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Depoimentos

 

ESTADOS UNIDOS

JAMAICA

NIGÉRIA

ESPANHA

GUATEMALA

ARGENTINA

FRANÇA

ITÁLIA

ALEMANHA

 

 

ESTADOS UNIDOS


usa     Jessica Putterbaugh, North American

CAPES-FIPSE exchange student (1 semester) Wright State University Environmental Science

"Hey there!! So you´re thinking about going to Brazil eh? Well, let me tell you that it´s very much worth the flight! I am currently still in Porto Alegre but my time is up in less than a month. I´ve been here two and a half already, but it sure doesn´t feel like it! I came here with another student from my university and we were placed together with a Brazilian student in an apartment not too far from the central campus. We take the city buses to school, the malls, and anyplace that we can. The buses are pretty cheap, only R$1.45 or R$2.20 for the smaller ones. Right now, the exchange rate for the US is about 2.94. That really helps since I´m not working for 3 months! I don´t live in a big city at home, so one of the biggest adjustments for me was living in the city. It´s a nice city and has plenty to do, except on the weekends! People here go out (to bars and such) more in the middle of the week than the weekends! Most stores here close Saturday afternoon and almost nothing is open on Sundays. The parks are the place to go on the weekends here. You always see people running, walking, or sitting around drinking chimarrão (popular tea like drink).
Before the opportunity for me to become an exchange student came about, I literally knew almost nothing about Brazil. Of course there were the common facts like where it was on the map, they had the Amazon, and they were mad about futebol! I had studied Spanish when I was in high school, so I knew by the little Portuguese travel book I had bought that the languages were very similar. I wasn´t able to take a Portuguese class before I left the States so I had to wait until I arrived in UFRGS to take any classes. The language barrier isn´t as big as you would think. Our roommate and several students we met through our lab at the school spoke English, as do many people you meet on the street and stores. It´s not difficult to find someone who speaks it, and if they don´t, usually they go and get someone who does! At the University, I am only taking a Portuguese class and running an experiment with crabs, so I´ve not seen all the buildings on campus. The ones I have seen though are definitely different than the University I´m used to at home! They don´t have as much funding as most schools do in the States, but they make do with what they´ve got. It´s interesting to see how other Universities can still cover all the important things without having all the luxuries. All the professors and staff here are very willing to help you with anything you need.
I didn´t imagine that I would do as much travelling here as I have. The country´s bus systems are very nice and easy to use. Already, my roomate and I have traveled to Foz do Iguaçu, Gramado, Torres, Florianopolis, Santa Maria (to meet our brazilian roomate´s family), and our grande finale is next week to Rio!
My word of advice to future students is to make sure you know the weather before you leave your home! It wasn´t the nice warm weather my roomate and I had imagined when we arrived here in September and we had to send for extra warm clothes from home! Other than that, have as much fun as you can, see as much as you can, and take lots of pictures for everyone to see at home!"

 

 

JAMAICA


jamaica     Muhammed Jamil Anwarul Islam, Jamaican

PEC scholarship student Medicine- FFFCMPA, Porto Alegre, Brazil
"I arrived in Porto Alegre with the typical stereotypes that any other foreigner would have about Brazil. Having been here, my views and opinions have changed significantly, some for the better and some for the worse. I have not done much traveling during my period of stay there but, based on what I have seen, the people of Porto Alegre are generally kind and helpful. The population is predominantly white, maybe 80-90%, and the rest consists of other ethnic groups. I live in the city, which is fairly developed and has most of the things that you would want or are accustomed to having. There are many apartment buildings there (as in any other big city in the world) but that was something I wasn´t used to, as I come from a small town with many houses. Apartments with big security gates. Sometimes I feel like a prisoner, but the Brazilians prefer this as it gives them a sense of security.
The entertainment part of Porto Alegre is really good if you like going out. There are a number of restaurants with a lot of choices between Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese and of course Brazilian foods. They frequently offer buffet style menus and the prices are fairly cheap compared to my country and the USA. The nightclubs are also good and I´ve tried to experience most of them. There is a variety for everybody. Brazilians love to drink beer and hang out at bars just like other countries but what I like the most are the types of dances they have: samba and forró.
The University that I went to learn Portuguese (UFRGS) is a bit far from where I live, so I had to take the bus maybe a half hour ride. The buses are really good and are fairly on schedule. At first sight, the university (to say the truth) was not exactly what I had in mind; maybe it was the Portuguese architecture, but I did not like it. The inside, on the other hand, was much better than outside and it was equipped with good restaurants. UFRGS is a government University and the only thing I did not like about this fact was that the staff would go on strikes at times and that can really mess up your semester schedule. UFRGS, they say, is one of the best and respected schools in the South of Brazil as they have better teachers.
Be prepared for the changes in the weather as Porto Alegre experiences the four seasons during the year and can also pass through all four seasons in one day starting from extremely hot in the morning to extremely cold in the night, or vice-versa. You can never predict the weather. Porto Alegre is not a typical tourist destination, but I feel safe, safer than other places in Brazil, and I enjoy the food and social scene. I like Porto Alegre, and it will be my home for the next 8 years".

