Exchange semester in Weimar #2: Guilherme (São Paulo)

Exchange semester at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar: study, travels and learning more about yourself
Three stories of international students, who’ve been studying at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in SS2017.
Guilherme. Photo: Anna Perepechai

Guilherme is from the city Avare, Brazil, but for the last 5 years he was living and studying in one of the biggest cities in the world – São Paulo. He is 22 years old and in Weimar he was doing his 9th semester (Civil Engineering) after 8 semesters of the same subject in Mackenzie Presbyterian University.

Bauhaus is international. Since the school’s beginning students and professors from many different countries have been involved in the study processNow, in 2017, there are around 1000 international students attending Bauhaus University Weimar, which is around 26% of the full amount of the students. We’ve used a chance to get to know some of these international students who came to Weimar for just one semester by recording and sharing their stories in our blog.

Have you been living and studying abroad before?
It is my first experience abroad. But as I am living alone for 5 years, I wasn’t really homesick. Of course I missed some Brazilian things, but I was also excited about how different life is here. Weimar is very small and São Paulo is one of the biggest cities in the world, so there is always something going on. If you go out – you always find someone in the city, but here sometimes nobody is outside already after 11 p.m. or on sundays. Universities, cities, people, food, weather… everything is different!
So can you tell that your life at home, now that you’re here, has been turned upside down?
In some way. Bauhaus University Weimar is more focused on arts, Mackenzie on engeneering. So of course people who are studying at these universities are also totally different. Getting experiences in any way in Weimar helped me to open my mind, to get to know art people with which I never had a contact before.
Why did you choose Germany when you decided to go for an exchange programm to Europe?
When I decided to do the exchange programm, I had to choose between some countries: Great Britain, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Germany. I really wanted to improve my English and Bauhaus university was offering courses in it. Also I was interested to learn more about Germany, so I ended up here.
Are you satisfied with your decision?
I like it that we are very intentationally mixed here. I am one of the youngest – mostly people at our faculty are coming from Asia and are around 30. In general, I’ve found friends and common language with a lot of students.
University helped me to find a dormitory room – firstly I’ve got a subrent room for 1 month through WG-Gesucht, but then I had to move out and it was easier to go to the student house. It is ok, but there is no shared space, so you don’t have so much contact to the other people.
The only thing which I don’t like so much about my exchange semester is that I wish us to be more integrated in the local society. I think, German people are not talking a lot, but you can also have fun with them!
Did you learn German, or you were more concentrated on improving your English?
I did a German course during the first month, all the exchange student have to do it. It was not so easy, but still fun! I tried to do the next course, but it was full. So, in case you want to get your place in the language class – you have to hurry to book it in time!
How different is the study process in Bauhaus and Mackenzie university?
In Bauhaus university I am doing 3 projects, so I have class 3 times per week. In case I could go back in time, I would choose more projects, maybe something from different field like architecture. To learn more, get new experience.
In Brazil I am doing way more projects, so I am well trained. As I had a lot of free time, I started to travel. I’ve been in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Austria, travelled around Germany. This week I am going to London, Paris, Brussels, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. I want to do a maximum in Europe!

Photo: pixabay

How was it to come back to Weimar after such dynamic trips?
Sometimes it was feeling very slow, but it was also good to calm down here. Almost every place in Weimar is reachable by walking. It was great to hang out in M18 on Thursdays or to go for a barbeque in a park with friends.
Your advice for the next exchange students:

Find some place to stay before you are coming here. Try to speak German – it helps to make local friends! You have to be open to get to know another people.

Anna Perepechai, B.A. (Journalism), 3rd Semester Visual Communications

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