Who is writing about an international internship in Brazil?
Hey! My name is Guillermo Morán, responsible for international partnerships at Intern Brazil, and I want to tell you every advantage you will find on doing an internship in Brazil!
So first of all, I would like to tell you that I myself did an international internship in Brazil as well! I studied one semester with an exchange between my university in Madrid and the USP (Universidade de Sao Paulo), and then, I decided to stay there to start an internship for my second semester. So, everything I am going to tell you is going to be first-hand experience, that is, what I truly believe and experienced about making an international internship in Brazil.
Why should I consider an internship abroad?
So, there is some basic knowledge which everybody knows about doing an international internship, that I will describe shortly as an introduction, to start talking about my main point, which is, why Brazil is a really good option.
You will improve your resume and be more mature
Regarding doing international internships, we can initially talk about the experience you could gain in terms not only of professional issues, as you will be working in your area of expertise, maybe for the first time, but also in terms of responsibilities and being mature. We are talking about leaving your home country to study and live in another country, maybe even a different continent, which means that in many cases, you will have to face and solve some daily problems which you would not think about if you were living in your home city, country or even continent.
Differences between living in Europe and living in South America
As an example, I could say that when I left to Brazil, was when I realized what it means to be European and be in the European Union. Regarding healthcare issues, documentation, etc. you can see how in Europe you are considered a citizen, regardless which country you are from. While when you live for example in Brazil, there are many issues which I never thought about when I went before to live in France for example.
So, all these situations about documentation, or even finding a place to live, making friends and keep a minimum organization in every aspect of your daily life, really shows how mature you are, or how many responsibilities you can handle. I think this is one of the most important points, as it is something you would probably deal with regardless on the country you are going to do an internship abroad.
Also, other advantages are the experience that you can add to your CV, which will always be helpful, and more in these new generations in which certificates and experience is everything. Besides, the fact of learning a new language, if that’s the case.
Start your internship abroad to learn a new language
I have to admit that from my personal opinion, Portuguese, and especially Brazilian Portuguese, is one of the most beautiful languages I have ever heard. Besides, it is impressive how many different accents exist in Brazil, and how can you differentiate if a person is from one city or another by their accents. You can take a look if you want to the other article called “Brazilian Portuguese for beginners” and you can see how easy and interesting is this language!
Don´t be scared if you decide to go without speaking any Portuguese beforehand! I myself went to Brazil without speaking a word in Portuguese. It was the interaction with my Brazilian classmates, then workmates, and friends I made there, that made me start learning the language. After one or two months, you can feel how fluent you could be. It depends on you and the effort you want to put to learn the language, but it is not Arab or Chinese. That means, it is a much easier language to learn. I personally believe that, initially, it won´t be necessary to start in a language school or with teachers, but of course that is up to you! Learning the basics of Portuguese beforehand can save you from trouble and can help you a lot in your daily tasks.
So, which are the main aspects of Brazil that makes it a perfect destination? It is true that I could recommend you to start an international internship in any part of Latin America. After living and travelling in some of its countries, I think this subcontinent has a lot to offer, and that absolutely everyone can learn a lot of things from it. Also, if you start your internship meeting with other foreigners like yourself, I can tell you there is in general a big difference between for example a European who decides to go in Erasmus to Germany, or a European that decides to go to Brazil.
Maybe because of the distance, or the cultural change and inquiry, I can tell that the foreigners that decide to go so far from their homes, are people really openminded and comprehensive. The vibes are really different to what it would be a European exchange for example.
Nevertheless, I think Brazil has something special compared to the other Latin American countries. I could not tell if it is an issue related to the past colonization or the language, but you can feel how things are different in this country compared to the rest of them. When I say different, I truly mean a cultural and social one. Obviously, there are common things like the sociability, the Latino vibes, etc. but it is true that for example music is extremely different compared to the rest of Latin America, as well as many aspects in the society and culture.
And last but not least, the most important thing: its hugeness. Geographically speaking, Brazil is almost like the whole Europe. For example, there is a state called Minas Gerais which is just by itself as big as France. I did more than 10 trips through the country and I still have so much to see. As the country is really divided by different states which work in some way independently from one another, sometimes you could not even tell you were in the same country as for example when you were in Sao Paulo, which is where I lived. Distances are huge, and even though they have the same ID as Brazilians, many times they do not have much in common.
Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais
Cultural differences inside Brazil
I could for example talk about the difference between the North and the South of Brazil, which is one of the most astonishing ones. How the South, due to an Italian and German immigration in the 20th century, it is full of white European-like people, while the North is full of Afro Brazilian people, fact that comes from the slavery time of colonisation, when there was an abolition of slavery, and all of the new free men women went North because there was more space for them to start a new life.
