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Study visit Brazil

From the July 4 through July 25, with a group of 30 bachelor and master students and professors, we went to Brazil for a study visit. We had the pleasure of spending approximately one week in each of three very different Brazilian cities: Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro. In these tow pages you car read a short summary of our amazing trip, but if you want to hear more about our adventures you should really ask one of the participants; I believe that everybody would love to tell you more about this amazing trip! 

Monday July 4th

It all  started very early in the morning of Monday July 4th.
Our plane departed around 10 AM and we had a long flight before us.
After a long 12-hours journey we arrived at our first hotel in Sao Paulo,
where everybody went to bed quickly after dinner.


Tuesday July 5th

on our first real day in Brazil, we could enjoy some of the culture in Sao Paulo.
The first cultural hotspot of the day was the Sao Bento monastery.
As real tourists we did not blend in quite well, but luckily some of the locals warned
us for pickpocketing and how we should really not wear our backpacks on our back.

Next up was the Municipal Market, the local market hall. This led us though 
one of the most chaotic and busy streets in Sao Paulo.
Anew species of mankind was discovered here,
recognizable by his distinctive repetitive call "aquaquaqua" and bottles of water in their waving hands.
In the market, we found a great variety of Brazilian food so everybody could enjoy some lunch.

After lunch we went to one of the skyscrapers where we could enjoy a stunning view over the city. 
Last stop of the day was the Ibirapuera Park, the biggest park in Sao Paulo.
It was a surprisingly well maintained park where the locals spend their time
skating,running,biking and exercising.

Wednesday July 6th 

This day we went to the University of Sao Paulo (USP),
where we could enjoy some mathematics and computers science lectures.
The UPS surprised us by the great math exhibition they had.
We also got to meet some of the USP students who told us more about studying in Brazil. 

After our visit to USP, we went to the Dutch consulate. They had four main

points to tell us about Brazil, namely: Brazil is awesome, Caipirinhas are awesome,
there a lot of collaborations between Holland and Brazil and TU Delft does a lot of things in Brazil.
We ended this day with some Caipirinhas at the Skybar, an exclusive bar with a breath taking view over the city.


Thursday July 7th

On Thrsday was our first company day. in the morning we went to BlueSoft, a small software company that develops software for i.e. supermarkets.
Afterwards we went to sao Paulo zoo, the largest zoo in Brazil with a variety of reptiles, birds, mammals and amphibians.

At the end of the day we went to the neighbourhood Vila Madalena for dinner.
This neighbourhood is famous for its nightlife and has a lot of bars and restaurants.
The students from USP joined us here for some Caipirinhas.


Friday July 8th

We started the day with some free time, which most of the group used to sleep in after the night in Vila Madelena.
In the afternoon we visited the Boston Consulting Group where we could work on an interesting case.
This case involved a fictional German company called Pharma Delivery that specialized in transporting pharmaceutical products.
The company was facing competition from express companies such as FedEx and the case questioned how they could retain their market share.


Saturday July 9th

This was our last full day in sao Paulo. We started with a visit to the Praca Benedito Calixto, a square with a Brazilian antique marketplace.
Afterwards everybody had time to explore the last things in Sao Paulo by themselves, before we had to leave this beautiful city the next day.
We celebrated our last night in sao Paulo all together with some food at traditional churrascaria.
Besides a delicious buffet , a churrascaria also has waiters that come to your table with all kind of large pieces of meat.


Sunday July 10th

On sunday we unfortunately had to leave Sao Paulo for our next destination: Porto Alegre. This day therefore consisted mostly of sitting and waiting.
When we arrived in Porto Alegre, the first thing that caught the attention was the weather,which was a bit chillier than we were used to so far.
A new city meant a new hotel and afer everybody was checked in (and some people discovered the first cockroaches) we went for dinner at an Italian restaurant close by the hotel.


Monday July 11th

we started our time in Porto Alegre a free day. Most people went to see some of the cultural highlights of Porto Alegre such as Praca de Matriz,
the square in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral which features an impressive monument dedicated to Julio Prates de Castihos -who was the principal author of Brazil's modern constitution.
At night we went to the cinema to see ''Finding dory'', which luckily was not dubbed in Portuguese.


