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Bc. Radovan Kouřil, University of West Bohemia,ročník 4
About the country
Location of the place
I was one of the lucky ones who could work directly in São Paulo city, most of the trainees worked in state São Paulo within 1-4 hours by car far from São Paulo city. City is located only 1 hours from Rio de Janeiro by flight.
São Paulo city, the biggest American city, as the description says is not only huge place with 20 million people but wonderful place as well. City itself has cons such as homeless people on streets, crowded public transportation but offer more pros as very warm people, thousands of possibilities, beautiful sights and it's Brazilian center of culture.
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
Brazil is also famous for beautiful beaches which take only one hour ride to visit from São Paulo city. You can visit the world most famous beach Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, hour flight or relax on beaches of Ilhabela or Ilha Grande, beautiful islands between this two famous cities. B flight you can visit other tourist famous places as Iguazu falls (2 hours flight) or Amazon forest (4 hours flight).
I was doing my internship in Adtalem Educacional do Brasil, owned by American group Adtalem. Company is providing 3 universities (Ibmec, Wyden, Damasion), in 19 campuses around the Brazil.
I was being part of International office at the university. During my internship I had different tasks. My major task was promote IAESTE program to Brazilian students. Program is run by Abipe company which was cooperating with Adtalem and they wanted to achieve more students attracted to the program. According to this task I was cooperating with marketing department with developing promoting materials, I was leading two live presentation in São Paulo and Campinas campuses and leading few webinars to students from campuses around the Brazil. Later on I was also doing interviews with students who wanted to participate in program called Semester Abroad.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
My salary included basic trainee salary, transportation cost and cost for lunches in total around 1600 BRL/month. This amount of money is not enough for São Paulo city which is pretty expansive as the world largest cities. If you want to travel out of the city I would definitely recommend bring some savings.
As Adtalem belongs to American group every colleagues in company spoke English. Portuguese is not required but in the beginning will be harder for you to understand people as they don't speak English. Only few people can speak English but by the time you will learn to understand things they ask you in the supermarkets, restaurants, etc.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
I was staying in house family, who were totally nice and helpful. They helped me with all troubles when I needed and apartment was cozy. I was paying 500 BRL for private room.
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)
I was picked at the airport by IAESTE volunteer. He helped me to buy SIM card, made me city tour, we went to Mercado Municipal, city most famous food market, and taste lot of Brazilians fruits I never tried before in my life. After he helped me to get to my host family and have possibility to hang out with him for beers few more times.
Meeting other foreign students
During my internship I had opportunity to meet lot of foreign students. In my city there were only 4 of them living and we hang out on almost daily bases. Included lot of beers and Brazilian food haha. As other trainees came to the city cause they wanted to see the famous city, we hanged out with them as well and showed them the place. All foreign students as access to WhatsApp group where they discuss trips around the Brazil for almost every weekend.
Sport and culture
As I mentioned before São Paulo city is Brazilian center of culture. It offers hundred of museums you can visit. In this huge concrete jungle you can also find lot of parks for sports. I also visited forest in the surrounding of my apartment which looked like Amazon forest.
Food, local specialties
You can find different kinds for restaurant in São Paulo, you can also find Japan district Liberdade with lot of Japanese people. My Tuesday classic was eating pastel next to my house which is traditional Brazilian. You can buy pastels filled by meat, chicken, cheese, calabresa but also sweet ones. Brazilian classic are arroz and feijão which mean rice and beans, I can't remember much days I didn't eat this one. From other Brazilians I recommend Coxinha, Feijoada, Tapioca and from sweets Brigadeiro and Doce de Leite. Plus Açai has to be in your list to try in Brazil.
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
There are lot of mobile companies such as TIM, Vivo, Oi and Claro, lot of bad ones and also good ones, you should check what you prefer from what they offer and choose one. I had TIM one, 10GB of Internet per month for 55 BRL. I also had free Wi-Fi in company and at home so It was really easy to communicate with Czech Republic.
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
Don't forget that during summer time in Southern Hemisphere they have winter. Don't be like me and don't bring too much T-shirts. :D During day it's 15-25°C in average, but sometimes it can go to 0°C in night. P.S. Brazilians don't have heatings in their houses.
What not to forget with you
Don't forget swimsuits for those beautiful beaches and ISIC card because you can get student discounts. I also recommend to bring repellent.
Benefits of the internship
For the first time in my life I finally learnt some Portuguese hahah. As benefits definitely are meeting new culture and different kind of living, meeting new warm people from Brazil and lot of foreign students. You can not only travel there but you can also develop some skills of yours and it's good experience for you to step in unknown.
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
IAESTE volunteers are very nice, they are also the students who want to go for internship abroad, that's the reason of their volunteering and we hanged out a lot. Less nicer words I can say about IAESTE Brazil employees, but I guess I only had higher exception about them as I am the part of IAESTE in Czech Republic.
Overall experience with IAESTE
Other useful links