 

jamaica   Gillian T. Giwa, Jamaican

PEC scholarship student Psychiatry, UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil

"My name is Gillian Giwa and I'm from Kingston, Jamaica. I left home for the very first time in March 2003 to study for 7 months at UFRGS. My expectations of this time were undoubtedly not met. I arrived in Brazil expecting a challenge, extreme difficulty, and obvious culture differences along with other things (all negative).
To my delight, or more so my surprise, my time was everything opposite of my inicial expectations. The administrative staff (those in the International Relations Department), made every effort to ensure my comfort, ease, and hence academic productivity. Since my very first day until the last they demonstrated a genuine interest in both my academic as well as social well being. Coupled with the staff of the Portuguese for Foreigners Program, cultural and social events were coordinated, all for the well-being and well-roundedness of us the students.
Looking back, I speak honestly in saying that this experience of studing at UFRGS was unforgettable and priceless. Sure, I missed my family and the familiarity of my home country, however, I've made new friends from all around the world, and am now counted amongst those privileged to have studied at UFRGS.
I've got no regrets."

 

NIGÉRIA

 

Nigéria   Emmanuel Abolarinwa Gansallo, Nigerian

PEC scholarship student Arquitecture, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, Brazil

"I'm Emmanuel Abolarinwa Gansallo; a Nigerian presently studying at UFRGS in Porto Alegre, Brazil.I arrived in Brazil on the 16th of March 2003, to start my Portuguese course which is now finally over. It hasn't been easy, but we know that precious stones are not found on the surface of the earth; we need to dig deep to get them. Life in Porto Alegre for me so far as been cool. Have made a lot of friends at school, clubs, parks and other places. I guess I'm really having fun cos some Brazillian can be extremely nice, although sometimes others are not. But this you will find in any part of the world. And I really can't wait to behold the coming carnival next year in Rio de Janeiro. Studying the language was quite difficult, but if I could do it under 7 months and now speak Portuguese, I guess others could make it as well. All it takes is determination. My professors were very nice people, they help a lot. And I really do not know how to thank them for the really good job they did. Finally, if you intend on studying in Brazil, all it takes is determination, and I'm sure your goals will be achieved. Once more, you're welcome to the land of surprises - Brazil."

 

 

ESPANHA

 

