Home is where the Hilltop is: Meet 2 international exchange students

Irene+Cabedo-Pesudo+takes+a+Red+Door+photo+with+her+new+St.+Edward%E2%80%99s+gear.+Cabedo-Pesudo+wanted+to+go+to+a+university+in+a+large+city+compared+to+her+home+university+which+is+in+a+small+town+on+the+Mediterainian+coast+in+Spain.+
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Home is where the Hilltop is: Meet 2 international exchange students

Irene Cabedo-Pesudo takes a Red Door photo with her new St. Edward’s gear. Cabedo-Pesudo wanted to go to a university in a large city compared to her home university which is in a small town on the Mediterainian coast in Spain.

Irene Cabedo-Pesudo takes a Red Door photo with her new St. Edward’s gear. Cabedo-Pesudo wanted to go to a university in a large city compared to her home university which is in a small town on the Mediterainian coast in Spain.

Niki Batac / Hilltop Views

Irene Cabedo-Pesudo takes a Red Door photo with her new St. Edward’s gear. Cabedo-Pesudo wanted to go to a university in a large city compared to her home university which is in a small town on the Mediterainian coast in Spain.

Niki Batac / Hilltop Views

Niki Batac / Hilltop Views

Irene Cabedo-Pesudo takes a Red Door photo with her new St. Edward’s gear. Cabedo-Pesudo wanted to go to a university in a large city compared to her home university which is in a small town on the Mediterainian coast in Spain.

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Students arrive at St. Edward’s from all over the globe in hopes of making their mark and joining a network that can further their opportunities. For two exchange students in particular, Irene Cabedo-Pesudo and Sara Brocchini, their experiences at the university have given them newfound perspectives of higher education and life in the U.S.

Q & A: Irene Cabedo-Pesudo from Universitat Jaume I

Q: Where is home to you?

A: “I’m from Spain. Like the Mediterranean coast, kind of like in the center.  More or less.”

Q: Why did you decide to come to St. Ed’s? How are things different at this university in comparison to your previous university?

A: “Out of all my options, Austin was the biggest city. I didn’t want to go to a village or something. My university is a small university, kind of like this one. But classes are real different. My classes back home are really big. We are 100 students, and that’s a small class. Usually we’ll be like 200 or 300. You just go to class, sit down and listen. You don’t ask. You don’t talk. You don’t have to go to class. You can go there to take the exams in January and that’s it. But I go to class. Some people don’t.”

Q: What’s your major?

A: “English Literature.”

Q: What are your aspirations post-graduation?

A: “To be honest, I don’t really know what I’m going to do because I don’t really know what I want to work as. I’m gonna try to have an internship in editorial and try what it’s like. And then maybe I’ll have a year off. But not because I don’t want to study more or anything. Maybe I’ll work because I want to ask for a scholarship for being a teaching assistant…”

Q: What do you hope to take away from your experience here at St. Ed’s?

A: “Improve my English. Learn more about the literature, history, the culture… I’ve never lived alone or far from home. My home university is in the next town so I still live with my parents. So this is a whole new experience for me doing everything alone.”

Q: What’s your favorite part about Austin?

A: “I love tacos… I really like Austin. It’s a modern city.”

Q: What’s one thing that you’ll miss about Austin when you return home?

A: “I’ll miss the people for sure. I’m gonna miss how the teachers know who you are. And the big city with a lot of people because I’m from a small town.”

Q: Can you give me some fun facts about yourself that you would like people to know about you? 

A: “I really love the states now that I’ve been here. I love music apart from literature.”

Q & A: Sara Brocchini from University of Milan

Niki Batac / Hilltop Views
Sara Brocchini works on homework outside Jo’s coffee shop on campus. Brocchini, who is originally from Italy, enjoyds St. Edward’s small class size compared to her university back home.

Q: Where is home to you?

A: “I come from Senigallia, it’s a small city in the center of Italy. I consider Senigallia my home.”

Q: Why did you decide to come to St. Ed’s? How are things different at this university in comparison to your previous university?

A: “I wanted to come to the U.S. but I didn’t specifically choose St. Edward’s. I just put five options and they sent me here. It’s completely different. It’s a lot of work… In my university, you go to classes but you just listen to the professor speaking. And then you can decide not to go or go sometimes. It’s your choice… We are like 200 in some class of people, so they really don’t know you. And you can, of course, go to their office hours but I’m not used to it… The first semester, we start in October, and then we have classes till the first days of December. And then we have Christmas break, have exams in January and February. And then we have another two weeks of break between the semesters. And then we start over again at the end of February.”

Q: What’s your major?

A: “Global studies.”

Q: What are your aspirations post-graduation?

A: “I would like to teach languages because I study English, Spanish, Chinese, and I studied French. I would like to improve that, too. But professors in my country aren’t treated very well. So I also like political science and international relations – that kind of stuff. So I have to decide which master I’ll take.”

Q: What do you hope to take away from your experience here at St. Ed’s?

A: “Improve my English, of course. Just learn more about your culture. I would like to travel coast to coast just to see the difference…”

Q: What’s your favorite part about Austin?

A: “There is a place… it’s not downtown. If you come from South Congress, there’s a bridge. You don’t cross it… There’s a park and you can walk and you can see the skyline. That’s really nice. I think that’s my favorite place.”

Q: What’s one thing that you’ll miss about Austin when you return home?

A: “Friendly people. Whenever I meet someone, he or she always smiles and say ‘hi, what’s up’.”

Q: Can you give me some fun facts about yourself that you would like people to know about you? 

A: “I’m a very sociable person so if someone wants to hang out or speak with me, I’m totally fine with that. I’m always late, unfortunately, so sorry for that. I like every kind of sport so if you do something weird or really particular, I’m in.”