We just couldn’t resist it when we knew that we had a Brazilian student in our Faculty of Humanities and Communication. Our intern Paola, who studies Journalism and is currently working at the Alumni Service, told us about her: How motivated she was, how friendly and warm…so we decided to contact her and were pleasantly surprised by her willingness to talk to us.
Here you can learn more about her: Her story, how she lives and loves Journalism and her future professional plans. Thank you, Ana Julia!
Hello Ana Julia! Tell us a bit more about yourself so we can get to know you better!
I was born in São Paulo but lived in Rio de Janeiro. I’m 19 years old and I have always lived with my parents and my 3 siblings (one sister and two brothers), so being the little one I have always felt like the family girl. My parents have always protected me so maybe that is the reason why I have always wanted to protect others and do something for them too.
In Brazil, for instance, they always run a Christmas campaign where anyone can play the role of Santa Claus and give gifts to the children living in the favelas and don’t have money for gifts and decorations. I have always taken part in this campaign because I really think that through solidarity you can change other people’s reality. I believe that small gestures can change people’s life and make them happy.
How does a Brazilian girl end up studying Journalism in Valencia?
I was looking for an intenship in Marca, the Spanish newspaper, because I have always loved Sports. But then I realized that before actually going on a training placement I needed to study a degree ad so I started looking for universities in Spain. I eventually found that University CEU Cardenal Herrera was in Valencia and then I started talking to my parents about it. At first they told me: “First try it; if you get in, we’ll see what happens“…and I got in! After my application was accepted, my father told me that if I really wanted to come study here, they would support me. And here I am!
I came here for the first time in 2014 for a vacation because my brother lives here and I spent a month around Spain. I liked the weather, the contrast of cultures and I think the biggest difference between Spain and Brail is how people interact with each other. It is very different from Brazil: People there give a lot of hugs, they kiss everyone even if they dont know them! Doing friends is a bit easier because here there is a certain distance between people, but that’s just a cultural thing. In South America we are more latinos!
After this first month of classes, we are guessing all the initial excitement is gone and you are now facing “reality”: Exams, projects, essays… a lot of workload! Is Journalism what you expected to be?
I already had a year of Journalism experience in Brazil but i now see that there are many differences in journalistic writing in Spain and in Brazil. Principally here at the university we have better facilities than the ones in Brazil and classes, even if sometimes they are more theoretical, they always have a practical approach so you can see how you can apply all that theory to your daily work as a journalist. That is was what i like the most here: You can always see the purpose of what you are studying.
I find my classmates also a bit different: Brazilians are maybe warmer and from the first day you can consider us friends. In the first days of university you have a lot of integration activities, you are given different challenges and need to work in teams, so it’s a very firm integration. Here you are in a class surrounded by Spanish people and some other international students who already live here.
The contrast between the people and the culture is big but I think I have managed to fit in, I have made friends and everything is working out now!
What are your plans after studying abroad, what are your dreams for the future as a Journalist?
My plan is to undertake another international experience because I want to explore other places and cultures; that is why I would like to study abroad as an Erasmus+ student, go to another country that I have never been to and see how it goes. After that I would like to study a postgraduate course in International Relations, maybe in the United States but it is still early to decided on that. What I know now is that I would really like to work for Marca. That really is my dream job, my objective as a journalist. Since I was little I have always loved football, Formula 1 and other sports. Working in that field is my dream.
One of the experiences I can recall is the first written essay I had to hand in. Written in Spanish, of course! The professor called me one day and told me that he didn’t quite understand some of the words in the essay, because they didn’t actually mean anything. And I was like “Well, i thought they existed!”. That shocked me a lot; I thought that I was doing it right but apparently I wasn’t…I see now that some of the things that I say can be wrong!
Is there any message you would like to send to all those people out there who are thinking about studying Journalism in the future?
I think that one of the main advices would be: If you want to study abroad, start planning early! Administrative documentation takes time to be managed and that was my biggest problem: Documentation, dealing with the Government, the visa…if you want to go to another country, try to sort these things as soon as possible. And then think about how it is going to be to live alone: Mum and dad won’t be there so that has an impact in your life, it is a big change because you find yourself out of your environment. You lose contact with some old friends but you also find a lot of new friends, which is a a great thing.
If you are looking for a new experience, I encourage you to do it: It is a great experience. Journalism is passion: You need to have passion and like investigating, reading, writing…Journalism is about that! If you have already an objective like I do (working in the Sports field), then everything will go well. You just need to focus, study a lot, experience a lot of things and learn about yourself. That is my advice: Focus and go after your dream!