After 2 years of the study in The Netherlands, all students that follow the 4 year course are obliged to do an internship of 20 weeks. It is possible to choose from a research to a vacancy in the company. At the beginning of the second year I already started thinking about the internship. It was hard to answer the questions what do I want to do and in which field I would like to broaden my knowledge. I was talking a lot with the teachers from my course weather should I choose a job at a consultancy company or to do a research, because I was interested in doing both. All of a sudden, I came across one scientific report about hormones in the water and their influence on the aquatic ecosystems. I realized little is being done to purify water properly and I became very interested in the topic. I knew some students that went previous years to do an internship in Brazil and I was amazed by their stories! While I was still in high school, I was training capoeira for 3 years. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art, its a beautiful combination of music, dance and fighting moves. But capoeira is much more than just a sport. Its a food for the soul and the best way to get familiar with Brazilian culture and the language. It didn't take too long for me to already fall in love with Brazil (and I wasn't even there yet!). I remember saying to myself that I always wanted to live in Brazil, but I had no idea this dream would ever come true. Students and teachers guided me to LivingLab BioBased Brasil. It is a cooperation between the Dutch and Brazilian Universities with the purpose to internationalize higher education in both countries. On their page I found a project that was a perfect match! Eco-toxicity assessment of pharmaceutical contamination in water. After talking to my parents the final decision was made and I started my preparation process.
The deadline for sending motivation letter and CV to the LivingLab was in March. LivingLab organizes all the paperwork with a brazilian university so after being accepted the only thing what's left is visa. For all the students interested, I will write down the steps you would need to take and documents you should have:
VOG (Certificate of Good Conduct) - make an appointment at the City Hall and ask for it, it arrives in 2-4 weeks
Acceptance letter from a Brazilian University
Proof of enough money (screenshot of a bank account is enough, you should have 700 euro per month of a stay)
fill in online form and print it
in come countries you need to have flight tickets and proof of insurance ready but in The Netherlands it was not required (but recommended)
last but not least, STATE OF ENROLLMENT at Avans legalized by DUO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Consulate.
The last step takes a lot of time and it can be confusing as it was very confusing to me before I started getting all the papers legalized. Actually it is really simple if you read carefully and understand the steps. Everything is explained on this page:
To legalize educational documents and get a stamp from DUO you need to go to Groningen at Kempkensberg 12 and to complete the legalization you will need a stamp from the court. You can go to any court in The Netherlands, but if you are in Groningen you can do it immediately after you get a stamp from DUO, at Guyotsplein 1. To get an appostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs you have to go to Den Haag, and to get it legalized by the Embassy Consulate to Rotterdam. It takes a lot of time to collect all the stamps and documents needed that's why it is important to start on time. After you get your visa, pack your stuff and you are good to go!!! Boa viagem! :))