Achtergrond bachelor en

Student Wanja Amling

“Being on an international exchange semester is just like one long breath with countless memories, deep impressions, shaping and changing you in a manner you only start to realize after being back.”

  • Nationality: German
  • Third year Liberal Arts student
  • Major: Social Sciences

My life-changing exchange in São Paulo, Brazil 2014

If you would ask me about my personal experience while being abroad, living and studying in Brazil, I would tell you that it exceeded all I had ever imagined and more! Being a self-defined cosmopolitan, who loves traveling, exploring and meeting ever new people from all walks of life embedded in a culture, which again consists of its very specific norms and values, Brazil offered and literally drew me to it in a way I could not possibly resist. It needs to be added here, that I have always been fascinated by Brazil and everything it stands for and, moreover, found and still find myself in a happy relationship with a young Brazilian woman, who happens to live in São Paulo :).

LAS exchange student Wanja Amling

Free languages courses provided by Tilburg University

With all that in tow and the opportunity to combine my academic career with a personal fulfillment, I was left with no doubts that I want to spend half a year in São Paulo! Full of joy of what would come, I took a free-of-costs Portuguese course offered by Tilburg University and another one-month intensive course as part of the exchange program at my host University in São Paulo in order to attain the language-level needed that would allow me to take courses held in Portuguese language. Along with rapidly picking up a new language, I would take courses both in English and Portuguese at the Faculty of International Relations, which included courses such as ´Human Rights´,´Anthropology´, ´Agreements & Disputes´, ´Regional Studies: Africa and the Middle East´ and ´Brazil´s Interdisciplinary Perspective´.

Shaping my own curriculum in line with my future plans

Those courses were in line with my future ambitions of pursuing a Master in ´Peace and Conflict Studies´. My host university FAAP is a private university and well-known across Brazil for its courses especially in Film & Art and belongs to the elite as predominantly wealthy people can afford to study there. Following, the various buildings are adorned with noble art and the professor’s expertise in their fields, making studying at FAAP a one-off experience.

Experiencing the culture

Besides my intense and time-consuming, though very enriching study-life, I found plenty of spare time to enjoy the vibrant city life of São Paulo together with my girlfriend. She together with her family and friends enabled me a profound insight into the Brazilian culture, mentality and peculiarities, which I had quickly fallen in love with. Brazilians obsessive adoration for foreigners and their outstanding quality to integrate those who are from abroad, makes it easy for anyone to feel wholeheartedly welcomed and appreciated and paves the way for a unique and life-changing experience. In this way half a year passed by just like one long breath and leaves you abreast with countless of memories and deep impressions enshrined inside of you, shaping and changing you in a manner you only start to gradually realize after being back.

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