As the first GLOCAL cohort to study at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, Carolina Alzate Quiroga (from Colombia), Daniel Costa (from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and Ella Sophie Weber (from Germany) shared their GLOCAL experiences in Bogotá and at the university. Check out the interviews that the students had with the university and see what they’ve learned during their stay in Colombia!
What surprised you most about Colombia and Bogotá?
Daniel: I think what surprises me the most is the similarity between Brazil and Colombia. Both countries face the same social-environmental challenges, so for me, it was really enriching to see how Colombians approach their problems. People were also really nice, which made me feel at home.
Carolina: I’m Colombian and originally from Bogotá, but what surprised me the most was how much I didn’t know about my own country and my city. It was a nice experience to discover many things that I ignored before thanks to my foreign GLOCAL friends.
Ella: I was really surprised by the people, the people are so nice, welcoming, and generous. I really recommend people to come to Colombia and study in Bogotá at UniAndes.
How would you describe the Colombian context as a scenario to develop your academic and research activities?
Daniel: I think Colombia, as the second most bio-diverse country in the world, provides a lot of opportunities in terms of thinking about how can we redevelop our relationship with the environment and build an economic future that joints both environmental and social challenges. Since Colombia and Brazil have many similarities, I think Colombia is a great example for the world in terms of environmental and economic challenges.
Carolina: I think the Colombian context is really good, and we have really good quality in terms of education, so it’s a really nice place to develop academic activities.
Ella: It is a really good environment to learn, study, and investigate, and I gained a lot of insights, new skills, and knowledge. It’s recommendable!
Which specific traits would you highlight about the university and the courses that were offered?
Daniel: Universidad de Los Andes is a great university, and I really feel welcomed by all the staff here, they were really friendly with us. I also had a chance to interact with people from other programs, such as the MBAs, and it was really good to interact with my Colombian colleagues. The professors are very approachable, and this is something that I really appreciate. They are really willing to help us and I feel really welcomed here.
The university premises were really ideal because they have a good sports center where I could swim most of the weeks. Everything is very well-organized, we have facilities to study in, computer rooms, and libraries. So for me, my experience at the Universidad de Los Andes was great!
Carolina: About UniAndes, I really like the methodology that we use here for the classes, and during the classes, we had lots of debates, which were really interesting and fruitful. We also studied business cases and specific cases in Colombia. In GLOCAL, we are on the most business-and-management-oriented track, and this is something that I highly appreciated.
Ella: I would like to highlight the focus on management and circular economy, which I think is very important nowadays.
Would you recommend the GLOCAL track to your colleagues and friends? Why?
Daniel: I would definitely recommend the GLOCAL program because I think it’s a program that combines diverse areas of social sciences within the most pressing challenge that we are facing right now. GLOCAL is a program that provides professionals with a wide range of subjects that will help them become versatile in the way that they approach their professional careers and even business, economic, environmental, and social challenges.
Carolina: Yes, I would recommend the GLOCAL track, especially if you are more interested in business, management, and sustainability. I really feel that I’ve learned a lot during my stay here, and I’m super glad that I chose the Colombian track.
Ella: Yes, I would definitely recommend it, and I already recommended it to my friends!
What would you highlight about the courses you selected as part of your GLOCAL track?
Daniel: I had four courses here at the Universidad de Los Andes. Management for Circular Economy. This was a great course in which we work on the principles of sustainability and how to combine circularity within business models. Another course I took was Sustainability Challenges in Latin America, and this course really presented us with the interlinks between social, environmental, and economic challenges and how we can face these challenges in a multi-stakeholder approach.
Another really important course was ConsultAndes, in which we had the chance to pursue a consultancy project (in my case, it was with an SME here in Colombia that wants to be carbon-neutral). This was a great experience for me because I really develop my teamwork skills and I managed to help a company reach a social-environmental goal that they have.
My last course was Entrepreneurship and Capitalism in Latin America. It is a business history course that encompasses all the history of Latin America from a business perspective, and this is really interesting because we talk a lot about Latin America in terms of the environmental and social challenges, but it was interesting to see all the histories through the business lense. For me, all the courses were really nice.
Carolina: I really like that the courses are really sustainability-focused. For example, we learned about management and development perspectives in Management for Circular Economy class. I think that is very valuable and adds to the program. I also like that here we have an approach and all my courses were related to sustainability in a way, which was also one of the reasons that I chose this track and I really appreciate it.
Ella: I would like to highlight the hands-on approach of the courses. I selected the course ConsultAndes, and it was a really practical course, which was not only about theories but also about a practical learning experience. I really liked that!