During my Masters I was not sure whether or not I should do my Ph.D. project overseas. Actually, I was more towards to stay in Brazil. It was my safe zone, it would be much easier to stay there.
However, at that time, my supervisor was trying to convince me to carry out my Ph.D. project in another country. I still remember as if it was today.
She totally convinced me when she said:
“you should think about a country you would like to live and you should find a supervisor there, and you should just go!”
And that was what I did! I had this H.U.G.E. dream of visiting Australia, but no money to accomplish this dream. Eventually I found myself looking for a potential supervisor in Australia. After contacting a couple of researchers, I end up finding a supervisor at the University of Sydney, Australia.
Ok, maybe that is not the best way of finding a supervisor, but that was how it worked for me.
In 2005 I wrote a Ph.D. project proposal and I send my application to the University of Sydney. I also applied for a fellowship funded by the Australian government: the Endeavour International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (EIPRS). You can find more information [here].
The outcome was positive!
I was awarded the fellowship, and in 2006 I moved for the first time to another country to study the evolution of pigs and their endogenous retroviruses.
While it was very scary at the beginning, moving to Australia ends up being a very rewarding experience! You don’t need to come from a wealth family. If, for example, you like research and you would like to be a scientist, you can explore different parts of the world! I had the opportunity to meet people from very different backgrounds – cultural, economic, social, and religious. As I became exposed to this diversity of realities, I gained new perspectives on life and research, and, above all, recognized the importance of respecting these differences. I would recommend everyone to live such experiences.