We interview Ana Montemayor, a student at the Terres de l’Ebre Campus and member of the Mentors URV programme, which aims to help international students to integrate quickly on their arrival at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Like many other mentors, Ana recommends the experience to others
- How did you find out about the Mentors URV programme and why were you interested in taking part?
I found out about the Mentors URV programme through an email that I received before the start of the academic year and I decided to sign up as a mentor because it seemed a very interesting project that would allow me to get to know people from other countries, make new friends, see how the world of mobility grants works and also because I would also gain one AUR credit.
- What kinds of activities does a mentor URV do?
A mentor is someone who helps students who come from other countries to get their bearings during their first few days here. Among the things you have to do are contacting your buddy to see if they have any questions, if they have accommodation for the full time they will be here, if they know how to get to the city, and so on. You also help your buddies if they have any problems or need anything during their stay and help them to get to know and integrate into the city and the university.
- How long does the mentoring last?
That depends, it can be for just one academic semester or for an entire academic year. After the first semester, the URV’s International Center contacts all those who have acted as mentors to see if they would like to carry on in the second semester, and it sends an email to all students in the University in case anyone else is interested in starting.
- What do you most like about this experience?
What I most like about this experience is that it has helped me to grow as a person, to make new friends, to discover new places and cultures and to learn about the positive and negative differences between countries. I have also learnt to communicate better in other languages and I have seen how other students adapt to a different country from their own, and I think that will be useful for me in the future if I go to another country for an extended period.
- Would you recommend being a mentor to other URV students?
Yes, it is a very pleasant experience, it is fun and it opens your mind because you can compare different countries, personalities and characters.
In addition, I think that for people who are thinking about travelling to another country to study it is a good way of learning how mobility grants work. And it is a really good way of improving your language skills.