My semesters abroad in Carinthia – Mariana Neves Januncio
A semester abroad does not only mean to study in another country, it has many advantages: you experience a foreign and new culture, improve your social skills and make new friends. With the study abroad experiences from our students from foreign countries you can get a glimpse of what life and studying is at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS).
Mariana Neves Januncio from Brazil and scholarship holder of the Ernst Mach Grant for students from non-European countries is studying “Intercultural Management” at Campus Villach – here’s what she’s saying about her experience.
Mariana Neves Januncio
Country of origin: Brazil
Study Program: Intercultural Management
Duration of Stay: 2 semester
WHAT DID YOU EXPECT BEFORE COMING TO AUSTRIA?
Before coming to Austria I was excited to get to know the city, people and nature here, I searched the internet and saw that Austria is beautiful, so I was really excited to see the lakes, walk around the mountains, ski and see the culture of that country. I was also excited to learn to speak German, it’s a difficult and challenging language, but I was really excited to start these German lessons. I was expecting this and many other things as well, like seeing the snow and getting to know the winter here, which is very different from Brazil.
HOW DID YOU FOUND OUT ABOUT ERNST MACH SCHOLARSHIP? AND CUAS? WOULD YOU HAVE COME TO AUSTRIA WITHOUT THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM?
I have two friends from Brazil, who studied at the same university as me, who are living here in Austria and who participated in the program at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS). They told me about the Ernst Mach scholarship and about the university, CUAS, they spoke very well about the city and the studies, it made me want to come to study here. I was looking for an exchange program that would complement my course in Brazil, an administrative course because mine is quite technical, and Intercultural Management caught my attention and became my choice. If I hadn’t gotten the scholarship, unfortunately I wouldn’t be here, as the costs would be huge for my parents, as my sister came with me so the expenses are doubled. I am extremely happy that I got the scholarship, to have been accepted to the university and to be here.
HOW DO YOU COPE WITH YOUR STUDIES AT CUAS? WAS IT CHALLENGING FOR YOU AND IF YES IN WHAT WAY?
I study a lot. It’s challenging for me as I’m taking classes and studying in English this year, it’s not my mother tongue so I’m learning to improve this skill. It’s also challenging because we have lots of presentations and group work all the time, it teaches us not to be nervous when speaking in public and when sharing your ideas and feelings, we practice this skill a lot during classes and through homeworks.
WHAT IS ONE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EDUCATION IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY AND EDUCATION IN AUSTRIA?
There are some differences between education in Austria and education in Brazil, an example is that in Brazil we don’t have many homework, here at CUAS every week we have tasks to do, which is a positive point because it helps us to study more when we’re at home. Another very good thing is that here in CUAS we have a lot of group work and a lot of presentations to make, we talk a lot with the teachers and classmates, and we learn a lot about teamwork, in Brazil most activities are individual.
Campus Villach of the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS)
HOW DO YOU GET TO KNOW AUSTRIA IN YOUR FREE TIME?
To enjoy my free time I like to try traditional Austrian food and drinks. I like to go for a walk, or ride a bike, and explore all the city, like shopping, new restaurants, squares and all over the city. I also enjoy visiting the beautiful lakes, castles, hiking and traveling.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST ADJUSTMENT YOU HAD TO MAKE?
I have never been outside Brazil. It’s hard to get away from family and friends there, it’s hard to go to another country and put into practice a new language and meet new people and cultures. It’s all beautiful, cool and interesting, but it’s not easy at first. But the hardest part is being away from my family, even for a year, it’s something I’m not used to. But, I’m loving the new experience and I’m sure I’ll get used to the distance.
WHAT WAS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU LEARNED ABOUT AUSTRIAN CULTURE?
The most interesting part of living in Austria is that the country is very safe. It’s very different from Brazil because there are some cities that are dangerous and it’s not a good idea to go out alone at night, here at any time I feel safe walking down the street. Another very interesting thing is that no place is open on Sunday, not even supermarkets and pharmacies that are essential, this is funny because I was used to buying food for the week every Sunday in Brazil and here I can’t forget to buy on Saturday because on Sunday all places will be closed.
Our Brasilian scholarshipholders are enjoying the landscape of Carinthia