I have always wanted to study in the UK and I studied English with this objective for more than a decade in Brazil. I had my first experience as an international student in 2007, when I did an MA in International Journalism, at City University of London. I was awarded a scholarship by the European Union Programme AlBan, which allowed me to live and study abroad for the first time in my life.
When I think about my first days in the UK, I recall that my main challenge was the language. Even though I already had a good English level, I had never had to speak English 24/7 and I got really exhausted on those initial days. It took me a couple of weeks before getting used to it.
Studying in London was an incredible experience. City University is among the top journalism courses in the world and I had the privilege to study with some famous journalism professors as well as with journalists from all over the world. I also had the opportunity to meet influential media professionals during conferences and other events.
In parallel to my MA studies, I managed to do three internships which were extremely important to my career: I worked at the Brazilian Bureau for the BBC, CNN International, and the TV documentary programme Unreported World. In all these experiences, I mainly developed researches focusing on Latin America, such as drug trafficking and violence in Mexico, adoption problems in Guatemala, press freedom in Venezuela, soybean plantations in Paraguay, and political issues in Bolivia and Colombia. These placements were a great opportunity to put into practice some of my background knowledge.
My one-year master went by very fast. At the end, I graduated with Distinction and my dissertation was published as a book. This experience gave me the will to pursue a PhD so, in 2017, I applied for PhD scholarships in the UK and I was awarded the Chancellor’s International Scholarship by the University of Warwick.
In October 2018, I started my PhD research in Media and Communication. Since then, I have been investigating how the framing of sustainable development as a political and social paradigm has changed in Brazilian media coverage within a two-decade timeframe (1992-2012) that encompasses two UN conferences on environment hosted in Brazil – Rio 92 and Rio+20.
My aim is to contribute to an underresearched area, namely the role of environmental media coverage in the Global South. Thus, I will examine how the Brazilian media has participated in debates over the application of sustainable development in Brazil.
As a PhD student, I have time enough to develop my own research and focus on my interests. The University of Warwick has been very supportive, by offering courses about methodology to its research students. I had the opportunity to do some very useful ones, like academic writing and presentation skills. I am also participating in a teaching experience in Higher Education programme and currently working as an online tutor for the university. In these last two years, I improved my skills on how to study independently as well as how to set my priorities. My relationship with my supervisor is based on trust and respect, and it has been encouraging and enlightening.
During my PhD, I am living in Coventry, the second largest city in the West Midlands, and the 9th in England. Comparing to my previous experience in London, the city is smaller and quieter. This makes it a good place to study and focus on my research. On the other hand, it is very central, which makes easy travelling around England during holidays, as leisure time is also essential.
Both study experiences in the UK were unique opportunities and they were based on focus and persistence. Anyone who wants to study abroad should research carefully about scholarships, courses and universities, as it is a huge personal and financial investment. For PhD applicants, it is also essential to contact possible advisors and to have a good research project. Based on my own experience, I started preparing myself one year in advance on both occasions. Not only I researched about academic issues, but also about the city that I was going to live at, accommodation, visa, and healthcare. The sooner you start preparing yourself, the more time you will have to enjoy your adventure.