Espanha   Alexandre Duran i Grant, español

La Universidad de las Islas Baleares Economía

"¿Cómo fue mi experiencia en la UFRGS en Porto Alegre? La verdad es que 4 meses dan para mucho y para poco al mismo tiempo. Dan para descubrir una ciudad, para aprender portugués (o portuñol) con acento gaúcho-brasileño, para conocer mucha gente, profesores, muchos otros estudiantes y otros que no son estudiantes y para tener un millón de experiencias nuevas, buenas y no tan buenas. Pero también dan para darse cuenta de que, al llegar el cuarto mes, todo ha pasado muy rápido, demasiado rápido. Cuando ya comenzaba a conocer a la gente de verdad, tuve que hacer las maletas. Por supuesto, toda persona tiene una serie de experiencias del día a día que marcan su vida en un lugar. Y Porto Alegre fue muy diferente a otras ciudades europeas donde ya estuve.
Porto Alegre… la verdad es que cuando llegué no me encontré el Brasil que la mayoría de las personas tienen en mente de este país continental: hay mucha gente rubia y alta, un clima frío invernal, no hay playa a menos de 2 horas, la gente no baila samba y no están de fiesta a toda hora. No, Porto Alegre no cumple todos aquellos tópicos que llenan las mentes de todo extranjero. En cierta medida yo también tenía una idea no muy exacta del lugar donde llegaba pero… ¡qué diablos, son 10.000 Km. de distancia! Aquí se comen unos asados parecidos a los argentinos, el folclore también es semejante, el horario de las comidas es del tipo anglosajón (importante para no hallar el restaurante universitario cerrado a la una y media), etc. En cuanto a la Universidad, el sistema no es muy diferente al de España, tal vez la principal diferencia es que se evalúa más continuadamente a lo largo del semestre pero poca cosa más. Hay que ir a clase, si se quiere, y hay que estudiar, como en todas partes. ¿Hablé antes de la fiesta? Toda universidad tiene que tener sus fiestas y aquí también hay tanto buenas fiestas como buena compañía con muchas ganas. ¿Mi bebida favorita? una caipirinha, naturalmente.
Lo peor que me encontré fue la obsesión con la seguridad, en parte razonable dado el tipo de delitos que se cometen en Brasil y fruto de las altas desigualdades sociales. Hay un gran temor a los asaltos con armas así que para entrar al banco hay que pasar un control; para salir de noche hay que tomar un taxi o ir juntos y no se puede pasear por cualquier lugar de la ciudad de noche (aunque toda gran ciudad del mundo tiene ese tipo de zonas). Las medidas de seguridad muchas veces me sorprenden tal vez porque no estoy acostumbrado a ellas. Pero tengo que decir que no tuve ningún problema durante mi estancia.
Por otra parte, lo mejor y que nunca podré olvidar serán las personas. Son ellas, y no la arquitectura o el espacio que nos rodea, las que hacen en mayor grado que un lugar sea bueno o malo. Tal vez tuve la suerte de conocer otros estudiantes extranjeros y compartir con ellos bastante tiempo juntos lo que nos ayudó a sacudirnos de ese natural sentimiento de melancolía por la familia y los amigos del otro lado del océano. No sólo extranjeros conocí, también brasileños, de Porto Alegre o de fuera, que me ayudaron muchísimo, sobre todo en las primeras semanas. Ciertamente su generosidad, paciencia y simpatía conmigo me sorprendió y gracias a todos ellos ahora tengo una segunda casa en Brasil. Sinceramente, las personas fueron lo mejor de la ciudad y de la Universidad".



English

 


