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USACH academic to Slovakia: “an enriching experience with excellent projection.”

Within the framework of the Erasmus+ program, Dr. Jonathan Maldonado completed his mobility at the University of Constantine the Philosopher in Slovakia, with the support of the Faculty of Chemistry and Biology and the Department of International Relations.
Dr. Jonathan Maldonado Soto, professor of the Department of Biology of the Faculty of Chemistry and Biology USACH, became the first faculty member of the Campus to successfully complete academic mobility at the University of Constantine the Philosopher in Slovakia. His stay lasted five days, during which he was able to give two lectures, meet with researchers and learn about the work of other academics.
The beginning of the cooperation between the University of Santiago de Chile and UKF (Slovak for Univerzita Konštantína Filozofa), dates back to 2020, when both institutions agreed to work collaboratively in the field of biology, through an inter-institutional agreement within the framework of the Erasmus+ program. It was not until this year that a USACH academic was finally able to travel to Slovakia to meet and work closely with the team of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Informatics.
The successful development of Dr. Jonathan Maldonado’s teaching mobility was achieved thanks to the support and joint efforts of the International Relations area of the Graduate Development Unit of the School of Chemistry and Biology and the Department of International Relations (DRII).
During his stay at UKF, the USACH professor gave lectures on his research lines in plant biology for master and bachelor students in Biology, and spoke with Dr. Patrik Mészáros (host professor and counterpart at the University of Constantine the Philosopher) about his work and the various possibilities of collaboration between both universities. Dr. Mészáros works in the area of plant physiology related to crops such as oats, soybeans, and corn, among others, studying the response of these crops to biotic and abiotic stressors.
Regarding his experience at the University of Constantine the Philosopher, Dr. Jonathan Maldonado emphasized that “UKF is a university that seeks to stand out by training people with harmonious personalities, who generate and deliver knowledge with wisdom, honesty, and creativity. To this end, they provide high standard education, promote creative scientific activity and artistic activities. It was an enriching experience with excellent projection.”. 
The University of Constantine the Philosopher is located in Nitra, the fourth largest city in Slovakia, and one of the two oldest cities in Slovakia, along with Bratislava. For the professor of the Faculty of Chemistry and Biology USACH, the context surrounding the UKF is another remarkable element. "The connection between academics and the arts is one of the strengths of this institution, which is enhanced by being immersed in a historically and culturally rich region. In this way, academia and research go hand in hand with respect for cultural roots and a view towards the harmonious development of the territories, while addressing the various social problems in a respectful manner with a vision of sustainable development,” he said.
Dr. Maldonado also wanted to emphasize the quality of the work carried out at UKF and the development they are experiencing, “taking steps towards research with state-of-the-art techniques, to which end they have invested in a new 4-story building that houses first-class equipment for cellular and molecular biology.”
Finally, it should be noted that the Department of International Relations continues to explore options for collaboration with universities of excellence around the world, to provide opportunities for internationalization such as the one experienced by Dr. Jonathan Maldonado, who commented that his stay at the University of Constantine the Philosopher allowed him to begin a new cooperation project.
All of this represents exciting opportunities for research development and academic growth for UKF students, but it is also a huge growth opportunity in internationalization for USACH. He concluded by saying, “The exchange of academics and students in training programs in the mentioned tasks opens the doors to new challenges for the development of our universities.”