“As an alumni I value my experience at Universidad del Istmo as excellent”
Trinidad Castellanos (Guatemala, Guatemala)
Educational Psychology ‘14
Trinidad is an UNIS Alumni and was during 2016 the coordinator for the Clinical Psychology degree
How did you arrive at Universidad del Istmo?
I began studying a different degree at a different university, when I was in my last year I realized that both the university and the degree were not what I wanted for my life, so I decided to take a year off and dedicate myself to solidarity projects. It was during that time that I realized my passion was educational psychology. Before I used to study psychology, but I found the niche between helping others and children, who were my passion. The only university that offered this degree with a good study plan was Universidad del Istmo.
How would you describe your experience at UNIS?
During my university years I really enjoyed how they were focused on the person. In here you are not a number, they care about you, of who you are, at the faculty people called me by my name, these things are unthinkable in other universities. FORHUM was a class I didn’t understand until I graduated, I realized that it had helped my get a reading habit, to organize certain things in my life, to have an assessment not only academic but also personal and cultural. In the long term you realize that everything you have read, the conferences you attend have made you a more open person.
The fact that my class was a small group was very helpful because there was a lot of interaction, I had very close relationships with my classmates. Also the humanist part of the pensum helps you be more open minded, it gets you closer to people and to conceptos. Sometimes it seems like philosophy is too abstract, but it does help you open your mind and break those “blockages” we might sometimes have.
The part I liked the most from my career was the practical part. We begin practices from the first year, and that helps you break with your fears, to really push yourself, always with someone by your side, but to push away those fears of approaching the practice without knowing everything there is to know. I really liked that because it helps you have a better knowledge of your professional career and knowing what is it that you will be doing after you graduate.
On the other hand, I really liked the research we had to do. There were many things that we did not know and we saw the challenges on the practice, so that pushed us to research and always know what were the latest practices, technologies or techniques. This helps you go further.
As an alumni, how would you value your experience?
As an alumni, I value my experience at Universidad del Istmo as excellent. All of the growing I did, personal and academic, it was the best thing any University could have given me. Also the relationship with others, the knowing how to defend the ethical choices, UNIS has given me all of that.
How would you describe the students?
The students at Universidad del Istmo are students with great willingness to do things, they do not come here because their parents told them so or because they have to get a degree, the great majority are young people who come because they want to learn, they want to ask more of their professors and of their classmates: “I’m here to learn and not to “pass””. These eagerness to learn and to really want the professors to do their job, that distinguishes the UNIS student.
What would you say is the impact of the University in the region?
One of the strongest interests of the University is solidarity. In Guatemala there are many bubbles, many young people have not managed to break these bubbles that limit them to their center, to their comfort zones. Guatemala has a very strong reality and through their solidarity projects the students can really gain a contact with reality. If they fall in love with the problem, and through falling in love with it, they manage to find a solution, then we will have gone a long way. And that has to be done in the field: knowing Guatemala’s reality, knowing don Juan or doña Juana. If we manage to teach them what are the real need of Guatemala and that through their area they can do something, then we could really provoke change for good.
What would you say to a potential donor?
To have the complete certainty that the funds will go to where they have to be, to trust in the transparency of the University. We know that all of the funds that come to the University will be directed towards working to educate better people for society. If you really want your money to flourish, UNIS is an excellent place to put your generosity.