Porto Alegre...the truth is that upon arriving I did not meet the continental country that is the Brazil that most people have in mind: there are lots of tall, blonde people, a cold winter climate, the closest beach is two (2) hours away, nobody dances samba or parties all the time. No, Porto Alegre does not match up to the typical stereotypes that fill the mind of every foreigner. To a certain extent, I also did not have a very precise idea of the place that I was travelling to but...it's a ten thousand kilometre distance after all! Here, they eat barbecued meats similar to those of the Argentineans, the folklore is also similar, the eating times run according to the Anglo-Saxon time-table (important to remember if you want to avoid arriving at the University restaurant only to find it closed at one-thirty), etc. With regards to the University, the system is not that much different from Spain's, maybe the main difference is that there is a more continuous evaluation during the course of the semester, but not much else. One has to attend classes...and one has to study, as anywhere else. Have I mentioned the parties yet? Every University has to have its parties and here there are as many good parties as good, fun-loving company. My favourite drink? A caipirinha, naturally.
The worst thing that I encountered was the obsession with personal safety, in part due to the type of crime that is committed in Brazil as result of the marked social inequality. There is such a strong fear of armed attacks that, to enter the bank, one has to pass through a security check point; to go out at night one has to take a taxi or form large groups and one cannot pass through certain places at night (although every large city in the world has these types of areas). Many times the security measures surprised me maybe because I am not accustomed to them. But I have to say that I had not one problem during my stay.
On another note, the best thing about Porto Alegre that I will never be able to forget are the people...maybe I had the good fortune to meet other foreign students and to spend a lot of time together with them which helped us to get over the natural feelings of homesickness for our family and friends on the other side of the ocean. I met not only foreigners but Brazilians as well, from Porto Alegre, and other areas, who helped me a lot, especially in the first few weeks. Certainly their generosity, patience and kindness to me surprised me and thanks to them I now have a second home in Brazil. Sincerely, the people were the best feature of the city and the University".
Com va ser la meva experiència a la UFRGS en Porto Alegre? La veritat és que 4 mesos donen per a molt i per a poc al mateix temps. Donen per descobrir una ciutat, per aprendre portuguès (o portuñol) amb accent "gaúcho-brasiler", per a conèixer molta gent, professors, molts estudiants i altres que no són estudiants i per tenir un milió d'experiències noves, bones i no tan bones. Però també donen per adonar-se'n de que, en arribar el quart mes, tot ha passat molt aviat, massa aviat. Quan ja començava a conèixer la gent de debó, vaig haver de fer les maletes. Naturalment, cada persona té una sèrie d'experiències del dia a dia que marquen la seva vida a un lloc. I Porto Alegre fou molt diferent a altres ciutats europees on ja hi havia estat.

 

Catalan

 

Porto Alegre... la veritat és que quan vaig arribar no em vaig trobar el Brasil que la majoria de les persones tenen en ment d'aquest país continental: hi ha molta gent rossa i alta, un clima fred invernal, no hi ha platja a menys de 2 hores, la gent no balla samba i no estan de festa a tota hora. No, Porto Alegre no compleix tots aquells tòpics que omplen les ments de tot estranger. En certa mesura jo també tenia una idea no molt exacta del lloc on arribava però... qué dimonis! Són 10.000 Km de distància! Aquí es mengen uns "asados" semblants als argentins, el folclor també és parescut, l'horari dels menjars és com l'anglosaxó (important per no trobar-se el restaurant universitari tancat a la una i mitja), etc. Quant a la Universitat, el sistema no és gaire diferent del d'Espanya, tal vegada la principal diferència és que s'avalua més continuadament al llarg del semestre però poca cosa més. S'ha d'anar a classe, si es vol, i s'ha d'estudiar, com a totes parts. He parlat de la festa? Tota universitat ha de tenir les seves festes i aquí també n'hi ha tant de bones festes com de bona companyia amb moltes ganes. La meva beguda favorita? Una caipirinha, naturalment.
El pitjor que vaig trobar fou l'obsessió amb la seguretat, en part raonable donat el tipus de delictes que es cometen al Brasil i fruit de les grans desigualtats socials. Hi ha un gran temor als assalts amb armes així que per entrar al banc s'ha de passar per un control; per sortir de nit s'ha de prendre un taxi o anar junt amb altres i no es pot passejar per qualsevol lloc de la ciutat a la nit (encara que tota gran ciutat del món té aquest tipus de zones). Les mesures de seguretat moltes vegades em sorprenen, tal vegada perquè no estic acostumat a elles. Però val a dir que no vaig tenir cap problema durant la meva estada.
Per altra part, el millor i que mai no podré oblidar són les persones. Són elles, i no l'arquitectura o l'espai que ens rodeja, les que fan en major grau que un lloc sigui bó o dolent. Tal vegada vaig tenir sort de conèixer altres estudiants estrangers i compartir amb ells bastant temps plegats, la qual cosa ens ajudà a treure'ns de sobre aquell natural sentiment de malenconia per la família i els amics de l'altre costat de l'oceà. No només estrangers vaig conèixer, també brasilers, de Porto Alegre o de fora, que m'ajudaren moltíssim, sobretot a les primeres setmanes. Certament la seva generositat, paciència i simpatia amb mi em va sorprendre i gràcies a tots ells ara tenc una segona casa al Brasil. Sincerament, les persones foren el millor de la ciutat i de la Universitat.

