16.10.2018 11:16

I like the feeling of safety in Brno, says Brazilian researcher

Autor: Barbora Ficbauerová | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

Living in Brno wasn’t a direct choice for Vinicius Santana from Brazil. In fact, it was a coincidence, he ended up in the Czech Republic and he has been here for nine months now. 

Brazilian researcher Vinicius Santana. Photo: Archive of Vinicius Santana

When he finished his doctoral study of physics, he started searching his job as postdoctoral. He is interested in material science and magnetic properties of materials, so he was looking for a job in this field. Petr Neugebauer from the University of Technology was living in Stuttgart and had a postdoc position. Vinicius applied, but then he found out research will be in Brno. “I was searching for information about Brno and it looked to me like a nice place to come,” smiles Vinicius, who seems to be very friendly. 

So, in January he arrived at the Czech Republic. Four months later, his wife and their cat joined him in Brno. Even though Vinicius likes Brno, he wishes he would return to Brazil one day.

Vinicius has been living in Brno for nine months now and he has adapted very well. Everyone is kind and gentle to him. “I know people, who are also foreigners and have a problem to integrate themselves into society. I don’t know if it is caused by the academic field, which is friendlier, but I found it not difficult at all,” says Vinicius.

In the beginning, his biggest problem was language. “You don’t need to know the Czech language, but you must have good Czech friends, who help you,” says the slim and tall physical researcher with short dark hair, laughing. His wife, who is also a researcher but in biology, had everything easier because Vinicius had already known everything important when she arrived.

Before leaving Brazil, they had to make a hard decision. Vinicius and his wife had to figure out, who will take care of their rescued cats. One of those cats is now living with them in the apartment here. “Brazil people usually live in small slim houses, not in apartments. We used to live in a house with garden and it would be difficult to bring many cats here, so we decided to bring only the oldest cat name Thomas,” explains Vinicius, who says Thomas is a part of the family. To bring him here they had to arrange his pet’s passport. It had been a six-month-long process.

Compared to Brazil, Vinicius considers the Czech Republic more pet-friendly. “You don’t see many dogs in public space in Brazil, definitely not in pubs, trams or shops,” says Vinicius. But a huge shock for him was Czech meeting manners. “In Brazil, when you are friends with someone you always give a hug to your male friend and give a kiss to the cheek of a female friend. It is normal, you do this with everyone every day. Here you usually just stand or shake hand and say hi,” Brazilian says, laughing.

A walk through the city is also entirely different here for Vinicius and his wife because Brazil is known for its high crime rate. “There are big walls and gates, sometimes even electric fences in front of every house, that’s not like here,” Vinicius describes. People in Brazil are still afraid. “For example, normal people would not walk with the smartphone in their hand on the street, because you need to be careful where you go and what time do you go there at,” he says. One of the reasons he likes Brno is a feeling of safety.

Availability of sports is also much better here. “We like having a lot of options to do sports here. We have only sports clubs in Brazil, which you must register to. You can’t go to the swimming pool for one hour or It is not so easy to rent a badminton or tennis court,” explains researcher, who is looking forward to trying winter sports. Last winter, he only ice skated. Although he wasn’t good at it, he enjoyed this experience.

His plans are still not final, but he wants to go back to Brazil one day. “I want to be closer to my family. It is not possible to visit them all the time now. I will go there in December and it will be one year since I last saw my family,” says Vinicius. Until mid-2020, he will stay in Brno. “On the other hand, I’m very well adapted here, so work in the Czech Republic is also the option. My wife likes it here as well,” adds.

Klíčová slova: Brazil, life in the Czech republic, researcher


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