The Column of Babel: Franz from Venezuela

Many students come to UC Irvine because their parents like that it is one of the safest universities in the country. Being from Caracas, Venezuela, Franz Hernandez loves the fact that he can roam the streets at night and not have to worry.

Hernandez, a doctoral  candidate in the Mechanical Engineering Department, does not have much time for joining school clubs, so when he has free time, he relaxes.  His research is not the only thing he must dedicate time to at UCI. Hernandez is also a TA in the Mechanical Engineering Department and although it is a lot of extra work, he enjoys it. However, he would happily choose to lecture than grade his students’ work.

Hernandez, 27, has been a UCI student for two years and is still waiting for his schedule to clear up so that he can travel around Southern California a bit more. He has roughly three more years until graduation and will most likely find the time to see what SoCal has to offer.

He appreciates that there is on-campus housing at UCI because his previous university, Simon Bolivar University, had him on a 40-minute commute every day.

If Hernandez could change one thing about UCI, it would be to alter the class duration time. In Caracas, each class was about two hours and he prefers that to short 50-minute chunks of discussion. In his opinion, the allotted time is hardly enough.

Political conditions have Hernandez wanting to stay here in SoCal when he receives his doctorate, but he misses his family. He had the chance to visit them over the summer and dreaded having to leave them. However, being able to study in a safe environment and without worry is something Hernandez truly values.



Cleo’s Note: I just wanted to take the time to thank you all for reading this column. I had such a great time meeting the excellent students that agreed to be my subjects. It was a pleasure to learn about them and to write this column.


Goodbye: Ciao (chow)
Please: Por favor (por fav-or)
Thank you: Gracias (gra-si-as)
How much is this? :
En cuanto me sale? (en cuan-to me sal-eh?)
Where is the bathroom? :
Donde esta el baño (don-deh es-ta el banyo?)
I’m hungry: Tengo hambre (tengo amb-reh)
I’m thirsty: Tengo sed (tengo sed)
What time is it? : Que hora tienes? (queh ora tien-es?)
Take what you want, don’t kill me!:
Illevate todo, no me mates!
(yeh-van-to toh-doh, no me ma-tis!)