 

GUATEMALA

Guatemala   Ana Patricia Gramajo, Guatemalteca

Ex-alumna de beca del programa PEC Odontologia

"Mi nombre es Patricia Gramajo y es un gran placer para mi compartir con ustedes mi experiencia durante el tiempo en que a través del Programa Estudiante Convenio de la embajada de Brasil en mi País Guatemala me dieron la oportunidad de realizar mis estudios del idioma Portugués en la Academia de Lenguas Modernas de la Universidad Federal de Rió Grande del Sur en Brasil.
Fueron aproximadamente 9 meses, tiempo durante el cual aprendí muchísimo a nivel personal, y académicamente que era mi objetivo principal fue una experiencia maravillosa, disfruté mucho el aprender una nueva lengua para mi desconocida.
Desde que me presente en la Universidad, tuve una buena orientación por parte de las autoridades, el personal se mostró atento y cortés y tuve como profesores a gente capaz, responsable, académica, y que también me brindaron su apoyo. Los cursos que yo llevaba eran completos y no solo era teoría, los profesores programaban actividades que hacían que las clases fueran mucho mas interesantes. Tuve la oportunidad de conocer mucho de la cultura Brasileña, la cual me pareció fascinante.
En los cursos que estuve, pude conocer estudiantes de varios países que estaban allí para aprender el idioma, con los cuales intercambiamos conocimientos de nuestros países, y siempre nos apoyamos durante el desarrollo del curso. Regrese a mi país con madurez, agradecida y feliz de lo que Brasil brindó a mi vida."


English

"My name is Patricia Gramajo and it is my pleasure to share with you my experiences from my stay in Brazil when, through the scholarship programme that was offered to me by the Embassy of Brazil in my country, I was given the opportunity to study the Portuguese language at the Modern Languages Institute at the Federal University of South Rio Grande (UFRGS).
During approximately nine (9) months, I learned a lot on a personal and on an academic level, which was my principal objective, and it also turned out to be a marvellous experience; I immensely enjoyed learning a new language.
From the moment that I entered the University, I was well oriented by those in charge; everyone was attentive and courteous and I had capable, responsable, teachers who also gave me considerable support.
The courses that I did were not only based on theories, but the teachers also planned other activities that made the class

 

ARGENTINA

Argentina   Mauro Gontero, argentino Alumno de intercambio

del programa ESCALA La Universidad de Entre Ríos Ingenieria de Alimentos

"En cuanto a las cosas buenas del intercambio, se destacan el apredizaje sobre otras culturas, como asi también conocer a personas de este y ptors países con cuales se pudo entablar una muy buena amistad. También me pareció importante conocer como se trabaja en esta institución, para asi poder hacer inferencias sobre mi formación.
Dentro de las cosas malas, la principal y muy importante es que el alumno no tiene acceso a alimentaciones especiales en el caso de enfermedades como puede ser hipertensión, diabetes, etc".

English
"With regards to the positive aspects of the interchange, the contact with other cultures as well as meeting people from this and other countries with whom one can establish a very good friendship stand out. It also seemed very important to me to get to know how work was done in this institution in order to be able to make inferences about my own development.
As far as the negative aspects go, the principal and most important thing is that the interchange student doe not have access to special foods in the case of those who may suffer from hypertension, or diabetes,etc".

 

Argentina    Gabriela Jourdan, argentina Alumna de intercambio

del programa ESCALA La Universidad de Entre Ríos Ingenieria de Alimentos

"Con respecto a esta experiencia de intercambio puedo decir que estoy muy conforme con la atención brindada tanto por la parte del personal de Rectorado como de los profesores a cargo. Me parece muy interesante sobre todo el 'intercambio cultural' que surge, en donde se puede aprender mucho del contacto con otras personas.
En este caso, considero que se formó un grupo muy lindo de personas intercambistas de muchos países del mundo, lo cual torna a la experiencia aun más enriquecedora.
Creo que la principal dificultad que tuve fue la adoptación de los primeiros días, en donde el idioma se tornaba el principal impedimiento para la comunicación, pero superada esta etapa, todo resultó más fácil.
En síntesis quiero expresar que estos tipos de intercambio me parecen muy productivos, no solo por el aprendizaje de disciplinas o por la realización de trabajos de investigación, sino también porque permite conocer distintas costumbres, creencias, tradiciones, idiomas, personas, amistades, etc".


