The B in BRICS: A semester of Brazilian vibe
Hello Hungarian Friends!
Here is my official CEMS report after 3 months of CEMS in Brazil, São Paulo, FGV. 2 more ahead!
Characteristics of the country
São Paulo is the largest city of Latin America, and as the 10th richest city in the world, it’s clearly the economic heart of the region. It’s a truly global metropolis with a mixed population of native Brazilians, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, German descendants and hundreds of thousands of expats who can find jobs in the developed financial sector or at one of the many international companies mainly coming from Germany, France, Italy or the US. Until now the weather was fairly similar to the European (apart from the draught we had), however, from now on it is going to be over 30°C on a permanent basis: summer finally has arrived. Speaking Portuguese is an advantage, but not a must.
The FGV university – Escola de Administração da Fundação Getulio Vargas – offers the best Master in Business in Latin America. As I’m listening to my CEMS peers coming from the TOP10 universities of Europe (St. Gallen, ESADE, Bocconi), they claim the workload and the quality of the courses are higher back on the old continent, however, FGV has its unique advantages.
The semester is divided into 2 modules (also happens sometimes in Europe), what gives you the opportunity to concentrate on just 2-3 courses at the same time, acquiring deeper knowledge in the certain field. Even in the 5th year of business education there is still a lot to learn for everybody spending a semester here. In the 1st module we could benefit from Low-income population – Social Business and Scenario Thinking, and in the 2nd module the core Strategy course, Brazilian Economy, the Simulation Models in Finance course and the Organizational Theory within the MBA programme are the ones which are the most appealing for me. The professors’ level of English has a Brazilian particularity but in general it’s really nice, apart from their academic career each of them has a professional career as well (working at MNCs or at consultancies), moreover, the Scenario Thinking professor is a doctor of Medicine, Law and Business in the same time, what obtained respect from the students. Also there is a lot of respect towards the prof of the Brazilian Economy course, so I can honestly say it is a really nice experience having charismatic teachers at this Business School. If you are about to dedicate more time for learning, taking 4-5 courses/module requires 30-40 hours of workload/week.
CEMS, CEMS, CEMS. I really like our CEMS group, all of them are really nice and open guys, more friends than colleagues. The atmosphere is really European at the uni, there are mainly Italians and Germans with some Latin American and US influence.
São Paulo is famous for its food (pizza, pasta, sushi, meat, fruits) and nightlife, so most of the activities rely on these given comparative advantages. Apart from that, there is a CEMS football session every week, and there are several other sport (Basket, Volley, Swimming, Rugby) and dance (Samba, Forró, Salsa) activities. The CEMS board from a slow turtle evolved to a tiger, and now we have a lot of CEMS events, like international dinners, CEMS Surf session, CEMS goes to Formula 1 or CEMS Corporate Cocktail and Summit.
Travelling from the heart of the Mercosul is also very popular, a lot of the students do it. The most popular destinations are Rio de Janeiro, the beaches of Brazil, the Amazonas, the Iguazu waterfall, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Salt desert in Bolivia, Columbia and Chile.
If you are considering to apply to Brazil and you have any further questions in terms of the CEMS semester in Brazil, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Important information that financials could be a big constraint in terms of coming to Brazil, as the prices are as high as in Paris or London, and the PPP ratio of us is far from the best, not to mention the lack of the Erasmus subsidy.
Story and photos: László Székely
Contact the author: