Stories: Carolina and David's Bold Decisions
International experience. Carolina Villarreal and David Molina quit their jobs and got married to go to Ålesund and study at NTNU.
Our names are Carolina Villarreal and David Molina and we come from Mexico. We have been a couple for more than four years by now, and two years ago we decided we wanted to study our master’s degree in NTNU in Norway.
Carolina was working as a Design Engineer in a company, David had its own drone company and we were doing fine in Monterrey, Mexico. This is a story of bravery, fighting for what you want and taking big decisions boldly.
We were supposed to apply in 2016 but we missed the deadlines which was sad because it meant that we would have to wait one whole year to apply again. So, we set up a plan and decided to apply in 2017 to start studying in August of 2018.
This time we planned in advance to have all the documents and tests necessary to fulfill the application. After a whole year, we applied on time and by March we were accepted to the master’s degree we wanted.
We were very happy and excited, but we also had planned to apply for a scholarship from the Mexican Government. It was a very long application in order to obtain a resources for studying abroad. After months of gathering the documents and writing application letters, we applied for the scholarship. The problem was: The results were going to be made public on July 27th, and we had to be in Ålesund just two weeks later. Not much time to get everything ready!
We got the results, and neither of us appeared in the scholarship list. We got very sad again, because we had worked very hard in order to achieve our plan. Without this scholarship, we had said that we would not come to Norway.
After crying for just a couple of minutes, we both realized that this was what we really wanted to do at that moment in our life. So, we made a decision none of our friends knew about. We decided to go to Norway funded by our own means and savings.
We told our parents about it and they said that they would approve if we got married.
That was on July 29th, a Sunday evening. On Monday, we managed to call some of our friends to be our marriage witnesses and they were impressed because we told them «Hello I want you to be my marriage witness!» — and since they didn’t know anything, they were excited by the news of us getting married… But the biggest new was «…because we are going to go to Norway next week». They were not expecting that and got even more surprised.
That same Monday, Carolina had to resign at her job with a very short notice, but they understood that it was a big opportunity for her. At the same time, David was selling his shares in his company.
Tuesday July 31st we got married by signing the papers, and our parents met each other for the first time that same day. It was a small and simple celebration at Carolina’s home, but very meaningful.
The next week we had to arrange everything. David had to leave his apartment, and since he is from Toluca in the southern part of Mexico, we had to travel first by car to leave his stuff and his car at his parents’ home.
That last Saturday in Mexico we gathered all our friends and invited them for pizza and beers. They didn’t know the reason of that invitation, that they had been gathered to be told that in less than a week we were going to be leaving Mexico to study in Norway. Our friends even called a Mariachi to sing us goodbye!
The last Sunday in Mexico, Carolina’s mother organized a farewell reunion with Carolina’s family and grandparents. We explained our motivation for leaving and Carolina's family was very happy to see us leave together.
We left Monterrey, the city where we had met, on August 8th, and drove by car 900 kilometres south. During this road trip there were a lot of problems, with several flat tires. It was a very long and dangerous drive. We were splitting the driving as we had not slept enough the previous days in order to get everything ready.
When we arrived in Toluca at 10 pm, David’s parents had a dinner prepared for us and some friends visiting. After that we spent almost five hours getting all our stuff ready and we only realized we would require an extra baggage to carry all our stuff properly at 3 am, less than 5 hours before leaving our country.
That day we slept 40 minutes and had to wake up at 4:30 am to take a bus to Ciudad de Mexico, and from there our plane travel would begin. Our first flight began was on August 9th at 7:30 am and it was from Ciudad de Mexico to Orlando, Florida. We had some free time there and took turns sleeping. After the 8 hours wait, our plane to Oslo was delayed 6 hours more. This was very intense for us, because we had to stay in the airport just waiting. After all those hours and some pizza slices, our plane was ready to go, and we both slept almost all the 9 hours of the flight.
Arriving to Oslo, our flight to Ålesund was delayed too, and we had to wait four hours more before flying again. We had a nice baguette at Oslo Airport and finally took the last plane of our journey.
Voices of Our Time
Over the past months ISU Norway has been collecting stories from international students, both on exchange and on full-degree programs, as part of their «ISU Stories» project.
And one Norwegian student going abroad.
Khrono will be publishing some of these stories the coming week.
We arrived in Ålesund on Saturday August 11th at 2:30 am. It was amazing to be finally here! We got our keys and we walked to the Student House with our four 20kg pieces of luggage, and once we got there, we slept almost 15 hours. After waking up, we went for a run in the sunny Ålesund and it felt amazing to finally be here, together. After all the obstacles that we had had to overcome, we had finally made it.
We both study the MSc. Product and System Design and we are very happy of having the opportunity of learning from great professors, meeting awesome new people and getting to know the charming Norwegian culture and landscapes that this beautiful country has to offer.
The story is first published at ISU Norway's blog.