A Brazilian student in Polytech : Interview of Marilia Rosato, a MAT student

Marilia came from the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), a public university located in São Carlos. The university hosts 26 000 students on its campus, when the population of São Carlos is around 245 000 inhabitants. We can compare it to the UGA and Grenoble in a smaller size. There, she was studying materials science and engineering.

She wanted to do a year abroad to discover a new culture and to gain new technical skills. Coming here was the only opportunity that she had to do a masters abroad and to obtain a double degree.

To come here, she had to learn the language first. She started to learn French doing 2 hours of classes per week for a year. It allowed her to have a B1 level. And from a French student perspective, she and all of her fellow Brazilian students who came here had a very good French level and I think we were all impressed to see them adapt so quickly.

The fact that she came here with other Brazilians student was a big plus. They could help each other settle in and not be overwhelmed by the administrative procedure and the distance from their home. To find lodging, they were helped by Polytech to complete all the procedure with the CROUS.

Then the classes started. At first it was a little difficult to integrate with us, the French student. The language barrier still being quite difficult to overcome, the French that they had learnt was quite different to the one that we use to communicate daily. Especially us, younger people. But with time, they adapted and they felt well integrated in the class.

The first semester was the hardest for them. It was also the hardest for us, as this is usually the hardest semester in MAT. The schedule was also a lot busier than what they were used to. With the added concentration effort that they had to make in order to understand French, it was quite hard at first. The second semester was easier and since Marilia already had done well in the first one, it was less stressful.

About Grenoble, she found it to be great. The mountains are great and plenty of activities are available. She found it very dynamic all year long. The food is also a big plus.

She also had plenty of time to travel across Europe with her Brazilian mates, which was great since you don’t travel across continents very often. Their first trip was to Iceland during the Toussaint break of 2018. She has visited 11 countries in total.

In summary, she loved it here in Grenoble. We all know how discovering a new culture is always very enriching. But she can say that this experience has changed her life for good, because of all the friendships that she created here but also with the new opportunities that this has given her career-wise. Finally, she has to finish her studies in Brazil starting in August but she plans to come back to live here in 2021.

What about Grenoble?

Finishing high school can be stressful, especially if you know that you will have to move out on your own. Choosing where you are going to study is a big step in every young adult’s life. Thousands of French students are in that situation every year, along with international students that decide to come to France for their studies.

How do you decide where you should go?

As a foreign student, it was very hard to decide where I wanted to pursue my studies but let me tell you why I ended up choosing Grenoble.

Grenoble by night – Source

 

The city itself

Grenoble, also known as the Capital of the Alps, is a French southeastern city in the middle of three mountains: Chartreuse, Vercors, and Belledonne. It is also the capital of the department of Isère in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
It is at a perfect distance from other cities like Lyon or Paris, which lets you explore France as often as you can during your studies.
The city is small enough to make you feel welcomed, but there is still a huge variety of things to do or visit!

Ski resorts
Grenoble is the perfect city if you love winter sports like skiing or snowboarding. If you have never had the chance to try them, this is also your chance to visit some ski resorts like Chamrousse or Les Deux Alpes.
It is a lovely opportunity to spend time with your friends during Winter, away from the city life.

The Bastille
It is one of the most known main sights in Grenoble. It is located on the Chartreuse mountain, and from up there, you get a magnificent view of the city and its surroundings. You can also find some really good jogging tracks and restaurants.
You are able to go there on foot, or you can sit and enjoy a ride on the cable cars and a view over the Isère, the river that crosses the city.

View of Grenoble from the Bastille – Source

Cultural activities
There are several outstanding museums in Grenoble such as the Museum of Grenoble which has an extensive painting collection, CNAC (National Center of Contemporary Art) that has several exhibitions in store throughout the year.
As of performance halls, the Palais des Sports is not very far from campus and it hosts several famous artists.
Also, one of the cinemas that I have tried and recommend, is La Nef because it will occasionally show movies with subtitles!

Continuer la lecture de « What about Grenoble? »

Christmas Market

From November 28 to December 30, the traditionnal Christmas Market takes place in the streets of Grenoble, especially in the Victor Hugo and Grenette squares.
The market is composed of more than a hundred of mountains chalets, where you can find craftsmen or even restaurateurs who present and sell us regional products, and lots of other products related to Christmas.
You can savour a good mulled wine or a hot chocolate for the youngest, taste gingerbread or a famous and delicious raclette sandwich.
It is also the best place to find gift ideas for your loved ones!

Not far from the place Victor Hugo, in the Square of Doctor Martin, you will also find exhibitors’ chalets : these chalets form the Market of Social and Solidarity Economy.
This market is composed of five different exhibitors :

  • « Mix’Arts » : offers regionnal and organic gastronomic items,
  • « La Fabrique du Trièves » : also offers gourmet items, local products and also clothes, accessories,
  • « C’est fait ici » : a local craft stand featuring games and toys for the yougest, and decorative items,
  • « Grenoble Equitable » : a fair trade booth,
  • « Deuxième Acte » : a stand dedicated to the reuse of used objects.

« Le Bistrot de la Mixture » will give you the opportunity of savouring a « Truffade du Vercors » along with a delicious Christmas beer !