from Spain, studying business. I’m a third-year, and I’m an exchange student for the year. Our university in Avila has an exchange program with the University of Dallas, with the undergraduate program. We can take a year in the United States, and one of the universities that you can choose is UD. I’m studying business and law in my country, and so I’m studying business here at UD. I was told that UD is good at business, so I chose this university for that reason. My mother has her own business; she’s a self-employee. My father is a public broker in the healthcare system. This is also my first time to the U.S. I’m excited to be here.
BS: What are your impressions of UD so far? Have you noticed many cultural differences?
AP: I’m really liking it a lot. I have great expectations, and I’m really, really happy. I’ve been here just for two weeks, until this moment. But, for example, the meals that we have [in Spain]…we have more meals, more slow. It’s different, but it’s not that different … Everything is so similar and there is continuity with a lot of things. Some things are different, like the baths and the meals, or the way that the university itself is different. But it’s easy to adapt. I like it a lot. I think that the students are really, really warm. Since I arrived, people are introducing more people to me, they are really, really nice with me. So it’s been easy to adapt to the university, so I’m happy with that fact. I think the teachers are very focused on the students; they help you a lot. They have a lot of experience and they are well prepared. I think that they give you a great view of the professional work.
BS: Have you had any funny experiences with the different culture here in the U.S.?
AP: It’s not a cultural change, but I’m used to different washing machines in Spain. I thought that the washing machine was the tall one, the dryer. So I put all the soap and everything in there. When I realized there was no water, then I changed everything to the wash. We just have vertical washing machines in Spain, but I’ve never seen dryers that are vertical. Good thing I was alone in there!
BS: Have you traveled very much within Spain?
AP: Usually I make two or three travels a year. I haven’t known each part of Spain very well, but usually I make two short travels a year, but not too much. I’ve traveled around to three or four other countries in Europe as well.
BS: What places do you recommend visiting in Spain?
AP: First, they have to go to Avila. [It is] small, but also wonderful. And maybe I would choose Madrid because it’s the capital of Spain. Toledo is also a wonderful city. And I also love Valencia; it’s different because you have the beach to go to. So those are my four main places to go in Spain.