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Lourdes Hernández Ramos

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  • Lourdes Hernández Ramos

  • My Erasmus experience

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During my final university year, I had the opportunity to participate in an exchange program with the Polytechnic School of Montreal (Canada). I had studied for my whole degree in my home town so this was the first time I spent time away from home. I arrived in mid-winter, when everything was snow-covered, and left just when it was beginning to melt. Actually, everyone had made me so afraid of the cold that it didn't seem so much of a big deal in the end. Everything is so climate-proof (underground city included), that you only notice the cold when you spend a lot of time outside in the elements. 
 
The language came as a surprise. I had already taken on board that I had to make myself understood in French, but I didn't realize that the accent in the Quebec region is completely different from the one I had studied at school. I gradually got used to it. And yes, the locals live up to their reputation and are charming –at least they certainly seemed so to me.
 
I really liked the city. There is a university ambience, people everywhere, and it's a perfect size –large enough to offer lots of things to do but never oppressive.
 
My best memory is of the people I met and the experiences I had. There were seven of us in the flat, each from a different country, and each of us really different in our own way, but we were like one great big family. Three years have gone by, but thinking of them still brings a smile to my face. 
 
I would recommend this experience to absolutely everyone, from the adventurous to those afraid to do something new. You learn a lot and it opens up your mind, ridding you of stereotypes you sometimes don't even know you have.