#HECM2 #CEMS #DiscoverTheWorld
BRAZIL– the country of samba, endless praias, and delicious exotic cuisine. The country where the sun shines every day and the good vibes are always in the air. Brazil was the choice for my CEMS exchange and now that the time spent here is reaching an end, I can say that is was the best decision I took.
Here, I have had an immense learning experience not only academically but also culturally. The fact that now there is a lot of political instability and inequality between the rich and the poor made me better understand why Brazil is still struggling economically and how will the future look like for the country. This learning is invaluable especially when coming from a developed country. Studying in an emerging market is enriching because I got to see how to conduct business in environments that are complex and unstable. There is a multitude of opportunities in Brazil to open a business as there are many untapped markets. Brazil is so diverse as the country is incredibly big, with 26 states, and approximately 207.7 million people. People from Bahia, a state in Northeast, will have different traditions, living standards and consumer behavior than people in South of Brazil. This is the true beauty of Brazil; that you can always discover a new place and culture inside the country.
Studying at FGV
Studying at FGV – Fundação Getulio Vargas, in São Paulo, was also a valuable experience because I had the opportunity to meet many Brazilian students with diverse backgrounds, working for a diverse range of industries. Working with them on university projects, I learned how to be more spontaneous and creative. Not to mention that from not speaking a word of Portuguese I managed to have a conversation about politics. Nevertheless, when it comes to Portuguese accents, I prefer São Paulo.
Of course, my exchange was not just about academics but also about traveling and immersing myself in the Brazilian culture. I traveled to places like Lençóis Maranhenses where I could see beautiful white dunes with lagoons inside but also to places like Pantanal where I saw different species of birds, snakes, and jacarés. Also, Rio de Janeiro is a magical place, where people dance on the beach and drink the famous caipirinhas with different flavors such as maracuja or acerola. In contrast to Rio, São Paulo is a busier city, where most of the banks and companies have their headquarters. The city is called a ‘concrete jungle’ because of the very tall and more modern buildings. Nevertheless, the city has its unique vibe coming from the mix between Brazilians, Japanese, Italians and Lebanese. This mixture also brings a wide variety of food and restaurants. Brazilian food is astonishingly delicious, full of flavors and exotic ingredients. One of the most typical dishes are feijoada with rice and farofa, churrasco (different types of meat), pastel, Bahian acarajé or the sweet brigadeiros.
Finally, the people are amazing, full of joy and always up for dancing the samba or forró, singing, and having fun. I felt very welcomed in Brazil and integrated into the Brazilian culture. I learned that whatever happens, I should be positive, keeping a smile on my face like the beautiful girls in the photo I took in Northeast of Brazil. I recommend Brazil as an exchange to anyone interesting in having a challenging, fun, and enriching experience. Now I have a couple of days until my exchange is officially over and I look back with a lot of nostalgy but also with an immense happiness for all memories created in this magic land. Vou sentir falta do meu Brazil!