• Thomas Carlyle Minetto Vilarinho

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  • Thomas Carlyle Minetto Vilarinho

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  • Thomas Carlyle Minetto Vilarinho

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Thomas Carlyle Minetto Vilarinho Name: Thomas Carlyle Minetto Vilarinho
Age: 24
Country of origin: Brazil
Years in Norway: 2
University: NTNU
Field: Informatics and Telecommunications

- Why did you choose Norway as your study destination?
I came here because I was looking forward to a specific Erasmus Mundus Program, whose subjects are taught in few universities.

What was your idea about Norway before you arrived?
I had very high expectations in what relates to public services, since Norway is the 2nd best IDH of the world. I also expected people to be colder here than in Brazil, although not that much.

Which are the main differences from your country when it comes to your life as a student?
The student life itself is not so different, although people's life here is completely different. People in general are not very receptive to people they don't know. It is incredibly hard to make Norwegian friends (at least when not speaking Norwegian). The university itself has a really good infrastructure, much better then the ones we had in Brazil, but the university system in Norway (at least in NTNU) seems to me too bureaucratic. On the other hand, the professors are very open and are very accessible. I should also say that the students here have more autonomy on how they control their study time, as there are less exams and mandatory assignments than in Brazil.

In your opinion, what is the most important academic outcome for you as an international student in Norway?
I've been studying telecommunications and Norway has a unique set of lectures focused on this field. This is something that I have not really found an equivalent to outside of Norway.

What about the personal outcome? Are there any experiences you would like to highlight?
So far I think that the most important outcomes are the knowledge learn at the lectures, the life experience of living at a so different country and my new network of international friends (unfortunately so far, very few Norwegians).

What would you tell other students from your country about university life in Norway?
I could tell them that NTNU is an excellent university, and that apart from some hard work on the lectures they will be able to have a lot of fun, since there are a lot of young people here from all the countries in the world and they for sure will make friends for life. And I would advice them to bring some goods from Brazil. It would make them feel less homesick and it always nice to share a bit of our culture with the others =)

What do you miss the most when you are away from your country?
I really miss my friends and the openness and friendliness of Brazilian people. Besides that I also miss sorts of food which in Brazil are inexpensive and here it is hardly affordable.

In your opinion, why is it important to have a study abroad experience?
I have to quote a Brazilian writer on this: "A man needs to travel by his own means, not by stories, images, books or TV. He needs to do it on his own, with his eyes and feet, to understand what he is. So, some day he can plant his own trees and give them value. So he can know the cold and enjoy the heat. So he can feel the distance and the lack of shelter to be under his own ceiling. A man needs to travel to places he doesn't know to break this arrogance that makes us see the world as we imagine it, and not simply as it is or may be. The arrogance that makes us teachers and doctors of what we have never seen, when we should just be learners, and simply go see it".

What are your future plans?
I plan to finish my Masters Degree and then look for a engineering job in a telecom-related company, most likely in Europe.