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Studying In Scotland And Missing Brazil?

Leonardo Da Silva left Rio De Janeiro in 2003 bound for another coastal city - Dundee, on the North East coast of Scotland. After spending a year working towards his LLM he then found himself working and living in London.

Leonardo Da Silva"studying in Scotland and missing Brazil?". Not exactly, I should say. Moving to Scotland was undoubtedly a sound change for me and my wife. Dundee, where I concluded my LL.M. in Petroleum Law and Policy, in the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Natural Law and Policy, University of Dundee, can not be considered exactly as a very beautiful city for someone coming from one of the most adorable cities in the world; Rio de Janeiro. But, overall Scotland totally surprised me. The Scots are lovely people (which I had heard), full of kindness and pride of their small (by a Brazilian reference) country.

Yes I did miss the good Brazilian weather (and food, although my wife successfully minimised that as much as possible!!). On the other hand, I will certainly miss the close mountains (Highlands), the wonderful and different landscape, the organisation, the people and the particular beauty of Edinburgh, which is, individually, one of the most special cities I visited in Europe, compared to Rome, Venice, Paris, etc.

One of the things that most surprised me was the fact that the UK has the same outlook as the US in terms of safety, organisation, etc., but without those ostensible tools. In other words, the streets are safe because the Brits are conscious, and not because there are tanks or guards heavily armed watching everyone's behaviour.

Leonardo Da SilvaAnd the winter, frankly speaking, is not as bad as people tried to convince me in Brazil. It is cold indeed, by the way Scotland is very on the top of the planet!!! But it is a very sunny country and once you get used to the cold weather (you have to, at some point by January!!), you definitely learn how to appreciate the cold sunny Scottish days.

When these days come, take a break on the studies and go to the Highlands. Go visit the distilleries (especially the smallest of Scotland, the Edradour). Go visit the Lochs. I could not name the most beautiful (perhaps Loch Ness!). Don't let the cold defeat you! Enjoy it. Drink (moderately) the best whiskies of the world.

I certainly had the very best year of my life. As a married guy, I had the feeling that living in Scotland would either cause me a divorce or strengthen my marriage forever. I got the second (most pleasant you should agree) option. We lived the best time of our three year marriage.

Now I am living in London, working as a lawyer at Allen & Overy, one of the 'magic circle' law firms of the City of London. Still in UK, still wonderful, but the student life unfortunately has gone. Those were the very good times! Friends, friends, friends. I had never imagined making friends from China, Iraq, Russia, Kazakhstan, Greece, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, etc., besides the whole of Latin America, Europe, US, etc. These are perhaps what I miss the most.

On the other hand, working in London has been an experience in itself. And my time as a Chevening scholar definitely prepared me for this, technically and personally. It gave me enough confidence to succeed and here I am.

All the very best,

Leonardo Da Silva

Scholar content  17th December 2004
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Number of comments: 1
User comments Richard Stephan , 23rd December 2004 
North is not the top.

Dear Leonardo,

I enjoyed your letter, but I would like to suggest a small improvement:

Scotland is in the North of the planet not "on the top".



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