English
"With respect to this interchange experience, I can say that I am very pleased with the careful attention that I received on the part of the Rectorate as well as the profesors who monitored us. Above all, what seems interesting to me is the 'cultural interchange' that takes place, where much can be learnt through the contact with other people. In our case, think that a very beautiful group of interchange students from all over the world has formed, which makes this experience all the more enriching.
I think that the principal difficulty that I had was the adaptation process during the first few days when the language proved to be the principal communication barrier, but once that stage had passed, everything worked out to be easier.
In short, I would like to say that I believe that these types of interchanges are very productive, not only because of the learning of subjects or the conducting of research, but also because they permit friendships and contact with other customs, beliefs, traditions, languages, people, etc".

 

 

FRANÇA

 

FrançaFrança   Frédéric Louault, France

Institut d´Etudes Politiques de Grenoble Sciences Sociales

"Porto Alegre, capitale du Rio Grande do Sul, est réeputée comme étant une des villes les plus européennes du pays, marquant une transition entre l'Europe et le Brésil. Pourtant, au sortir de l'aéroport, pour un français qui auparavant n´avait jamais quitté l'Europe, le choc culturel ne tarde pas à se manifester. Et ce principalement autour du tryptique inégalités / protection / sentiment d'insécurité, incomparable avec les représentations que s'en font traditionnellement les "européens". Mais une fois le décalage digéré et mattée la "saudade" initiale, (la phase d´adaptation est plus ou moins longue selon les personnes, mais comptez bien une dizaine de jours...), Porto Alegre dévoile rapidement ses charmes, ses secrets et ses beautés. Une ville humainement politiqueement et culturellement extrêmement riche et intéressante, particulièrement pour qui vient y étudier. Entre les découvertes personnelles, les rencontres avec les personnes locales et les étudiants du monde entier, et les cours extrêmement enrichissants donnés à l'Université Fédérale du Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), un séjur à Porto Alegre est une opportunité unique, une mine d´or... à condition de faire le doux effort de s'ouvrir à ce nouveau monde!
En ce qui concerne les petits soucis traditionnels d'arrivée (débarquement à l'aéroport, lourdeur administrative, recherche de logement, choix des cours...) n'ayez aucune inquiétude: le service des Relations Internationales de l´UFRGS est extraordinaire, exceptionnellement attentionné, chaleureux, compétent et dynamique. Dès l'arivée (accueil à l'aéroport!) et tout au long du séjour, on peut toujours compter sur Silvia, Renelle et Rosemerie pour régler les difficultés ennuyeuses (consulat, Police Fédérale), ou pour se rendre disponibles pour les petits services du quotidien (vous trouver un appartement et vous y emmener, vous montrer où et comment faire vos courses, prendre le bus avec vous pour vous faire découvrir la ville, ses beautés et ses pièges, et même organiser des sorties culturelles et touristiques pour faire se rencontrer les étudiants étrangers!). Aucune difficulté ne leur résiste, et elles feront en sorte que vous ne soyez jamais perdu ou livré à vous-même... aux petits soins!
En ce qui concerne les cours, l'UFRGS dispose de deux campus principaux. Pour les sciences sociales (politique, sociologie, anthropologie), lettres, philosophie, math, chimie, informatique... il faut prévoir 40 minutes de bus du centre pour se rendre au campus do Vale. Mais ce campus est tellement calme et agréable, on ne regrette pas le voyage dans les bus climatisés. Et au Brésil, une des premières choses que l'on apprend, c'est prendre son temps! Pour le droit, l'économie, l'architecture..., les cours sont sur le campus central, près du bureau des Relations Internationales et du centre administratif de l'université. Bien qu'urbain, ce campus est très vert et agréable (il longe d'ailleurs le grand Parc Farroupilha, parc préféré des poroalegrenses, où l'on peut faire du sport, se reposer, prendre un chimarrão - boisson locale à laquelle vous n'échapperez pas! Donner à manger aux singes, tortues et autres animaux...). Chaque campus possède ses commerces (banque, poste, librairie, caféteria), ses bibliothèques et un restaurant universitaire. Celui-ci est très bom marché, et la nourriture, bien que peu variée (arroz/feijão à coup sûr), est étonnamment bonne!
Au total, après une semaine de remise en question, étudier à l'UFRGS de Porto Alegre (ce dont les étudiants sont tous très fiers du fait de la renommée nationale de de la dure sélection au mérite de cette université publique) est rapidement devenu pour moi un plaisir, et chaque jour je prends plus encore conscience de ma chance d'être ici. Tout est fait pour que les étudiants se sentent bien, et l'ambiance générale s'en ressent. Pour un étudiant étranger, venir à Porto Alegre est une expérience, une opportunité formidable dont il faut profiter au jour le jour, car ici plus qu'ailleurs le temps passe très vite, et la fin du semeste arrive toujours trop tôt".


