In the Pool with Maria Artigas

“In The Pool” is a series highlighting the University of Miami swimming & diving student-athletes. Next up is one of Miami’s freshman standouts, Maria Artigas Fernandez…

I came to Miami because I wanted to know more. I love my hometown, but I want to know more about other countries and to meet new people and see how everything works. Also, some of my friends from home went to America and they said it is a unique experience, so I wanted to try it. I also wanted to better learn a new language.
My freshman year is even better than I expected, because everyone told me that the first year is the worst one because you are going to miss your family and your friends. The the truth is that I love my friends here. I am more adapted than I expected, so my freshman year has been great.
The best part of Miami is the university campus – it’s like a little town. But if you want the beach you can go to Miami Beach. If you want the city, you can go to Brickell. If you want art, you can go to Wynwood.
My team here is like my family. In Spain, swimming is very individual. Here, everybody cares about everyone, so I feel the difference. I don’t have problems with anyone – we are all friends.
I can speak well – at the beginning of the year, I couldn’t speak [English], but now I can (laughs). I speak Spanish, Valencian, a dialect of Catalan, a little bit of German, but I forgot most of it, and now English.
In my free time I like going to different places, especially restaurants or going to watch films, and feeling comfortable with the people around me.
I will never forget the good moments here and in Spain, and the things I have learned, and who I am as a person.
The U is not what I expected it would be like. Here, people put more feelings into everything. The U is more special to me than I expected.