Ailende Eigbefoh-Addeh, predoctoral researcher in the Biomedicine Ph.D. program, was appointed as the representative of the URV at the Aurora Student Council. In this interview, he reflects on his connection to the URV and the internationalization experience
Ailende Eigbefoh-Addeh studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Business Administration and Management at the URV. After completing his master’s, he is currently enrolled in the Biomedicine Ph.D. program.
Why did you want to be the representative of the URV?
The turning point was when I changed my mindset and started to thoroughly investigate everything the URV was doing, its various projects, and how students could get involved. Realizing the significant task being carried out at the URV, I felt a strong desire to actively contribute and be an important part of the university community.
What motivated you to do it through Aurora?
When the call for students to join Aurora’s student council was announced, I thoroughly researched what Aurora was and its objectives. I quickly identified with its goals and approach, which motivated me to join. The idea of contributing my experiences and knowledge to an initiative aligned with my values was the main motivation.
What would you highlight from your international experiences?
As a Ph.D. student, I have had the opportunity to attend various international and national conferences. Additionally, thanks to a URV scholarship, I participated in a seminar in Japan.
How do you assess your participation in the Hiroshima University seminar?
My experience at Hiroshima was enriching. I highlight the cultural clash between Japan and Spain, which allowed me to understand many aspects of Japanese culture. I also made friends from Japan and other parts of the world, and we still keep in touch. It was an incredible experience that I would 100% recommend to those who enjoy learning and meeting people from different cultures.
Why would you recommend it?
These international experiences have allowed me to expand my horizons, establish friendships worldwide, and grow both personally and academically by exposing myself to different perspectives and cultures.
How would you define the relationship between the URV and Aurora?
Although I am not an expert, I perceive that Aurora is not just another project in which the URV participates. Rather, Aurora plays a significant role at the URV.
From here, what role do you play, and what do you think you can contribute?
I can contribute my knowledge, time, and desire to generate positive change, both through Aurora and other URV projects. Students are an essential part of the university community, and our voices need to be heard. Thanks to my experience at the URV, I can offer real perspectives, both mine and those of my peers, and a culturally diverse viewpoint that sometimes differs from the majority.
What are the challenges of Aurora, and how do you address them from the Student Council?
Every year, Aurora focuses on a specific challenge, and this year it is on inclusion. From the Student Council of Aurora, we work in collaboration with our universities to implement strategies that address these challenges. We also meet with other Aurora members to exchange ideas and learn about initiatives from other universities.
How will the Aurora Student Conference hosted by the URV this February be like?
We are still in the preparation process for the Aurora Student Conference to be held at the URV on February 14th and 15th. Our intention is for it to be a dynamic event with a special focus on intercultural communication. To prepare, we are holding meetings where we generate ideas about how we want the session to be.
What has being the representative of the URV at Aurora brought to you on a more personal level?
Although I recently joined Aurora, it has so far provided me with the opportunity to meet people passionate about the topics that interest me. It has also helped me understand more deeply how things work at the URV, as I have had to interact with university authorities to fulfil my new role.