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Andrea OteroAndrea Otero is a global grad from Colombia. She is currently in her fourth year of the doctoral program in Economics and her research focuses on labor economics in developing countries.

1. What made you choose UNC/NC when deciding on a program/place to study?

I chose UNC because it is well-positioned in the ranking of the best Economics departments in the country and also because my research interests were in line with the research interest of some professors in the department. I also talked to some friends who were at UNC at the time and they told me it was a good place to live.

2. What is the most different thing you’ve seen or experienced since being here in comparison to your home country?

Definitely the culture. In my country, we touch people a lot more than people do here. For example, we hug our friends when we see them, and we kiss each other on the cheek when we say goodbye.

3. What is something you wish you had known before moving here?

The fact that you do need a car here. Public transportation is great for going to school during the week, but for going out at night, or going to Durham, or going out during the weekends, you need a car.

4. Where is a place in your home country that every tourist should visit and why?

Hard question! We have so many beautiful places. I am from the Caribbean region in Colombia, so I always suggest that people go to places there such as Cartagena, which is a beautiful colonial city by the sea and the historic downtown is surrounded by walls built between 1586 and 1633. But if you like nature and stunning beaches, go to Parque Natural El Tayrona. Or you can actually do both: El Tayrona is less than a four hour drive from Cartagena!


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