Marcela Zanon Marques

Marcela Zanon Marques
third, Chemistry (F100)
I’m glad to be here! Hi guys, nice to meet you! My name is Marcela, I’m 23 years old and I'm an international student at Queen Mary University of London. I’m from Brazil and this year I decided to join to Science without Borders program (SwB). The aim of the program is give opportunities to students of some areas to study in other country improving your language and science skills. In Brazil I study Chemistry with technological emphases at Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar). I already made a scientific programme in the polymers laboratory and participated in a work group called PET that develops some activities about chemistry for the students and to the community. Here, at Queen Mary, I will do chemistry (third year) and I’m living at Lindop House. Is my first time away from home, in São Carlos (small city of São Paulo state) I live with my parents and a younger sister, furthermore, I’m close to my boyfriend (two hours of distance by car), I miss them a lot but I think that this will be a great opportunity for my academic and professional life, so, I’m very happy to share with you my new experience!

You will be lost!

The first weeks will be a mess, don’t get crazy, it’s totally normal.  When I arrived I had a week to buy things that I will need – food, bedding, dishes, etc.  I tried to do everything, including go to all places that I wanted to visit, then I realised I had done all these things but nothing in the right way!

So, it’s my fifth week here and now I’m feeling that things are going right. In Brazil I don’t have to worry about my food, clean my house or wash my clothes, I still live with my parents (if you already left home to study, it will be easy for you!!!) but now I have to take care of all these things and study too!  So, I needed time to organize myself.  Now I think that it is possible to do all; I have classes three time a week, I made a schedule and I’m trying to follow, because I will spend a year here, I will have time to enjoy the city, visit places and travel around the country, but first it is better to organize yourself.  So, my advice is take your time, of course you will want to do everything in just a week because the feeling is that you are travelling, but no, you will live here, so calm down and do first the things that are really necessary for you like go to the supermarket and a department store, bring your mother’s supermarket list and if you could (baggage without excess weight) a towel and a blanket!

Why London?

When I was making my university choices on the Science without Borders website (I could choose three universities to apply to) London was just my third option. In Brazil I lived in a small town, so I was afraid to change things so much, but, I think that London choose me. When I received my offer and saw that my studies would be in London, I was freaking out! A big city, another language, without my parents! But later I realised that it is the best thing that could happen, because I will be in a city that supports a lot of other cultures, has so many different people but is still the most important city in the United Kingdom; all the monarchy, the British culture and most of all, all the students, because is a great place to be student, with so many opportunities including fun, work and freedom. The city works so well that you can take an underground (even if you never done that) easily and go wherever you want just to see a beautiful park or historical place, it is spectacular. So this is what I’m feeling now, I’m in the right place!  Of course, I miss my family and my boyfriend and my first weeks were difficult, but I was lucky and the other girls at my apartment helped me so much, not just the Brazilians, the others are so nice with me too that apparently I’m in home.  Welcome London!

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