What it was like visiting one of the most prestigious universities in Brazil
By: Gabriel Nogueira
The FGV Campus in São Paulo - Image credit: https://www.decision.edu.br/blog/geral/blog-ranking-internacional-reconhece-fgv-eaesp-como-a-melhor-escola-de-negocios-do-brasil
On Friday the 17th of March, while other year groups were on their March trips, MYP5 students were visiting universities in São Paulo, to learn more about them and their teaching. My group went to visit the university of Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV), in central São Paulo, and I wish to share a little of my experience for those who did not have the opportunity to go there.
What is FGV?
FGV is one of the most prestigious universities in Brazil, with campuses in São Paulo, Brasília, and their main campus in Rio de Janeiro. In their São Paulo campus, FGV offers four courses, Administration of Companies (also known as Business Adminstration), Public Administration, Law, and Economics and, while studying there, you have the opportunity to study two of these different courses simultaneously.
FGV is also a very traditional school when it comes to their Administration courses, being one of the first universities in the country to provide these degrees.
What did we see there?
While we were there, we had the opportunity to see quite a lot of their campus. We were able to move around most of the main building, including a computer lab for mathematics students, which was equipped with some very high-tech materials that, according to our tour guide, were top of the line.
We also were able to take a look at their library, but, unfortunately, we were unable to go in. The library has some eighty thousand books, all specific about the topics of economics and administration, which is the largest library of its kind in Latin America.
Beyond just the physical aspects of the campus, we also had the opportunity to talk to their staff, and some students. We spoke to the head of the Public Administration department, who explained a lot of what they do in that course and what they look for in applicants, which was a very useful insight in to what we should be doing to maximize our chances of getting into a university. We also spoke to a teacher from the Administration of Companies department while there, who also explained quite a lot about her course and what we should be focusing on.
Not only that, but we also had an amazing opportunity to talk to students who were attending FGV. We spoke to one student who explained what he did for his course, and how he decided to follow his passion when choosing what to study, and how that had made him a lot more successful.
Another student, who we spoke to, was the leader of a project that tries to encourage entrepreneurship and create businesses in their university. This project has already led to the creation of two, multi-million real companies, and every year, more and more companies are conceived, and have the opportunity to be funded by one of FGVs previous alumni.
There are many interesting opportunities that are provided there at FGV, that I had no idea about before visiting the university.
Keeping in line with what I had mentioned previously, there are many different clubs at FGV that a student can apply to join. These clubs are full of opportunities for learning new skills and becoming more involved in the community. These clubs can be academic, like the one I mentioned above, but they can also be for practising sports, playing instruments, or organizing an art performance.
Another aspect of this university that draws a lot of attention is their internships. You are able to intern in many major companies, law firms and government positions. This allows you to personalize your learning and go where you want to go while there.
Perhaps the most interesting opportunity provided by FGV however, is the ability to start the course in Brazil, and study for the last 1-2 years of your studies in another country. This is an opportunity that isn’t provided in many other schools in the country, and really allows you to have a more international experience if you wish to have that. For example, if you are studying Administration of Companies or Economics, you are able to study for the last 2 years of your course in Milan, in the Bocconi University. If you decide to do this, when you graduate you receive your degree from FGV in Economics, and a degree from Bocconi in international relations. This can be done for several different universities, including Northeastern in the US, and the University of Beijing.
Lastly, something that I thought was really attractive about FGV, was that they provide an option to study in English. This is an extremely valuable opportunity for all of our international students in St. Francis, and everyone who feels more comfortable working in English. According to the professors there, students who do their degree in English are able to find work internationally and in multinational companies more easily, so this is an opportunity that must be considered for everyone that plans on staying in Brazil.
When it comes to the IB, FGV is one of the few universities in Brazil that accept it as a score for admittance into the university. The minimum IB grade to apply is 31, however, since there are only 12 total slots available for IB students (which may change in the near future), there is a lot of competition. It also doesn’t matter what higher levels you choose, nor what ECAs you take, FGV is only interested in your final IB score.
To conclude, FGV is a very interesting option for everyone that wishes to stay in Brazil for their higher education. Not only are you able to have experiences internationally, and graduate with several degrees at the same time, but you are also able to have many options for employment in the country.