Relações Internacionais, Universidade Federal de Dourados
Brazil, Mato Grosso do Sul, Dourados
Agosto a Novembro 2010
When I reached Dourados after a long travel Professor Marcos from the International Office and a student, Gustavo, picked me up at the Rodoviaria. They brought me to the family, I was staying with for the next 4 months. I lived there with 3 other international students from China, Argentina and Cape Verde. Living in and with the family was really nice. They cooked, cleaned and washed for us and we were allowed to use everything in the house, e.g. Computer, TV, Pool, Bike. Unfortunately people there didnʻt speak English, and when I arrived, I didnʻt speak any Portuguese, so the communication was kind of hard at the beginning. But Google Translator helped a lot and after a couple of days I could understand some important things.
Gustavo helped me a lot and took good care about me there and we became good friends. Right at the beginning he taught me important things in Portuguese, he managed my cell phone, showed me the city and helped me, when I had to go to the bank or the police. He as well took me to several social activities and introduced me to many people.
The town, Dourados, is a small town for brazilian standards (about 200.000 inhabitants) and there wasnʻt that much going on there. But by the time you get to know people and you know how to have a good time. In comparison to other Brazilian cities Dourados seems secure and harmless. Iʻve never been afraid, but I nevertheless avoided to be out alone at night.
It took one week until I finally met the professor responsible for my internship. The majority of the internship was held at the Faculty of Medicine (FCS) at the Universidade Federal de Grande Dourados (UFGD), but Iʻve been at other faculties as well. The campus was remote from the city, so that I had to commute for 1 hour each way. A typical day there was like this: waking up at 6:30 am, leaving the house at 7 am, arriving at university at 8 am. There the first thing I did, was going to the office of the technical assistants, chatting with them, hanging out and checking my mails. During the morning a lot of people were coming to the office and each time, if somebody had some work to do or something interesting to watch, they called me. As people there didnʻt have a lot of work, I wasnʻt doing a lot either. But they were really concerned about finding things to do for me, so I spend some days at other faculties. The break was from 11 am to 1 pm, and we had lunch there at the university. The afternoon was pretty similar to the morning and I left at about 4 pm. The evenings varied daily.
The International Office organised a Portuguese class for the foreign students, as well as trips to nearby cities. So we went to Bonito, Paraguay and Campo Grande. The program was pretty nice and interesting. It helped to get to know the other students and the country. Apart from that, they organised everything very well and I could always come to them, when I had problems or questions. Every once in a while we had feedback-talks about the internship and the life in Brazil in general.
To use the time being in Brazil, I did various travels around the country. I visited the Pantanal, the Iguacu-falls, the Oktoberfest in Blumenau, Rio de Janeiro, the beautiful beaches of Bahia and the Amazon. Every new place was more beautiful than the one before, and so much different. You see new things all the time. It is also pretty exciting to try the different foods in the different regions. Especially fruits and juices are great. As variable as the food is among the regions, there is one thing that is common in whole Brazil - there is rice and beans with every meal.
Brazil is a huge beautiful country, that you canʻt know entirely. People are so nice, interesting and interested in you. Though there also have been some negative experiences, I am so happy to have been there and I have very positive memories of being there. I hope, someday, I will go back.