AIESEC Santa Maria Expectations your Exchange This document has important alignments, advices and information about the city and your project. Please, read it carefully.
The city, Santa Maria Santa Maria is localized in the center of Rio Grande do Sul. It’s called, due to that, as “the heart of the state”. The city has over 275.000 inhabitants and it has 156 years old. Santa Maria is known for being an university city. With 7 universities and the most important one, the Federal University of Santa Maria, counting with over 25.000 students. Therefore, the city has many young students who live and study here.
The cost of living is low, as SM is an university city, and also there are cheap places to eat. We have a popular restaurant also, that costs $ 1,50 per meal. In our state, we have a different type of hamburguer, called “Xis”, that is cheap and we usually eat at night, or after parties. It costs from $ 2,50 to $ 7,00.
(left: Federal University of Santa Maria; right: “xis”)
A traditional beverage in our state is the “Chimarrão” (at the right). A hot beverage similar to a tea, but drunk in a different way, with a metal straw and a different recipient (different “cup”). Also a tradition in our state is the “Churrasco” (at the left). A special barbecue we make here often.
Our projects and general topics Usually, our projects last for 6 weeks. The first week is planned to be a Cultural Preparation. In that week, the trainee has the chance to know a little bit more about the city, the team he/she will be working with and the working place. We will send to him/her an operational plan about his/her project. This was thought and made according to feedbacks and reports that the NGOs and some other trainees gave to us. Take a look at it as soon as you have it and start to prepare the material you will need here. Example: if you will give English classes, prepare what you will teach (presentations, music, etc.) or if you will work with marketing in a NGO bring your computer, because many of them doesn’t have one exclusive for you. The trainee will work at least three times a week in a schedule decided with the NGO in the first week and it must be fulfilled. In the third week the trainee has to do a report to AIESEC pointing mainly the details about job results, planning for the other three weeks, etc. It is very important to improve the trainee experience before its end.
Unfortunately, the internship through AIESEC Santa Maria is not for free. AIESEC is a non-profit organization, due to that we charge the internship to make our projects sustainable. The fee we ask makes our projects sustainable and it is used to cover our administrative costs. We charge on 50 USD (dollars), but if the trainee wants to pay directly in reais and not in dollars, we use a conversion of 2 REAIS for 1 DOLLAR, so you can may pay R$ 100,00 (One hundred reais).
As any city nowadays, you have to take care of yourself every time and follow these basic safety tips because you are a foreign and mean people will recognize you as one. So, avoid using your cellphone when you are on the street; do not walk alone on the street at night; take care of your money; for example. Santa Maria is not a violent city, you will love it once you are here. You might need to take 1, at maximum 2 buses to go to work. Although the city is not big, not all the NGOs is close downtown. So be prepared to use the public transportation here in the city. We donâ€™t have subways, just bus lines.
TN Takers and Work As you might know, ICX GCDP is the area of AIESEC that is concerned about the communities’ development. Due to that we have our projects to help people who really needs. That is why Santa Maria’s NGOs and Public Schools (and some Universities) are normally located in poor neighborhoods or in “favelas” (that are far away from the center). Be committed to the work. It is a big responsibility and we all need to be very sensitive and do our best for people that live in this reality because they need our care and our dedication. You also need to be ready to adapt yourself to different situations because you will be responsible for planning and presenting your workshops.
TN Takers and the Trainee All our TN Takers have specific and different needs. Most of the time, the NGO or School won’t give a list of what jobs the trainee should do. Don’t wait for it, go by yourself after it! Be proactive, sensitive to identify those needs and be adaptable to different realities. Be creative to solve the problems and show that the opportunity to have a foreigner working with them is worth it. We have an operational plan, use that to think, since the day you are matched, on activities and on jobs to apply here. Ask our help anytime!
Language At Santa Maria, the majority of the population doesn’t speak a foreign language. In the first days, be prepared because the communication might be hard. However, most of the time people will be gentle and try to help you. Brazilians are definitely really generous people.
Accommodation The project ensures Hosting during it. It means that if you want to arrive earlier or go back later you should look for your own accommodation. You must be prepared because adversities can happen and you might change of house during the internship. - The place you will live won’t have luxuries, so don’t expect Wi-Fi at home, for example. We have Wi-Fi in our LC and all the trainees can use – and also are invited to hang out there. - You might stay in a host family or with students or in a hostel. In Santa Maria is really hard to find host for our trainees so unfortunately, you can’t choose where to stay. You have to accept these kinds of accommodation we provide. We ensure that you will have the necessary conditions to live in, don’t worry about that. - AIESEC Santa Maria may change your HOST if there is any kind of discrimination. But, you may lose your right to have a HOST if you violate any policy stated by the HOST, as breaking an internal code of conduct or any other ethical, religious, cultural, racial norm. In this case, AIESEC Santa Maria is not responsible for your accommodation anymore, and is not obligated to find another HOST for you. - The HOST is not responsible to give you any food. You both may define these terms at the very beginning of your stay.
Benefits Apart from the accommodation, AIESEC Santa Maria provides Portuguese (photo at the right) and Capoeira classes without any cost. Pay attention: it is not guaranteed food and transportation.
Expectations Traveling through AIESEC in not traveling through an Agency. We expect the trainees to be very proactive, try to solve problems and adverse situations by themselves, to understand and tolerate cultural differences and be very communicative. It is also very important to take part of all the extra activities of the project and also of the activities proposed by AIESEC. The quality of your internship and your experience also depends on you! If any problem happens you need to talk with us and together we will find solutions and continue to walk forward together to make the project an amazing experience for all of us and for the NGOs/Schools and Universities.
We are a team As soon as you get to Santa Maria, you are part of AIESEC Santa Maria. The trainee is supposed to participate in Global Village events, for example, or in other AIESEC events assisting the dissemination of the organization and representing his/her culture and country. Teamwork is very important and the project will only be a success if all of us (trainees and ICX team) work hard! We want to be a team that works together but also a group of good friends. So letâ€™s work hard together, help each other to make a beautiful project and also, why not, have fun together! Before accepting to come please make sure you feel motivated to work in this project and that you really want to come to Santa Maria. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate in contacting us!
Sincerely, ICX GCDP Team of AIESEC Santa Maria 2014 Matheus Brondani Pasa â€“ VP ICX GCDP email@example.com