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Study Abroad - Nicole Lopez

Name: Nicole Lopez

Degree: Chemistry

Location(s): Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil

Why did you decide to apply?

The opportunity was too good to pass up! Getting to learn about such an interesting topic at a brilliant university in a beautiful city as well as experience the countries culture was too appealing to let the opportunity pass by.

How did you find the application process?

Quick and easy! I’d say don’t overthink it, just talk about why you think you’d be able to make the most of the experience.

What was the best part of your experience?

I studied a course called Trauma and Violence within Brazil so meeting other students and lecturers from around the world that had views and experiences to share on how the same issues that happen in our home countries. Learning about the similarities and differences these serious issues are in our countries brought us close together as a group very quickly. Meeting these inspirational people was the best part.

Did you find your experience rewarding?

Yes, I learnt so much on my trip. I had a lot of interest in the topic I studied before I went and then being able to speak to people with similar interests while in Brazil encouraged me to learn more and inspired me to see how I can use my degree to make a difference in peoples life. 

Did you experience any difficulties?

No, I think as long as you go into the experience with an open mind willing to make the most of it you’ll have a wonderful experience.

Is the Santander programme helpful? How? Would you recommend it to other researchers?

Yes I’d recommend it. Without the grant I’m unsure the trip would’ve been possible!

What additional activities did you do on your trip?

Before the course started a friend and I travelled to Rio for a few days to do some tourist activities. On evenings a group of students organise activities such as pool games, going to a karaoke night and we also managed to head into Sao Paulo for a dance one night!

What are your plans for the future?

I’d love to go back to Brazil and visit more of South America. I’m keeping in touch with some of the inspiring people I met to organise a humanitarian project we can all work on together one day. 

If you could offer some advice to other applicants what would you say?

Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way on your trip, most of the students will want to make friends too so just be friendly and you’ll make some unforgettable memories!



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