Jorge Zapata writes about his experiences as an international student at UNT

November 8, 2015o-COLOMBIASATELLITE-570

Experience as an international student

Since I started my undergrad at the University of EAFIT, Medellin-Colombia (my hometown), my dream was to do some of my studies in a foreign country. I have always thought it would be a good idea to experience other environments to see multiple points of view about the same idea and how the culture in another country can affect the development of some activities, in this case, music.

My name is Jorge Luis Zapata Marín, I was born in Medellin-Colombia. Since I was a child, my mom used to take me to children’s musicianship classes and concerts. I remember that sometimes it was fun but other times it wasn’t.  We used to go to classical concerts and I remember how fast I would fall asleep… I guess it wasn’t the right age to go to those concerts but I can say they were some of the reasons I am where I am. Years passed and I found something which would change my life forever. In 2003, I participated in a program called “La Red escuelas de música de Medellín”.  This was a social program in my hometown which helped children to find their love for music. This was where I started playing the Viola.  In 2009, I started my undergrad at EAFIT with my Viola professor, Dr. Sheldrick.  She is a person who loves what she does, and is one of the most influential people in my life as musician and as a person.

The years have passed once again and now I am studying at the University of North Texas under the tutelage of Dr. Susan Dubois.

Panoramica_de_Medellin-ColombiaAs I said before, it is really important to have different ideas and that’s why I did so many music festivals while doing my undergrad. In one of the festivals, I met Dr. Dubois and I knew immediately that I wanted to study with her because of her teaching and enthusiasm during  lessons.

It is hard to be far away from home, but I would do whatever I have to do to make my dreams a reality. I miss my town, my friends, and my MOM, but it is better to think of the positive things than the negative ones. I have met incredible people, made wonderful friends and  professors, and I have experienced all of the purposes that I had in my mind of going to another country; a different environment, life in a different culture, and  I must say that now that I am in a different place and I don’t have a lot of distractions, I can focus even more on what I am supposed to do.  Practice and study… 

During this year I will keep posting and telling you my experiences as an international student. My hope by writing these posts is to help any potential international student to not be afraid to live their dreams, even if it means to move to another country. 


Jorge Luis Zapata Marín

(Image credit: Google Images)

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