NYU Stern

Universidad de Navarra: Student Feedback

Student_Profile_Navarra

Student Profile

Name:
Michael von Waldner

Career Goals:
I am still thinking about what exactly I want to do, but I certainly maintain career goals of equity research, international business and economics, and corporate financial planning.

Highlight of my semester abroad:
One amazing highlight of my time abroad was attending the World Cup Qualifying match between Sweden and Portugal in Lisbon. Seeing Cristiano and Ibrahimovic go head to head was a dream come true. As an aside, the local Pamplona team C.A. Osasuna plays in La Liga, so both Real Madrid and Barcelona came to the small university town of Pamplona during my stay.

Interesting fact I learned about the country where I studied:
Pamplona has some interesting yet sometimes subtle cultural influences. The university has a big Catholic influence, as it was founded by Josemaria Escriva of the Opus Dei. Basque culture is also quite prevalent in Pamplona. There is a lot of interesting history to be learned about Pamplona.

You might be interested to know:
I am quite interested in soccer, and can give plenty advice about sports in Pamplona.

What I would say to students considering participating in IBEX:
This is an experience that is not supposed to be anything like New York or Stern (although it can be if you want). That said, try and get a sense of what everyday life will be like at the IBEX site you are considering. If your assessment is something that appeals to you, then go for it.

Ask me about IBEX Navarra:
mjv300@stern.nyu.edu

Additional Feedback from Students

Banking

"I used my checking account and an atm card.  American Express is never accepted."

"I primarily used a credit card which I found charged less than using my ATM card."

"I would suggest to pay mostly with credit and less with cash because the ATM fees add up quickly when you constantly take out money."

Estimated Personal Expenses Per Week

Airline Ticket to/from IBEX site: $1,500
Housing: €300/month
Food: €20/week
Local Transportation: €10/week
Books (per semester): €50
Entertainment: €20/week
Phone: $150 per semester

Housing

"Do not live in a colegio mayor but rather rent an apartment.  I wish I had known to wait until arriving to look for an apartment. I arranged mine from the United States and this was a mistake because I wasn't exactly in the area of town I wanted to be in."

"Apartment, furnished except for bed sheets. All meals were purchased or self-prepared. There were plenty of cafeterias on campus from which to get lunch. Overall quite satisfied with the food and grocery options. Made my own arrangements for finding an apartment. I would recommend others to do the same."

"There are many students who post on the University website when one of their roommates will be out for a semester and they need somebody else to fill it."

"The apartment I had was furnished, but it is noteworthy to mention that the typical apartment in Pamplona does not have Internet - even if there are students living there."

Academics

"Course offerings were published about a month and a half before the program began. Mid-summer there was a tentative course offering list. I filled out an online survey about which classes were my top priorities. It eventually ended being a matter of me sending them an email of which courses I wanted and then them putting my schedule together."

"The grading system is a 10 point scale with passing being anything above a 5. There was no curve."

"The workload in the regular classes was slightly heavy for the typical Spanish student, but I found myself spending a lot of time on it because I wasn't fluent in the language - so I would say the workload was about on par with Stern classes."

"A weakness might be that some of the professors were teaching as a second job.  These were not career academics but rather professionals teaching from experience in the field. There was also a notable lack of use of textbooks which limited instruction solely to lectures, which were moreover never recorded for reference. Very few homework assignments over the course of the semester in some courses, made for little study for most of the semester and cramming at the end."

"Its weakness was the less liberal classroom environment. It was frowned upon to disagree with a professor, even if the point being taught was subjective (i.e. ethics)."

Course Recommendations

"Teoria Impositiva (Tax Theory)- Francesc Pujol. The professor just had a breadth of graphical examples to draw from and the subject of tax theory was very relevant to everyday life and there was always an inherent discussion of how a given tax would affect society. The professor also really cared about what he taught and his number one goal was the students learning."

"I really enjoyed the Institute of Spanish Language and Culture classes I took - Spanish Language in Business and Spanish Business Practice. They were mainly for exchange students, but they were taught all in Spanish."

Student Life

"A very strong push to encourage students to participate in athletics on campus. Athletics are highly emphasized at UNAV. Social life is primarily going to bars in the old town and a few discos."

"There was an Erasmus English-speaking group that was easy to get along with. However I definitely made an effort to socialize with locals, and was really happy with my ability to meet locals. The people at UNAV are very welcoming. The only social barrier was the limits of my Spanish."

"There was a great international student program that the University provided on select days (usually weekends). They would pick certain days and you would pay a small fee to participate in various events like trips to castles, wine museums, ice skating, etc..."

"I spent most of my time with students from Spain. It was relatively easy to meet Spanish students because my Marketing class required group work."

"I made a close friend through my class and after school was over I visited with her family in her town for a few days. Through her I also met many other students from Spain and we had a really great time."
 

Travel Tips

"The best piece of information that I received was to keep a journal. At first I thought it would be tedious or boring, but looking back now I am very happy that I kept a journal documenting my time."

"After the semester was over, I traveled a lot but did not use the rail pass. Instead you can get very cheap trips through discount airline websites - Ryanair, Easyjet, Vueling, Clickair."

"Pamplona's location for traveling is not great - Madrid and Barcelona are more accessible. However I really enjoyed staying in Pamplona which has a great old part of town and the students I met were really inviting and accommodating."

"If you travel with Ryanair to Barcelona be careful. The "Barcelona" airport is actually an airport called Girona which is a full hour and a half from Barcelona."

"I would suggest Easycruise - a discount cruise ship I took from Brussels to Antwerp to Rotterdam to Amsterdam and back to Brussels for only $175 (not euros) for 7 nights."

"I would suggest doing the Morocco Exchange which is a program separate from Navarra that takes you to Morocco for 4 days for about 150 euros all included. It is a home-stay program that is very eye-opening. They have a website which is moroccoexchange.org."

Restaurant, Club and Shopping Suggestions

"Bars- Palmas; Metropolis / Restaurants- Dublin House, Asador Olaverri; Piedras; Merca'o / Pintxos- Bar Gaucho / Best areas- San Nicolas, right off of Plaza del Castillo; Calle Estafeta"

"While in Pamplona you should go to Merengo on Thursday nights. This is a club that most students go to because of its discounts on Thursdays."

"While traveling in Europe you should definitely see Cinque Terre on the western coast of Italy. You can hike or take the train between the five small towns. If you do go there, I recommend staying in Mar Mar, which has excellent facilities for a good price."

Additional Student Profiles

Diana Diaz


Peer Evaluation- Navarra

Highlight of my semester abroad:

My semester abroad was one of the best experiences of my life. Traveling through cities I've only dreamed of going to and becoming best of friends with someone who spent their entire life in a separate part of the world! These are only a few of the highlights from this amazing journey.

Interesting fact I learned about the country where I studied:
Especially in the northern region of Pamplona where I lived, Basque can be heard spoken almost everywhere, and the people who speak Basque do not typically relate to the Spanish culture. Catalan and Galician are also spoken. Also, smoking is common and allowed almost anywhere - airports, restaurants, bars, clubs...and up until only 2 years ago, inside of classrooms of the university!

You might be interested to know:
While in Spain I became very interested in acoustic guitar and purchased one out there in a kind of spur of the moment. I've been learning to play and improving ever since!

Career goal:
I am not sure yet as far as a career goal. I definitely want to continue my education after graduation.