Brazilian student Manoel studied in Stockholm with the Science without Borders programme
Brazilian student Manoel studied in Stockholm with the Science without Borders programme

Manoel found out about the Science without Borders (SwB) scholarship programme from some friends that studied through the programme last year. “In Brazil the SwB programme became more well known during the last year, partly because of advertisements on radio, TV and internet. I applied for the programme and, once I was selected to participate, I could apply for the courses I wanted to study in Sweden.”

The first step was subscribing to the programme on the SwB website. Then Manoel’s home university checked that he had the required grades to join the programme, after which his application went on to a national selection. The last step was getting the approval from the Swedish universities that Manoel fulfilled the requirements for the courses.

In the beginning Manoel was not sure which country he would choose. “I was looking for was a country very different from Brazil, and with a high level of education,” he says. Manoel had visited Stockholm for three days two years previously and had loved the city. “Sweden was the perfect match because it is very different from Brazil in many ways, and Stockholm is renowned for its high standard of living and education.” Another difference was the weather. “The summer here is sometimes colder than the winter in Brazil!” says Manoel.

Studying in English

Manoel was looking for a place where he could learn a new language, whilst at the same time improving his English.  “I am improving my English,” says Manoel, “but I found that I do not need to learn Swedish”. Although this makes improving his English easier, Manoel isn’t entirely happy about not learning the local language. “Here you can do everything just speaking English and all the written information that you need is in English,” says Manoel.

For Manoel the academic environment was the best part of his studies in Stockholm. “In my class we have people from all over the world and we exchange educational and work experiences with each other,” he says. “In one of my subjects we are working in an assignment and our group is formed of people from Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, USA, Kazakhstan and Sweden.

Education in Sweden is, Manoel says, “not so different from the way that it is in Brazil.” But Swedish education places greater emphasis on individual study. “Here,” says Manoel “it is more up to the student to study and get more knowledge while in Brazil the teachers try to push the students for it.”

“A well-organized and beautiful country”

Manoel has enjoyed his time in Sweden: “I have had a great time in Sweden so far,” he says. “Sweden is a well-organized and beautiful country.”

There are lots of things to do as a student in Stockholm. “In my free time I go out with my friends or practice sports, like football, and I also participate in the activities arranged by the Student Union,” says Manoel. “I have met a lot of new people from everywhere in the world and I have got to know a bit from the culture of everyone,” he adds.

And Manoel likes the Swedes: “Swedish people are always in a good mood and everything works here.”

The biggest difference for Manoel when he came to Sweden was having to adapt to following the rules. “Swedes loves to follow rules,” says Manoel, “in Brazil we are not used to that” he says.

Manoel’s best memory so far is from a city tour to Gamla stan, the old town in Stockholm. “Some friends and I did the tour and after hours of walking we ended up in Gamla stan with a view of the sea. Stockholm is incredible, the view that you have in Gamla stan and in the centre is something unique. I was so tired but when I saw how beautiful the view was I just felt amazed at being here.”

Science without Borders

Science without Borders, or SwB, is a large-scale nationwide scholarship programme primarily funded by the Brazilian federal government. Brazilian universities submit their top students selected on a merit basis that meets the requirements for each type of scholarship. The students study a one-year non-degree programme abroad and then return to complete their degrees in Brazil. The scholarship covers the students' tuition, room, board and health insurance. In addition, round trip transportation to and from Brazil and a monthly stipend is provided to each student directly from the Brazilian government. Brazilian student Manoel is one of the students studying in Sweden through the SwB scholarship programme.

More information about the scholarship programme:
www.science.su.se/english/science-without-borders-autumn-2014