ISOIS ▸ Final reports

Host country:
Host institution:
Mobility type:
Program:
Faculty:
Ac. year:
Semesters:
Study level:
Language filled in:

Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro

Brazil 2018/2019 Partner universities

Personal data
Mobility type:
study

Faculty at MU:
Faculty of Social Studies

Field of study:
Sociology

Level of study during period of placement:
Master

Language used:
English

Summer/winter school?:
no

Period of studies:
autumn 2018

Period of placement (from-to):
2018-07-05 - 2018-12-20

Number of months:
5.50

Activities before my departure abroad
Where can information be found about courses taught at the foreign school?:
Here in English: https://www.puc-rio.br/ensinopesq/ccci/download/courses_in_english.pdf

Other in Portugues here: http://www.cce.puc-rio.br/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=cce_puc&utm_content=cce_puc&gclid=Cj0KCQiAxs3gBRDGARIsAO4tqq3VzsxGA9PotmvYIPqjSI0BsqSIoLX9v-ijE_0mUVM7n7Hp_CQGikwaAhUxEALw_wcB

If not working anymore, then on the webpage of the university: www.puc-rio.br

Which documents were needed for acceptance at the foreign university?:
- 01 photo (3 x 4 cm size)
- OfficialTranscript
- International Office nomination letter
- A copy of students passport (main page) MANDATORY
- Personal Statement (introduce yourself and why you would like to study at PUC-Rio).
- Copy of health insurance with company name and policy number. As we know that students while are in Brazil travel a lot, we strongly recommend students take the yellow fever vaccine. The vaccine is applied ten days before the student trip. Send us the certificate of the vaccine too.
- A wire transfer sent to Faculdades Católicas referring to the participation on the Pre-Term Portuguese as a Second Language Intensive course (if it is the case) and to the administrative cost payment.

How far ahead did you have to organise your acceptance?:
The latest 3 month before the arrival.

Did you need a visa?:
yes

Documents and materials needed for a visa:
!! for a Slovak citizen (Embassy in Bratislava)
A STUDENT VISA:
- a valid passport (at least till the end of the planning stay)
- to fill in and print the form at: https://formulario-mre.serpro.gov.br
- 1 photo of the passport format (with white background)
- birth certificate (at least a copy)
- acceptance letter from Brazil (Comprovante de Matricula)
- confirmation of finances (confirmation of scholarship or statement of account or...)
- confirmation of studies at the home university
- criminal records
- travel insurance during the planning stay in Brazil
- the return ticket - flight

Length of wait for visa:
Between 1 and 2 weeks.

Fee for the visa:
100 euros

Studies
Did you have a Learning Agreement signed before your departure?:
yes

If not, why not?:

Before your departure did you know how your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
Yes.

During your stay did you change your Learning Agreement?:
Yes.

When and how did course registration take place? Are there any restrictions? Possibilities of making changes?:
It took place online. There were 3 separate dates, always after approx. 2 week at the beginning of the semester, online accessible for 3 or 4 hours. So after the first registration it was possible to change the courses two more times.

Did you take any examinations at the foreign school?:
Before the semester, only online Portuguese test. Then it was repeated again at the university in class. Just to assign an appropriate level of Portuguese class.

Does the school use the ECTS system?:
no

If not then explain how the credits there were recalculated into ECTS:
1 credit in Brazil = 1,5 ECTS

Describe the teaching methods (theory, practical and projects) and assessment of students:
I took a Portuguese language class, a sociology class (Social Brazilian Debates) and a communication class (Brazilian Culture, through documentaries). It was quite similar to what we are used. Each class two times a week for 2 hours (but usually 1hour and 45min). All of them using a combination of professor's presentations with group activities, discussions, student's presentations, homework, assignments, essays. The final grade is a combination of two - a testing at the middle of the semester and at the end, and in all cases other things are taken into account such as in-class activity, attendance and so on. In the sociology class there was a reading for every class, an open question test in the middle of the semester and an essay at the end of the semester + some group activities throughout such as simulations of debates. In the communication class there it was necessary to create two short movie-documentaries throughout the semester based in the Rio context. The Portuguese class had some regular homework and regarding the assessment - one written exam in the middle and one at the end of the semester, in the middle also an essay and at the end an oral test.

Quality of teaching in comparison with home school:
Comparable. All my teachers were professionals in their area and really nice people.

How did you receive study materials?:
Usually online, for the Portuguese class we had to buy a book with exercises.

Can you recommend an interesting course/subject/teacher?:
For Portuguese class certainly Adriana Albuquerque, the sociology with Ana Paula Soares Carvalho was great and also the Brazilian Culture course with Luis Nachbin was very very good.

How well is the school library equipped?:
Comparable to what we know.

Availability of computers, internet access, level of software needed, requirements on notebook:
Wifi internet access everywhere in the campus. No special requirements for notebook. Not sure about the availability of computers, never used them, I think in library there are.

Options from printing and copying:
There is a print-copy center at the campus, approx. 12 cents per page A4 black and white.

Does the foreign school/student organisation arrange special events for exchange students?:
yes

If yes then what?:
One at the campus at the beginning and one at the end of the semester with a snack and drinks. Then one at the beginning to present Rio, one to Petrópolis, one to a farm. Then there is a student organization Brother Carioca which organizes meetings, parties and so on. Then a group of professors, who organize hikings every Sunday. And many other...

How would you assess your integration with the local students (evaluation like in school from 1 to 5 with 1 as highest):
3

or describe in your own words:
I only had English classes with the international students, so cannot really assess.