Besides, there are many other things that make Brazil a unique country. Apart from music, filmography and literature, which are things you can check out in the article How to learn Brazilian Portuguese, I would like to talk about two other aspects: its economy and its food.
Even though you do not study Social Science or you are not much interested in this matter, I can assure that a brief explanation about Brazilian´s economy could be really helpful! Although it is the biggest country in South America, and it is politically divided in a way which remembers to US´ Federalism in different states, Brazil is the strongest economy in the whole subcontinent.
However, it is true that Brazil is being one of the most affected countries regarding the pandemic we are currently living. There are many different factors which provoke this situation: its hugeness, its political and administrative division and organisation…
Nevertheless, after this situation, it probably won´t loose all its economic potential, as it has many advantages. For example, being one of the important members of the BRICS (Brasil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which is considered as the economic group in opposition to the OECD.
After living there as a student and a foreigner, I can tell you Brazil has quite a different and personal culinary. I had the opportunity to see and taste some plates which I never had heard of or seen before, and they actually just exist in this country.
First things first: the salgados. I genuinely think that they are the most-known and special thing regarding food of Brazil. It is a concept that I had never seen before. In every cafeteria or restaurant, they have like a bar in which they have these small appetizers. They are cheap, normally 1 or 2 dollars, and they are perfect for when you are hungry and do not want to sit down and eat properly, or you do not have a lot of money. There are some basic salgados like pao de queijo, which exists also in Portugal, which is like a flour ball with cheese inside, or the pastel (pie) of different things, from meat to cheese, or coxinhas which are like croquettes.
Image 1: Coxinha de frango (Chicken croquete)
Image 2: Pao de queijo
An example would be the concept of Prato Feito. This is the typical menu you will find in any cafeteria or as they call it, lanchonete. The Prato Feito or PF is a combination of carbohydrates and proteins, in which normally it has feijoada, which is a Brazilian combination of beans or what in Mexico is called “frijoles”, sauce and normally small pieces of sausage, and then rice, and sometimes, depending on the place, they have salad, chips… Also, normally they offer you “farina”, which is kind of a flour which you put to the rice or the feijoada, and then the protein, which is basically what the client chooses: normally there is beef, chicken, and sometime omelette.
It is quite a nutritive plate, and it normally costs between 12 and 20 reais, which would be something between 4 and 6 dollars. So the PF it is normally based on the same ingredients, and what you choose is the protein, being less or more expensive depending on what you choose.
Also, in lanchonetes there is a culture of buffets, but not the one we are used to see in Europe or US! Buffets in which you pay and you just take whatever you want are not so popular. In Brazil, they are based on weight. That means, you take whatever you want., and then you put your plate on a weighing machine, and each restaurant has a price for every 100 grams or food. Then, if you want to refill your plate, you will have to weight it again, and each time you refill, they write the weight or the price directly in a paper so that they do not forget.
So basically, it is cheaper than a buffet in Europe, but when you finish you do not have that feeling of eating as much as you can for an amount of money!
I must admit that I cannot make good recommendations regarding meat and fish, as I am a vegetarian. But from my friends´ experience, I can tell you that it seems one fo the best fish they had ever tried was the fish of the Bahia State. The most famous plate there, concretely in Salvador, is the Moqueca. It is a broth with many different vegetables and fish, crab, or it could be even vegetarian!
Many places to visit in Brazil while doing an internship abroad
This kind of things are amazing, and in many aspects, you can feel and actually see the history beneath it. And if you have the time and the economic resources, which in general I can tell you it is much cheaper than travelling in Europe, you need to travel to some places I could recommend, like the whole state of Minas Gerais, Florianopolis, Porto Alegre, the state of Bahia, The Amazons, obviously Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo… There are so many things to see, as well as some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen, which I can assure you, they are different to any other landscape you have ever seen.
So, with all that said, I really encourage you to at least take a look in the Internet at Brazil! Don´t worry, you can use Wikipedia, this is not a university project! Look as well into some images of some of the places I mentioned, and I am sure that at least, you will start to understand what I meant about its beauty and attractiveness.
You can also look for a job in Brazil using our partner, Jobsora.
Praia do Moçambique, Florianopolis
Are you interested to start your international internship in Brazil?
If you are, please fill in our application form to get started. You will see how easy it is to follow your dream. Intern Brazil will take care of everything to make your internship abroad unforgettable.