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"Students are encouraged to bring their perspectives from wherever they come from"

The programme is up to date with current global events, such as gender issues, minority groups fighting for rights, and sustainable development.

Juliana Gaioso from Brazil

Bachelor in Global Development Studies

Please introduce yourself. 

My name is Juliana Koury Gaioso, I'm 34, and I'm from northern Brazil, at the Amazon rainforest entrance. I have a previous bachelor's degree in journalism and worked as a communication analyst for more than five years in two big companies in the mining and pulp sector. Those experiences led me to the middle of the forest, where I had the opportunity to work with environmental issues as a sustainable development agenda and support to traditional rural people.   

Why did you choose Norway?

As I started very early in the corporate world, I took the decision to travel and improve my education. I first moved to northeast Brazil and then to London, and I started a family in the meantime. The best place to raise a child was Norway because of all benefits the welfare state can provide, such as good and free education, free medical assistance and security. 

When applying for universities, what stood out to you about UiA?

During my quest to return to the job market, I decided to go back to university to update my knowledge and get a specialisation due to the difficulty and competitiveness. When I started my research for a course compatible with my interests and previous education, the first one was UiA, as I was already living in Kristiansand. The courses and research in human sciences offered by UiA awakened in me the desire to study, and also that they are taught in English.

What were your first impressions upon arrival?

In Kristiansand, I was impressed by how calm the city is. And about UiA, how the whole university in a combined work managed keep the doors open during the pandemic respecting all the measures to prevent the virus's spread.  

What do you think about your programme in particular?

All the causes I am engaged with and the areas of my interest are approach in the programme. The programme is up to date with current global events, such as gender issues, minority groups fighting for rights, and sustainable development, which were part of my professional life for years, and different perspectives brought by lecturers, writings and students worldwide.    

What do you like about Kristiansand and why? Which is your favourite part of Kristiansand?

As I come from a two million-people city lots of noise, activity 24 hours open services, I feel I am on constant vacation in Kristiansand. The landscape is beautiful, it is not as cold as other Norwegian cities, and it is one of the best places to enjoy the Scandinavian summer. 

What was one thing you discovered about Norway that was unexpected?

Even though it is considered one of the best places to live in the world and a model for gender equality, I was surprised how sexism, racism and bullying are still an issue here. At least, in the South, which is considered more conservative.

What would you like to share about the study to your home country?

For all those interested in human sciences and a real international experience, you should go for this programme, especially if you are unsure what to choose. Global Development Studies gives an overview of the world's most significant issues and offers new perspectives and various work options.   

Do you think UiA has given you any unique opportunities? 

Indeed, we just managed to run a field course from home, in the "new normal" shape of the world, we had access to Makerere University in Uganda, for instance. The lecturers bring together writers and thinkers from different parts of the world with significantly different thoughts, such as Bolivians Aymara academics and Latin American feminists insights into the gender debate. The students also are encouraged to bring their perspectives from wherever they come. I see a commitment to the decolonisation of the academy.