International opportunities were only popularized very recently in Brazil. This makes exchange questions extremely common. Because of this, we have gathered the most frequently asked questions here to answer all your questions once and for all, thus making you more confident to go after your experience abroad.
6 exchange questions answered
I don’t have fluent English. Can I do an exchange?
Yes! The exchange will precisely develop your language skills , providing a complete immersion, in which you will live with native speakers most of the time. However, it is important to note that in some cases you may need to pass a proficiency test . But, in this scenario, an intermediate understanding of English and a good knowledge of the structure of the test can help you.
In addition, if you are not comfortable speaking English, you can exchange to places that have another language as the official language. In this case, a Spanish-speaking country (which is very close to Portuguese), such as Argentina, Mexico or Spain itself , may be a good option (besides, obviously, countries that speak Portuguese)!
Do I need to take any exam to study abroad?
Yes! This is one of the most common questions about exchanges. As we said in the previous answer, you may first need to pass a proficiency test in the language of your target country. In the case of English-speaking countries, for example, TOEFL and IELTS are the most recommended.
Some universities may also ask for the grades of some standardized tests, similar to ENEM or an entrance exam. In the United States, for example, SAT and ACT are the tests most used by institutions in selection processes. All of them (including proficiency tests ) can be done right here in Brazil.
How do I know which visa I need to apply for?
This will depend on what international opportunity you are looking for. In general, if you are going to study abroad, countries specifically offer a student visa. In the USA, this visa is called F1. In the United Kingdom, it has the name Tier 4. To find out exactly what permission you should apply for, you can contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country. Itamaraty maintains a list of international representations in Brazil. Click here to check it out.
How do I decide where to do my exchange?
This is one of those questions about exchange that has no simple answer. However, you can list everything you want to find in a country (or a university) and research which ones best fit your expectations. That way, you will arrive at a destination that concentrates all (or a large part) of what you expect for your exchange. However, it is important to make a realistic list. In addition to checking the attributes of countries and universities, evaluate your own characteristics and analyze whether you would fit well in that context (or even if you have a chance to get there).
Is it worth doing an exchange?
Many people wonder if studying abroad is worth all the time, effort and money spent. These people, in general, want to know what exactly they will receive in return, in addition to a diploma. The truth is that an exchange doesn’t just give you academic experience . In addition to skills in other languages, you will also develop independence, organization and leadership , ideal skills to do well not only in the job market, but in life in general.
I am not rich. Can I still exchange?
Yes! There are a number of financial aids available at universities outside of Brazil aimed especially at international students. These scholarships can cover everything from tuition to home and food abroad . Of course, you will still have some small expenses, but nothing that, with the right planning, is not worth the investment!