My name is Andrea Paredes and I am an exchange student from Spain- Universidad Complutense de Madrid. I wanted to share with you my experience as an exchange student, I can sum it up in one word: Excellent.
I arrived in Grenoble on the 3rd of September, I was amazed at how beautiful the environment was, surrounded by big mountains and a huge river (Isère).
On the first day of class I met my classmates, 90% of them were French, but there were several exchange students which helped us adapt better. Being in a small group in class, we have a very good working environment, my colleagues are willing to help and work together, that’s something I love.
A few weeks later the student associations began making activities, I was fascinated how they organized events to integrate new students and keep them entertained at University, there is an association called Aloha who help Erasmus students integrate into the school and organizes many excursions. On the other hand, my university in Spain has no such associations and so that is why it caught my attention here.
The education I have received here has been excellent, I liked the teachers and we could appreciate that they are well prepared and qualified. I can say I’ve learned a lot from them.
The fact that the teacher comes from another country just to give us class, speaks volumes of the level of the university, having teachers from various countries like: England (University of Cambridge) or Georgia (Caucasus University) … allows us to absorb and learn more.
I had the opportunity of getting a job in the Center of International Affairs and working as an administrative assistant for Joëlle Silvestre (Head of Exchange Programs and executive Assistance). The department has an amazing team that works in group and very coordinated. They are all wonderful people who have helped me to learn.
One of the reasons of why I chose Grenoble as a destination of Erasmus was because of the ski. I wasn’t wrong, the Alps are incredible!! Huge mountains with a high quality of snow it was a great experience to go skiing nearly every week end during the winter. In just 40 minutes you have the nearest ski resort; it has been an opportunity to progress my skills in ski.
So, for all of you that are thinking about coming, don’t doubt it!!
About my small business, Biscotini
I had always liked baking, and since I was very young I did small cakes and tried to decorate it with chocolate.
I am also very creative and I used to like modelling with clay! So three years ago I discovered the enormous world of creative cakes, it was a perfect combination between being creative and baking!
So I started to search in internet, recipes, clues, and shops were they sold material…From then I haven’t stopped!!
Two years ago, with the help of my parents I created my small business called Biscotini and I began selling my cakes (https://www.facebook.com/biscotini.andrea?ref=hl), everybody liked it and they were really impressed of this new concept of cakes because in Spain it isn’t commonplace, they only knew about it from movies.
I have done several courses on techniques of cupcakes, modelling and even had the opportunity of working with Mark Tilling (UK Chocolate Master 2006-2010) and Jan Clement May (UK master of sugar modelling).
In Spain I am studying Business Administration so by opening my business I could apply all the concepts I was learning, accounting, managing inventory, marketing, setting price, distribution etc.
The clients call me and explain what they have in mind, the type of event where they are going to present the cake, how many people are going to assist, afterwards I send them an email with a power point presenting all possible designs and the prices.
If you have an opportunity, search in the link above on Facebook, I hope you like it!