Study Abroad Program student profile - Caio Muraki De Sa

Study Abroad Program student from Brazil

Coming from Brazil, I have always had a desire to travel to other parts of the world, so when the opportunity came up to be part of the Study Abroad Program, I quickly applied. I had already decided that in my future professional life as a civil engineer I would like to focus on the sustainable aspects of construction and operational life of a building. So after researching the universities around the world, I discovered that UNSW was among the best universities in Australia and that there was a huge focus on sustainability with a whole degree dedicated to it.

At least half of the subjects I took at UNSW were about sustainability in construction, and all of them were really useful. More importantly at UNSW I had the opportunity to see this applied in real life, not just in theory. I remember in one subject the lecturer was telling us about the performance of some of buildings on campus, explaining what works and how it works, as well as what could be improved. It really stuck in my mind and now every time I pass by one of the buildings I remember what he taught me. It is much easier to understand the theory when you can see examples of it in front of you.

I found the language side of things difficult. It is already hard to write an essay in your native language, but doing it in English is even harder. I remember to take hours to write a simple essay. Even though I spent one year in the university and noticed a great improvement, it is still the most difficult aspect of studying here.

The services for students are great. They range from the excellent library (both the building and online) to recorded lectures available on moodle. I really appreciated having access to both those things and they definitely helped me with my studies here.

There are lots of events throughout the year too, but Open Day was probably my favorite. As I am not from Australia, I didn’t know that much about the university. During Open Day, though, I had a chance to get to know UNSW better in an entertaining and enjoyable way. Everyone was really receptive and the stands were awesome! (First time I rode on a Segway!) I think it is a great way to show the university to future students.

By far, though, the best thing for me about UNSW has been all of the people from different nationalities studying here. Before I came, I thought I would be one of only a handful of exchange students, but I soon realised I was wrong. I have met people from China, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, USA, Canada and many other countries. Having so many other exchange students here has made me feel more welcome and has increased my knowledge about different cultures. It’s also increased that desire to see other parts of the world.

I have had a great time studying at UNSW and I would definitely come back if I could.