Studying Abroad in the Illinois Advertising Program

Augusto Santos

Augusto is an exchange student from the University of Navarra (UNAV) in Pamplona, Spain. He studies Advertising and Public Relations at UNAV in the Communications Faculty. Here is his take on studying abroad in the Advertising program at Illinois. He is currently enrolled in ADV 315, ADV 311, ADV 283, and ADV 490 this semester.


Everything changes.

Over time your hobbies change, your friends change, your whole life changes. The world around us is in constant movement and we cannot fall behind.

I quite recently had a major change: I moved from Spain to Illinois.

I was a proud University of Navarra (UNAV) student and I loved it there. I had the best friends I could ever ask for, I was involved in every activity I could imagine, and I loved my classes.


So why move?

I wanted to learn and to improve as an advertiser as well as a human.

Going on exchange has completely changed my way of thinking. I have only been in the United States for a month and I already feel like a completely different person. Little things like taking a short “siesta” are no longer part of my routine, and now I find myself counting the calories in every meal to not gain weight.


Everything changed.

But when I open a classroom door, I enter a familiar world where we all speak the same language: advertising, brands, marketing, and creativity. These words are filled with passion coming from other people’s mouths, and such passion is contagious.

Learning the theory of how the advertising industry works is one thing, but creating a campaign for a real client is when you see your true colors.

Our industry is all about understanding people. You work for a client, and with other individuals that have different backgrounds, stories, and points of view. This semester is the first time I have had a real ‘hands on experience’ and I feel that this is what makes University of Illinois so great: the diversity it brings into a classroom.

Being with so many interesting people has made me want to challenge myself and become part of more projects to further my career as a creative. I never realized all of the opportunities that being abroad could present to one person, but you do not only learn what is inside a classroom, you learn from life.

Being able to move abroad for a learning experience has made me resilient. This characteristic is essential in the life of someone in advertising. The world today is changing, and tomorrow everything will be different. We need to be able to adapt to our environment and make the best out of every opportunity.