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Amanda

Brazil
25
I’ve met a lot of different people from different countries. The experience has been so intense because I have to meet new people more often once in Barcelona people are always passing by. They come and they go very fast.

My childhood was good. I was a very quiet child. I was born in a state called Maranhao, which is in the Northeast part of Brazil. I grew up in a very small and very poor neighborhood, a bit similar to the favelas you see on the TV. It was very interesting though because all my relatives and I lived on the same street. I was happy having all my family living nearby.

About my dreams, well, It’s important to me to feel like I am giving back to my community. I’m here because at some point I had access to opportunities that are not available for all.
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Thanks to my dad and mom’s hard work and strength, when I was still a child we moved to another neighborhood. We had the chance to live better. My mom was the first person in her family to study and I am sure it helped us to have a different life. My dad worked unstoppable as a truck driver. He always did what he could for us. I lived in this city until I was 15 years old. Then, my parents’ store failed, we were in a very complicated situation, so we moved to the capital. There life was different and I had more opportunities to study to enter a good university.

I have a collection of good memories because I lived in four different cities in Brazil, and I had a different kind of life in each one of those cities. My favorite memories are of course staying with my family, traveling with them. We enjoyed it a lot. And the second one is staying with my friends. When I moved to Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, I moved there to study. I made very good friends. They were like family, and I enjoyed spending time with them.  Before leaving Brazil, I was living in another city, called Campo Grande. I was working for the government. I moved there in 2018 after I graduated from college and it was my first real job. It was very good for me however I always wanted to keep studying. So I started applying for master’s scholarships here in Europe.

My experience of moving here was very nice and very intense. I came in September 2019 to do a master’s. I’ve met a lot of different people from different countries. The experience has been so intense because I have to meet new people more often once in Barcelona people are always passing by. They come and they go very fast. Also, due to the pandemic, I went back to Brazil and spent four months there. When I came back here I found a different Barcelona. All the people knew had left. So I had to build a new life, a new routine all over again. It was a challenge, even so, it’s very interesting to keep living here and getting to see new faces of Barcelona.

Other challenges were the papers and visa stuff because there is a lot of bureaucracy here. I was lucky because I had some support from the university, so I imagine that for people who don’t have the support it might be terrible to get all the right documents and organize their life here. Language is also a little bit challenging because I don’t speak Catalan at all and I don’t speak Spanish fluently. When you try to solve some problems, like the bureaucratic issues I had, it was more complicated because I wasn’t fluent in the language.

Now I’m doing my internship. It’s very interesting because this is the field of work that I want to explore more, working with NGOs and also with education for refugees. I’m also trying to learn more Spanish. For the future, I want to finish my master’s to get a job. I don’t want to stay here forever, but I want to stay for more time to try to live in this city more like a local and less like a foreign person. But I don’t even know if it’s possible, because we will always be foreign people, that is natural. I don’t want to go back to Brazil now. I miss it a lot, but I don’t like the way the political situation is right now, it makes me very stressed and sad. I can’t be in Brazil and be detached from politics. So I will be happier outside of Brazil during these times.

About my dreams, well, It’s important to me to feel like I am giving back to my community. I’m here because at some point I had access to opportunities that are not available for all. Many relatives of mine and people I met when I was a child did not have any basic opportunity to have a better life, and today live in a harsh situation. It makes me want to work to support people to have opportunities like the ones I had, and like this one I’m having right now. So I want to go back there and work with education and social inequalities.

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Amanda Vieira
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Juan Gonzalez del Cerro