The perfect exchange: Lisette Arfman in Peru.
The perfect exchange
Name: Lisette Arfman.
Study: Finished IBA last year.
Currently doing: A gap year; in the board of Uni Partners.
Study plans: Doing her master in HR management in Berlin next year.
Exchange destination: Peru
Many people chose to go on exchange for the excitement, being on the other end of the world attracts people to Tilburg University, because here the possibility of going on exchange exists. Lisette is no different, she knew from the beginning that she wanted to go to a Spanish-speaking country for her exchange, but the main criterion was simple: It should not be too close to home. That is why Spain was immediately eliminated from the Top List. Argentina, Columbia and Peru were left. She eventually chose to go to Peru.
“I liked the adventure part!” Lisette admitted. “It is really different from The Netherlands.” She found it interesting to learn a lot from a different culture, environment and atmosphere comparing to The Netherlands. The fact that she was completely free to do whatever she wanted in Peru was also an aspect that made her exchange perfect. There were no obligations and the education, luckily, was not that difficult; this made it possible for Lisette to enjoy the other elements of the exchange, like going out and making friends.
To the question “What was life changing?”, Lisette answered: “Oh, that is difficult!” She pointed out that the experience as a whole would stick with her forever, but that she also enjoyed the different places she visited and the amazing landscapes of Peru. She described those landscapes with a beautiful “Wauw!”
As centrally known, Peru is not the safest place to be, especially when being a girl. Lisette stated this as well: “The men are extremely different, they see Western people as sex symbols and it is definitely not advisable for girls nor boys to take a cab alone. Yeah, nothing happened, but you need some guidelines.” These guidelines were provided by safety precautions online, however advice from people who went to South America for their exchange before was also very helpful for Lisette. “The people there,” she said “were also very warning!”
“There was a bit of connection with the people of Peru.” She expressed. “The language was a big barrier for me, but it was enough for social talk and for group work on the university, but the difference in culture was definitely present.” She assured that the guys were too open and could not take a hint, which pushed her away even more. Still, she could connect perfectly well with the other exchange students over there, who were also living with her. “We were more alike, especially compared to the Peruvian people.”
Concerning the costs, Lisette told me that: “The cost of living was quite the same as here in The Netherlands; definitely not too expensive!”
“The parties…” she indicated. “…were awesome! There were a great deal of parties at the exchange bars, but there were also plenty Salsa bars which were really nice. Different universities, as well, organized a lot of parties which were cheaper for exchange students; you could drink all night for five euros.” She also wanted to inform me that the house parties were amazing: “The Peruvian students, who go to university there, are very rich and had big houses that were perfect for parties. If you go there, try the Pisco Sour!”
Her last piece of advice: Follow your gut feeling, go for your first choice and just go for it! Make the best of it; grab the opportunity, because time flies. The exchange itself is recommendable, but if you do not have the ultimate feeling with one destination, it does not matter, the experience will be life changing anyway, wherever you go. Everywhere could be the perfect exchange destination!
By: Nachenthaly Francisco