Tuesday July 12th

Today we went to the federal university of Porto Alegre: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS).
UFRGS is among highly rated Brazilian universities and has over 27,000 undergraduate students and over 9,300 
graduate students. The university has more than 2,500 professors and as a public federal institution, the students 
do not have to pay tuition fees to enrol in the courses offered by the university. at the end of the day, one of the UFRGS
professors joined us for dinner at a churrascaria.


Wednesday July 13th

This day we had again a day off to explore Porto Alegre by ourselves. However,
when someone posted the idea of a wine tasting excursions, everyone was so enthusiastic that almost the entire group joined this excursion. 
The area around Porto Alegre consist of a large wine valley with lost of wineries, where we could enjoy a day full of wine tasting.

Thursday July 14th 

On Thursday mornig we had some more free time in Porto Alegre. Some people used this time to go the science museum, others just slept in.
In the afternoon it was time for another company visit. This time we went to ThoughtWorks where we did a workshop about Artificial Intelligence for social security.
Afterwards we went to the neighbourhood Cidade Baixa, the best location in Porto Alegre to have some drinks. The whole group went dancing in a club named
"Margot" and a lot of good stories where made here!


Friday July 15

Everybody felt a little bit hungover this morning, but at 8:45 sharp we went to Estadio Beira-Rio.
This arena was inaugurated in 1969 and has a capacity of 51.300 supporters.
It is the home of SC International.
Next we went to the hop on/hop off bus which led us to all the cultural highlights of Porto Alegre,
such as Parque Farroupilha and Parcao, tow Parks in the city center.

Saturday July 16th

It was time to say goodbae to Porto Alegre and to continue to our final destination: Rio de Janeiro.
Our last hotel was a real joy: nearby Copacabana Beach, with a rooftop swimming poll, fitness room,
sauna and of course beautiful rooms and a great breakfast buffet!


Sunday July 17th

On our first full day in Rio there were no madatory events, so we could explore the best looking city of our trip! Some of the highlights where Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, the big lagoon of Rio where you could already see the rowing court for the upcoming Olimpic Games and the Botanic Garten. Another part of the group wanted to see a soccer match in Maracana. Unfortunately, after buying tickets for the match they found out that the match was moved to another stadium. This stadium was in a not so friendly looking neighourhood and after being called "Gringo" by most of the other supporters, the group made the wise decision to return to Copacabana. Luckily, their taxi drivers managed to sell the ticket to other supporters.


Monday July 18th

This was the day everybody had been looking forward to: a cultural day in Rio A small train the bravely climbed the steep hills brought us to the statue of Christ the Redeemer, where of course everybody had to take a selfie. After spending some time there and enjoying the wonderful view over Rio, we wdescended for lunch. Afterwards we took a cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain, where we could see the sunset and drink some excellent caipirinhas.

Tuesday July 19th

After two relaxing days it was time for a university visit: Instituto Nacional de Matematica Pura e Aplicada (IMPA), an institute for pure and applied mathematics. Since IMPA is located near the mountain, there where a lot of green and small animals to see. The view from the roof was very impressive as well!


Wednesday July 20th

On wednesday we went to another university. This time we Visited the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). In the afternoon we went to EY, where we attended a presentation about the Olympic Games. As an offocoal supporder of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee. 


Thursday July 21st 
Today we went for cruise on the Guanabara Bay. Luckily nobody got see-sick and after two hours of sailing, we ended this tour with another group picture. In the afternoon we could see different applications of the work of MJV, such as a simulation of drunk driving.


Friday July 22nd

This was another free day in Rio. Some people went to Santa Teresa, a specia and artistic neighourhood on the top of the Santa Teresa hill. Others went shopping to buy souvenirs such as Havaianas and a small group decided to do a favela tour.


Saturday July 23rd

On Saturday we went on the Pico da Tijuca Hiking Tour. On our way to the hike we made a quick stop at the iconic Maracana stadium before we arrived at the Tijuca Forest National Park where we stadium the 5 km trail (700 meter elevations). It took us about 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach the top, but the view was certainly worth the effort.


Sunday July 24th

The las free day before departure was one of the best days in terms of weather  we had for the entire study visit, so most of the group spend the day at Copacabana or Ipanema Beach. We ended the day with a special dinner at Currascaria Place, the best barbecue restaurant of reo for a final taste of unlimited meat and buffet. Unfortunately we had to fly back to the Netherlands the next day, at least with amazing memories about this wonderful Study Visit!