English

"Porto Alegre, capital of the Rio Grande do Sul, is said to be the most European city of Brazil. Actually being there can be a cultural shock, though. The traditional European characteristics of this city clash with the triptych social inequalities, safety concerns and insecurity. Once this paradox is observed and accepted, as well as the "saudade", the city of Porto Alegre rapidly offers all its charms to the visitor. Staying here ia a very rich political and cultural experience, especially for a foreign student who, apart from his/her personal experience, will be able to meet local people as well as students from around the whole world, and further enrich him/herself by taking classes at the UFRGS.
Regarding the little traditional post-arrival tasks (arrival at the airport, enrollment, search for accommodation, course selection, …) the staff at the International Relations office at UFRGS is extraordinary, very attentive, warm, competent and dynamic. One can always count on Silvia, Renelle and Rosemerie to solve those annoying difficulties or provide daily assistence.
UFRGS is divided into two campi. Social sciences, arts, philosophy, math, chemistry and computing are located on the quiet Do Vale campus, 40 minutes away from town. Law, economics and architecture classes are given on the central campus, which is close to the Farroupilha park, where Porto Alegre inhabitants enjoy doing sports, relaxing and sipping a chimarrão - the local beverage that you cannot escape from! Each campus has its own shops, banks, bookshops and cafeterias, as well as university restaurants.
All students are very proud to study at UFRGS, whose mode of selection is based on merit. Facilities are designed to help students feel at ease. Studying in Porto Alegre is a wonderful opportunity that one should enjoy on a daily basis - the end of the semester always comes too fast…"


