CGE Student Spotlight: Melissa Gonzalez-Lopez
Global Exchanges Student
Bachelor of Fine Arts & Psychology
Melissa Gonzalez-Lopez, Art and Psychology double major, completed her Global Exchange at the Universitat Politecnia de Valencia in Valencia, Spain in spring 2020.
Gonzalez-Lopez believes in the importance of developing as a person through intercultural exploration. “This exchange program transformed me into a mature an ethnorelative person. It opened my eyes to the wonders of traveling and exploring the world,” she said.
As an exchange student, Gonzalez-Lopez was allowed the freedom to travel, live, and immerse herself in another country and culture while taking college courses. “I was able to go to places that would’ve been out of my reach otherwise,” she said.She was able to visit Valencia’s downtown, the murals in La Punta (Valencia, Spain), La Ciudad Encantada in Cuenca, Las Casas Colgadas, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the Botanical Gardens in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the Coves de Sant Josep, and the Peniscola Castle.
Alongside eye-opening travels, she was also able to work on projects in Spain that grew into “art connections in another continent that would be otherwise very difficult to accomplish as an emerging artist.” She collaborated on a mural with a cohort of ERASMUS students and a dry point etching that was featured in the show Naturaleza Entintada, Naturaleza Estampada at the Quart Jove in Valencia. You can check out her artwork on Instagram @meli_gonzalez_art.
Global Exchanges allowed Gonzalez-Lopez the opportunity to not only make art, but improve upon her own artistic abilities. “Having the chance to take studio art courses at the Universitat Politecnia de Valencia introduced me to new and insightful techniques that were unavailable to me at my university,” she said.
Furthermore, experiencing art through the lens of her native language, Gonzalez-Lopez was able to connect with her roots again after 6 years away from Cuba. “It was also a relief to take classes in my native language, Spanish, after being in the United States for a couple years," she said.
Global Exchanges is an exciting and culturally immersive opportunity for FSU undergraduates to live, learn, and explore another culture as an exchange student at a partner university. Students who participate in the program can pay their FSU tuition, take classes toward their major earning FSU credit, and use their financial aid. Choose from 45+ partner universities worldwide.
“I completely recommend this program over the others because it allows you to attend a host university and completely immerse yourself in a host culture. It gives you the possibility to travel around, experience new places, and make long-lasting connections with people across the globe,” Gonzalez-Lopez said.
The deadline to go on a fall 2021 or 2021-22 academic year Global Exchange has been extended to Monday, February 8. And the deadline to participate in a spring 2022 Global Exchange is October 1. Applications will open in March.