I'm in Portugal!!

Interview with Rodrigo Medeiros, a brazilian student that undergraduated on Technological Systems for Internet at the Marista Faculty (Brazil) and is a specialist in Information Design at the Federal University of Pernambuco (Brazil).

Currently he's a graduate student (Master in Tecnology and Digital arts) at Universidade do Minho - Portugal and Information Architect freelancer. His job is to create navigation fluxograms, sitemaps, wireframes, coding and prototypes for new media, system and experiences.

See more about his experience in Portugal here and some pictures also!

1. What motivated you to study abroad?
I always liked technology, tangible objects, interactive stuff and different ways to do design. So when I finished my MBA course in Information Design I decided move my study subjects for this “new media and interactive stuffs” way. In Brazil there isn't any master course that mix technology and design/art (maybe just one course in UFMG and another one in USP), so I needed to find some master course elsewhere. Furthermore, it was always exciting for me to live in another place, with other culture, maybe speaking another language and with people from the most diverse parts of the world.

2. How did you select the country and the university you wanted to study?
When I decided to study multi touch technology and tangible / interactive objects I needed to find some universities around the world that had master course with this kind of subjects. I found nice courses in UK, US, Finland, Spanish and Portugal. My main choice was about money: UK, US, Finland was really expensive for me without any scholarship. So I decided to send emails to some universities and Professor PhD Pedro Branco, coordinator of Master in Tecnology and Digital Art of Universidade do Minho replied me. Then, there was no doubts: that was the course I wanted to do.

3. What kind of documentation you needed to get prepared??
I need to submmited an electronic application in the UMinho website.
After that, I also need to have:
- Two recommendation letters
- Copy of the certificate confirming completion of an undergraduate degree and a detailed Curriculum Vitae (including my final average and historic of disciplines)
- Two passport-sized photographs;
- A copy of the Identity Card (or Passport);
- A Vaccination Certificate (in date for anti-tetanus);

4. How was the selection process?
It was undertaken by the Course Management Committee in accordance with the conditions and criteria for selection in force. There were some criteria for the selection, like: Undergraduate (first) degree and appropriate final classification; other relevant degrees/diplomas obtained by the candidate; professional experience related to the area of the Course; academic, scientific and technical-professional Curriculum Vitae.

5. Do you have a scholarship?? If yes, was it enough or you faced financial difficulties? If not, how you prepared yourself financially?
I don’t have scholarship. I saved money for 2 years in Brazil to pay for this course. Here in Portugal I'm working with some classmates as information architect and interaction designer freelancer. I'm also working in a lab at UMinho called engageLab (http://www.engagelab.org/).

6. Could you tell us a little bit about the university you studied (are studying)?

The University of Minho (UMinho), founded in 1973, began its academic activity in 1975/76. UMinho has a student population of 16.000, out of which 1.900 are postgraduate students. The University is located in the Minho region of Northern Portugal. UMinho has two campi located 20 km apart: one in Braga and the other in Guimarães.

My master course is in Guimarães. Guimarães, often referred to as the birth place of the nation, is dominated by the manufacturing sector with a strong investment in the Textile and Clothing. Also, the city will be the European Capital of Culture in 2012.

In the engageLab we have a lot of good books, amazing magazines about new media, design, programming, interactive objects and narratives. We also have a great structure with 4 imacs, 5 pcs, one eyetracking tool, a neural networks tool, some stuff to prototyping hardware like arduino, projectors and a professional help to do the experiments.

7. What's your opinion about this kind of opportunity? What are the good and bad things about it?

Definitely it is changing my life. I`m learning more than just a course. I'm learning to live better, to open my mind to the world and to appreciate more my country and my hometown.

Moreover, I live in a student residence where I need to learn how to share a room with someone I didn’t know, so we need to respect each other (even disliking some attitudes of the other person).

8. Any tip for the students that wanna study abroad?
Think about what you REALLY want to study and use the internet to find courses, scholarship, cities, jobs, opportunities for it. Ops... and start planning it at least 1 year before you go.

More information about Rodrigo:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/medeiros_rod/
rodrigomedeiros.com.br
rodrigomedeiros.com.br/blog
rodrigomedeiros.com.br/doubleyou

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I don't recognize nationalities or frontiers. My compromise is with life.

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