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masters Jana Chuchlova, UCT Prague, ročník 4

Faculty Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology
Field of study Forensic analysis
Field of internship Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Specialization of InternshipMolecular Biology
Internship period (from - to) 4.9.2023-27.10.2023
Internship duration (weeks) 8
Transport (means, price) plane there and back (900 Euro)
Insurance/Insurance company AXA Assistance
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) no
Price of Visa -
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Brazil, Vicosa
Internship reference number BR/2023-381-UFV

About the country

Location of the place

Vicosa is a smaller city in the state of Minas Gerais, approximately 7 hours by bus from Rio de Janeiro. It is mainly a student city, local university is considered to be one of the best in Brazil. The city seemed very safe to me, when you compare it to the bigger cities in Brazil.


As I mentioned, Vicosa is a smaller city, there are mainly students living here. So there are a lot of student events, music festivals and also parties. The campus is a beautiful place to spend time, there is also a smaller statue of Jesus on a nearby hill.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

Around the whole state of Minas Gerais there are a lot of beautiful places you can see. I visited an old historical city Ouro Preto (2 hours by bus), the state capital Belo Horizonte (5 hours by bus), national park Serra do Cipo (7 hours by bus), Capitolio (7 hours by bus).



I worked at the department of Plant Biology at the university (Universidade Federal de Viçosa). In my lab there were three other people, an older PhD student was taking care of me and assigned me the work. She was really nice and helped with everything I needed.

Work description

I was mainly working on the computer, because the project I was helping with was about genome sequencing of different plants that grow in Brazil. I also did some minor lab work. I think I learned some new things. It corresponded with what was written in the o-form.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

I earned 1000 BRL per month (around 200 Euro). If you do not spend much money in your free time, it is sufficient. The accomodation was around 500 BRL per month, food in the university restaurant was 5 BRL. Food at other places in the city was around 20 BRL and prices at the supermarket were similar to European prices. So basically, if you want to enjoy more things that this country has to offer, you should definitely take more money.

Language requirements

All the people at university spoke English and it was easy for me to communicate with them. But people outside the university did not speak much English. I was lucky, because when I needed something my Brazilian friends helped me. In the worst case you can translator on your phone. But it is deffinitely a big plus to know Portuguese or at least Spanish if you come to Brazil.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

Brazilian IAESTE provided the accommodation, but it was a disaster. It cost 700 BRL per month (140 Euro), which I was rold by the Brazilian students was quite a lot. It was a hotel, but it was really bad. Nobody cleaned my room, the breakfast was included in the price, but when I came for breakfast I only got really bad coffee. Also the shower gave me electric shocks, when I was taking a shower. Fortunately my internship supervisor at university helped me to find a much better accommodation for 350 BRL per month with other girls from the university. So my advice would be to find accommodation before you arrive for example in student Facebook groups.

Social life

Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)

IAESTE members picked me up at Vicosa bus station when I arrived and showed me my accommodation, university and took me for some food. There were also a lot of events organized by IAESTE and the members of IAESTE took us for some trips outside Vicosa, when we had free time. All of them were really nice and helpful.

Meeting other foreign students

Thanks to IAESTE members I met other European students on internships. We made a WhatsApp group and we had meetings whenever some of us had time and went on trips, which was really nice.

Sport and culture

There were some sport options, but I did not explore them really, I spend a lot of time on trips. I went to play volleyball with my roommate and her friends.
There are many cultural options in Vicosa, there were a lot of student fests and parties, there are also a lot of pubs i Vicosa, you can see local bands playing there and you can go for karaoke for example

Food, local specialties

The IAESTE members took us to some Brazilian restaurants and showed us typical Brazilian food. I liked it. Brazilians eat a lot of rice with beans and meat.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

When I called my friends and family I used WhatsApp mainly, because in Brazil everyone uses it. It is also good to buy a Brazilian SIM when you are there, it is much cheaper than eSIM. It is complicated to get it though and you NEED CPF.
The WIFI was at university, but sometimes the data are not working.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Do not forget to make CPF before you arrive to Brazil. You just need to write an email to Brazilian embassy in your country and in 14 days or so you receive it.
When you are in bigger cities like Rio or Sao Paulo be careful, if you are alone, do not go out after sunset, it is not safe.

What not to forget with you

Sun cream, the sun was shining almost all the time and it was always at least 25 degrees, so you really do not need to pack many warm clothes.

Benefits of the internship

I learned some new things, got to meet new people not only from Brazil but also from Europe and USA, tried living on a different continent all by myself. Definitely an experience for life.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

The students from IAESTE were very helpful with everything.

Overall experience with IAESTE

Besides the terrible accommodation everything was perfect. Please next time check better where you are sending the students to live, maybe ask the IAESTE members from the city what is the best option.

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