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Experience in Guaratingueta, Brazil by Luis Antonio

What is it like to live in Guaratingueta? Would you recommend it? What is the city like?

Well, actually I live in Guaratinguetá, for coursing Engineering at FEG-UNESP. Well, Guaratinguetá is a small city near São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, located in a axis with many big industries. So, the lifestyle here is quite calm, we don't have much agitation here. The life cost is lower than the big cities, like São Paulo, for instance. I think Guará is a receptive city, specially because there are lots of students of FEG here. The university is very good too, one of the most important of Brazil, strong in researches.

What is the student lifestyle like in Guaratingueta?

So, as I said, Guará is a small and calm city. There are some parties related to college promoted by the students sometimes, but here you don't have many options to go out in the night. The good thing is, if you go out, you won't spend too much money with entertainment compared with bigger cities, like São Paulo. So, the students can be "survive" with less money here, but don't expect a hectic city with lots of entertainment. Here we have a little shopping mall, some good snack bars you can visit at night, and two or three good "baladas" (nightclubs, I think this is the better translation).

How much does it cost to live in Guaratingueta?

So, I live with my parents here, then I don't need calculate my budgets. But having as reference my friends who lives by yourselves here, I can tell they spend between R$600 -R$1000 a month (in Reais, local currency). Guará is a city with lower prices, but I need to remember that Brazil is a country where things aren't too cheap. As a reference, I can give some prices, in average:
Accomodation: between R$250 - R$550 in "Repúblicas" (I'll explain in next topic)
Food: I know good restaurants that you can pay around R$5-7 for lunch. Well, I don't know how much fast food (like McDonald's, Burger King) costs in another countries, but here the price is very expensive, above R$10. Eating in the mall is expensive too, at least R$10 a meal. Except in the mall, here we have good options to lunch. I don't recommend the restaurant inside FEG-UNESP, because the costs there are higher than other locals outside university.
Transport: Every travel costs R$2,85 for get the urban bus. I don't recommend to live too far of university.
Fun: Ticket for cinema between R$9 - R$20, snack bar: you can spend around $20-$50 a night in better places on city, university parties: the ticket costs around R$10 - R$20, sometimes the parties are "open bar" (free consumption of drinks), other times not.
Telephone and internet: Telephones and mobile internet plans are not too cheap in Brazil. Internet generally are included in the rent of accomodation, and you can access free wi-fi internet at university.
So, I ask sorry because I don't have a good idea of main costs for someone who lives by yourself here... but I think this prices is the average here.

Is it difficult to find accommodation in Guaratingueta? Is there any advice you can give?

No, accomodation is easy to find here. There are lots of "Repúblicas", particular housings maintained by students. They can have among 4 to 10 students. The prices are between R$250 to R$550, but in general they include housemaid (person who cleans the house), furniture, in some cases cable TV, internet, pool... It depends on the price you are disposed to pay. The university has a student housing, but honestly I don't know to say if exchange students can live there (the purpose of housing in university is allow that needy students can live there).
So, this contact can help you to find a good housing here, [email protected] She's a contact inside the college.
Well, I can tell a thing, finding a individual room here is quite difficult. I recommend you to find a "República". There are some "reps" that people are more excited, others calmer.

What is the food like? What are your favourite dishes?

So, the food here is diversified. In Brazil we have the habit of eating rice, beans and some complement. It can be meat, chicken, vegetables, anything, but rice and beans are "mandatory" in the dish of a brazilian typical. So, you can find fast-food in little snack bars too. So, find different kind of food here isn't difficult here, but the things can be easier if you'll like to "rice and beans" rsrs...

What places would you recommend visiting in Guaratingueta?

Here we have beautiful places in the countryside of city. For who likes the countryside and nature, I recommend. People here like to visit the mall, the main snack bars located in "Getúlio Vargas" and "João Pessoa" avenue. "Cervejaria do Gordo" (a nightclub) have the better parties of the city every weekend. For who likes, the carnival here is one of best carnivals of our region (in Febuary or March). I recommend visit too the "Basílica de Nossa Senhora Aparecida", in Aparecida city, near here. That's the second biggest church in world (lost only for St. Peter's Church in Vatican) and a very beautiful monument.

What advice would you give future students heading to Guaratingueta?

Well, I can say, here is a good city to live, and the college is very good, we have a good structure for students. About the city, the people are friendly (I think it would be more difficult in a big city). The people in university can talk english very well, so you don't have problems to communicate. I recommend train Portuguese (if you could), because Portuguese can be difficult to learn for people who don't speak any Latin language. All the classes in university are given in Portuguese only.

So, if there is anyone that want more information about here, you can contact me

I hope I have helped with this information!

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