Thiago from Brazil studied Industrial engineering in Portugal and came to Slovakia to exprience an Erasmus+ traineeship with Placement Slovakia. He worked as a Process engineer in a production and engineering company in Nitra. Before he left, we asked Thiago to tell us a bit more about his time in Slovakia. Have a good read!
1, How did your story first begin and why did you decide to take an Erasmus+ internship in Slovakia?
Well, living overseas was my biggest dream since I was very young. I was outrage concerning the problems we have in Brazil then I started a plan in order to quit the country. The best alternative I`ve found was to become an engineer, once such a professional is widely required wouldwide, hence, I would have more possibilities to take my place abroad. Slovakia has arisen in a important moment of my life, I was living in Portugal seeking for an international experience where it would not be possible to speak in Poruguese, since I am brazilian in Portugal I did not feel abroad because we share the same language and several cultures, thus, I was looking for a country with extremelly differents cultures, behaviours and so on.
2, Can you tell what responsibilities the company gave you at work?
I was a member of the quality team, our duties were to develop ways in order to optimize the production. My main duties were to implement the philosophy of Lean manufacting and its techniques, taking the manufacting time to discovery what are the wastes and then, to try overcome it when its possible. I was also responsible for facilitating the working conditions towards the workers in production, by separating and identifying the tools and equipments they work with.
3, What skills did you improve the most during your traineeship?
Besides improving heavily my english skills, I was able to learn quality control managment, learning deeply one of the most important technique towards the industries market, the lean manufacting. Actually it goes much beyond, I learned a little about the slovakia culture and understand better a multicultural environment.
4, What were your expectations and were they met?
Yes, my expectations were to learn and leave this wonderful country with better skills than when I arrived and it happened.
5, How did you find out about our programme and how would you evaluate our assistance provided during your period here?
I found by making searches in the internet, if I remember well it was in the website Erasmusintern.com. Regarding your assistance I am satisfield, you were always available when it was necessary, your team gave the enough conditions to live well and to reach the company at the fisrt day, which bus to take, who to talk with and so on.
6, What do you think of the life-style in Slovakia?
Its a very nice country, people do the best to try help you when you ask for. Besides it is a safe place with cheaper food and beer, it is a beautiful country for those who like green nature, the country is surounded by montains and caves which are worth a lot to visit.
7, What did you find as the most different from your usual environment, country? Was there any culture shock?
Nothing regarding the culture itself, but about the security and education of the people. I can say I would prefer to live here then returning to Brazil.
8, What did you like the best here in Slovakia?
Food, the city I live, the friends I made in the company and some beaultiful places I’ve visited.
9, Did you have any work or social difficulties during your stay in Slovakia? If so, how did you solve them?
Its not a easy task to find people who speak english, mainly the olders. Most of the time I had difficulties in supermarkets and public places to buy something, However, with technology you can use translator or trying to make some mimes.
10, Did you have enough time to travel and explore Slovakia and neighbouring countries? Which places did you visit and what left the biggest impact on you?
Yes I had. I’ve visted towards the east of Europe, some countries in the frontier and each one had amazed me somehow.
11, Which moment of your stay in Slovakia has been the most memorable for you?
Some moments in Batislava and in Nitra when my friends came to visit me.
12, What are your future plans after finishing the internship?
Stayng in Europe, I will return to Portugal and try to find a job over there.
13, Is there anything you would like to say to students still deciding whether or not to do an internship in Slovakia?
You should definitivally come, absolutely, such an experience will make the difference in your life or in your career.