ITALIA

Itália   Giovanni Ferrari e Lorenzo Passoni, Italia

Università Commerciale Bocconi di Milano Commercio

"Siamo Giovanni Ferrari e Lorenzo Passoni studenti dell'università commerciale Bocconi di Milano,Italia.
Abbiamo fatto uno scambio con la facolltà di Admnistraçao della UFRGS Di Porto Alegre. Lo scambio è durato un semestre, il massimo consentito dalla nostra Università di appartenenza in Italia. Il periodo è stato tra Ottobre 2002 e Marzo 2003. Siamo stati accolti dall'Escritorio das Relaçoes Internacionais che ci há seguiti nell'intero scambio e ci ha sempre aiutato per risolvere qualsiasi problema. Successivamente siamo entrati in contatto con la facoltà di Administração dove avremmo studiato.
Abbiamo potuto scegliere i corsi e gli orari (diurno o notturno) che preferivamo e abbiamo iniziato a frequentare. All'inizio la difficoltà maggiore era senza dubbio la lingua che entrambi non dominavamo ancora. Tuttavia tutti i professori parlavano molto chiaramente e dopo poche lezioni eravamo in grado cdi comprendere perfettamente tutto. I metodi di lezione sono molto diversi da quelli in Italia:frequenza obbligatoria, classi ristrette ( dai 25 a max 40 alunni), alta partecipazione, quotidiano dialogo e confronto con i professori, lavori di gruppo, presentazioni in classe e test intemedi. Il livello delle lezioni a nostro parere è stato molto buono, per tutto simile a quello Italiano, le prove intermedie scritte hanno procurato qualche problema, specialmente per i professori, ma nel complesso la normale frequenza ci ha permesso di superare tutti gli esami. Molto gradito è stato il coinvolgimento con i professori, tutti disponibilissimi , e gli alunni, specialmente per chi come noi non conosceva nessuno. Pochi infatti gli studenti stranieri, oltre a noi due una ragazza argentina.
Molto piacevole l' integrazione con gli studenti brasiliani sempre simpatici e incuriositi da studenti stranieri e in particolare italiani giacchè a Porto Alegre e in generale nel Rio Grande do Sul è altissima la presenza di discendenti di emigrati italiani. L'università è stata sempre puntuale ed disponibile ad ogni nostra richiesta nonostante fossimo i primi alunni in scambio dall'Italia. Al ritorno tutti gli esami sono stai convertiti dai nostri professori con il massimo delle votazioni. La città infine, sviluppata e simile ad una qualsiasi città europea per standard di vita, ha permesso un comodo e divertente soggiorno in tutta tranquillità.
Un esperienza globale che ci ha permesso di studiare, imparare una nuove e affascinante lingua, conoscere moltissime persone, approfittare del bellissimo mare vicino e di conoscere anche se parzialmente un paese magnifico che non si racchiude soltanto nei soliti stereotipi. Un ringraziamento speciale all'Ufficio Relaçoes Internacionais e alla UFRGS che ha permesso il realizzarsi di questa meravigliosa esperienza"

 

ALEMANHA


Almanha    Andrej Aderhold, Deutchland

Universität Leipzig Bioinformationtechnologie

"Ich bin Student der Bioinformatik und seit 2001 an der Universität Leipzig immatrikuliert. Seit Anfang diesen Semesters (WS 2003) absolviere ich zwei Auslandssemester an der Informatik Fakultät der Universität Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre.
Da Studienplätze im Ausland bekanntlich begrenzt sind und die Mühlen des DAAD langsam mahlen beschloss ich kurz vor meinem Vordiplom eiene Email in Portugiesisch an die hiesige Uni zu schicken. Die Antwort kam prompt und in klaren Worten. Um die Bedingungen zu erfüllenmusste ich u.a. Auskunft über meine schon bestandenen Kurse und meine weiteren Pläne geben. Nach einem etwa 4 monatugen Briefverkehr war klar, dass einem Studium in Brasilien nichts mehr im Wege stand.
Warum eigentlich Porto Alegre? Die Gründe sind mir bis heute noch nicht ganz klar. Eines ist aber sicher. Ich wollte nicht nach Rio oder São Paulo. Porto Alegre hatte von Anfangan mehr zu bieten: Das Flair des Unbekannten. Das erste was ich dann auch bei meiner Ankunft tat war Palmen zählen. Ich war positiv überascht, genauso wie über den netten Abholservice, der aus zwei attraktiven Brasilianerinnen bestand und meiner neuen Bleibe, die wie die anderen wichtigen Sachen schon vom Auslandsamt der Universität für mich organisiert waren.
Da es bis zum Start des Semesters noch etwas Zeit blieb, war klar, dass ich mich als nächstes auf die Suche nach Caipirinha und Samba machen musste! Jetzt da ich den Bericht schreibe kann ich keinen Caipirinha mehr riechen-allerdings hab ich keinen getroffen der Samba tanzt. Und ich bin nicht besonders traurig da es bis heute viele andere interessante Sachen zu entdecken gab. Brasilianische Kultur vermischt mit starken deutschen und italienischen Einflüssen. Die Liebenswürdigkeit und Geduld der Menschen und manchmal auch Enttäuschungen oder Momente der Ruhe und Selbstreflexion. Sicherlich gibt es hier keinen Zuckerhut, dafür aber vielmehr: ein Brasilien das alle meine Ansichten und Stereotype über den Haufen geworfen hat und mich bis jetzt in Atem hält".

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