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Erasmus Mundus (virtual) Pre-Departure Event – Brazil (2020): for Brazilians accepted to EMJMDs 2020

Report/Text by Gisele de David Branda, Country Representative for Brazil at the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA). August 15th, 2020

Gisele de David Branda, Tiago Welter and Mei Kanatani, representing the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA), in collaboration with the European Delegation in Brazil hosted the Erasmus Mundus Pre-Departure Event 2020. The attendees were Brazilian students who were selected this year to benefit from an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) scholarship and will start their Masters’ courses in September 2020. The virtual event happened on August 15th, 2020, via EMA’s Zoom channel and gathered around 100 participants.

In 2020, Brazil was once again the country with the largest number of selected students being awarded an Erasmus+ / Erasmus Mundus scholarship provided by the European Union. In total, 133 students from different regions of Brazil were awarded the scholarship and accepted for a two-year Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree Course.

Screenshot from the webinar which occurred on 15 August, 2020.

The event started with a warm welcome from the Ambassador of the European Union in Brazil, Mr. Ignacio Ibáñez. Then, Dr. Maria Cristina Araujo von Holstein-Rathlou, an Advisor and Operational Manager at Delegation of the European Union to Brazil, presented the tradition and importance of the solid cooperation between Brazil and Europe and the importance of Erasmus+ Programmes. The EU Delegation guests participated actively throughout the 2-hour event, giving additional input and answering to questions.

Gisele de David Branda, explained the differential and benefits of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees, followed by Tiago Welter, who introduced what the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA) is, what activities it carries out and how can newly selected students get engaged in the association.

Screenshot from the event

EMA representatives told attendees how were their journeys as students in Europe and their intensive learning experience during the 2-year Erasmus Mundus Masters’ studies. The speakers were Gisele Branda (alumnus from EMMIR, the European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations), Mei Kanatani (alumnus from SEFOTECH, Food Technology, Science and Nutrition) and Tiago Welter (alumnus from Master Code, Joint European Master in Comparative Local Development).

After that, an interactive session took place. It started with dividing participants into break out rooms with groups of about 6 people, giving the opportunity for new students and alumni to meet virtually and connect with each other, as well as exchange expectations, ideas and even concerns (i.e.: due to how the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected in-person classes).

Screenshot from the webinar which occurred on 15 August, 2020.

Finally, an informative session with ‘tips and suggestions for studies in Europe” was followed by an open session dedicated to ‘questions and answers’, which gave Erasmus+ beneficiaries the opportunity to address their questions to EMA members and representatives of the EU delegation, who kindly contributed to clarifying the general concerns of students. In return, participants showed their appreciation for the event to the organizers, describing it as useful, informative, and interactive.

A video recording of the event is available here.Video summary of the entire event (1h10m, in Portuguese).

Clip with the Event Intro by EU’s Ambassador in Brazil (5 minutes, in Portuguese) is available here