Practical questions on your placement
Where did you live?:
The university offers living in families. But after some time most of the students have moved to other places, because of friends, or because of a cheaper price, or some didn't like their families. On the Brother Carioca facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/812478755516263/) and others there are plenty of opportunities in Rio.

Cost of accommodation - monthly:
430 EUR

Additional comments to the price of accommodation (as to what the price includes):
That is the price in the family, including a private room, private or a shared bathroom, availability of kitchen, washing machine, fridge and some breakfast by the family. However it's possible to find accommodation also for approx. 340 euros and even less or more, depending on the conditions, localization, extent of privacy and so on...

Describe the equipment. Tips for future students – what should they bring with them?:
The places are usually fully equipped. If not, it's possible to buy here.

How and how far ahead should accommodation be organised?:
If through the families - it has to be organized through the university in advance. However many students came and stayed in a hostel or airbnb the first days and found a place quite quickly. But the family is a good experience, also for the first days in Rio quite helpful, and it's possible to leave it, letting know at least 15 days before the end of the month.

What are the catering options?:
Be prepared for a lot of meat. It's more difficult for vegetarians here. but it's possible to find a way.

What are the rough costs of groceries (compare with Czech prices):
Like anywhere else. Starting at approx. 3-4 euros for a lunch, but very basic to higher prices for better quality. Fruit is cheaper here but usually food in a supermarket is a bit more expensive, especially things like cheese.

Transport to location of placement:
Aeroplane.

Rough prices for transportation:
400-500 euros one way.

Tips for purchasing cheap tickets and other recommendations:
https://www.kiwi.com/en/search
Probably the earlier bought, the cheaper, but not always.

What are the local transport options (public transport, cycling, on foot, rough prices):
Buses, metro, bikes and especially Uber in Rio. City bikes are cheap here (2 euros per month) and very practical, but sometimes there is not enough. Bus and metro approx. 1 euro a ticket. There are no student discounts. Uber within Rio Zona Sul and center from 2-6 euros, especially practical when sharing with more friends or students and also safe, especially, when it gets dark. But metro is also safe. Buses can be less safe in some parts of the city and at some times.

What kind of formalities have to be arranged before arrival, for example residence permit?:
I do no about any. After arrival registration at the migration federal police within 90 days (!! don't forget to bring your ORIGINAL birth certificate, and if possible TRANSLATE IT TO PORTUGUESE at home with all the official stamps).

What health insurance did you use? (rough price, advantages, disadvantages, is it necessary to arrange insurance at the university other than your home (Czech) insurance?):
I am a Slovak student, insurance at Allianz for approx. 200 euros. You need to arrange a travel insurance, which is necessary for the application process and also for getting VISA.

Did you have any experience with medical treatment abroad?:
No.

Did you work during your studies?:
Just as a volunteer, it is not legal to work as an international student here.

What are the conditions for working for MU students?:
Just as a volunteer, it is not legal to work as an international student here.

Tips for free-time activities:
Anything you think of. Beach, surfing, parties, concerts, shows, many hiking opportunities. My favorite were concerts at:
- Etnohaus (https://www.facebook.com/etnohaus/)
- TribOz (https://www.facebook.com/TribOz-Centro-Cultural-Brasil-Austr%C3%A1lia-159535767417756/)
- Audio Rebel (https://www.facebook.com/audiorebelrio/)
and places such as:
- Ilha de Paquetá
- Forte do Leme
- hiking to Dois Irmãos, Pedra da Gávea
- the city park in Niterói

Financial support and expenses
Total grant from Centre for International Cooperation:
110000 CZK

Monthly grant in CZK:
20000 CZK

Number of supported months:
5,5

Total number of months:
5,5

What other sources did you make use of to finance your placement?:
The help of my parents.

If you received another grant, state which and how much in CZK:

 
Total fees associated with enrolment at the university:
1150 EUR

a/ amount of enrolment fee:
200 EUR

b/ amount of tuition fees:
0 EUR

c/ amount of other fees (which):
950 EUR

 
What was your average monthly expenditure?:
900 EUR

a/ of which for accommodation:
330 EUR

b/ of which for catering:
300 EUR

c/ travel and recreation:
270 EUR

Any comments to the average monthly expenditure:

Recognition of foreign studies at the home faculty
How many credits did you gain during your studies (in the system of the foreign school)?:
18

How many ECTS credits were recognised at MU?:
22

Did you know in advance which of your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
Yes.

What problems did you have with recognition?:
None.

Overall assessment
Assessment of personal benefit (1 = excellent):
1

Assessment of academic benefit (1 = excellent):
1

Evaluate the information and support provided by the foreign school (1 = excellent):
1

Did you encounter any serious problems during your stay:
No.

What would you recommend to take with you:
Not many things to be able to take many back home.
Good to take medicine, which you need and some basic medicine, because here it's quite different.
!! Don't forget to take the ORIGINAL of your BIRTH CERTIFICATE and TRANSLATE it to PORTUGUESE with all the necessary international stamps, they may ask for it during the registration at the migration federal police.
And maybe when making a passport photo for the visa application, make two more, you will need them during the registration.

What most surprised you at the partner university in a positive way:
The kind and helpful approach of the professors.

What most surprised you at the partner university in a negative way:
The extreme in conditioning in the classrooms.

Further comments:
Don't forget about the vaccination. At least yellow fever. And think about jaundice A and B, and others.