Meet Mariana

Mariana Oliveira Costa

My name is Mariana Oliveira Costa, I am Brazilian born in Rio Verde, raised in Jataí, and I am a student of the Medicine and Surgery course at the University of Studies of Brescia.


What was your experience with the TOLC-Med test and how did you prepare for it?

My experience with the TOLC-Med was different from anything I have ever
experienced in terms of admission processes. I left my country for the first time to take an exam in another language. Furthermore, the exam model, both in terms of time and organization of questions, also differed from my context. For this, I prepared myself by studying questions, taking mock exams, and reviewing the content covered.


How was the admission process for non-European students at the University of Brescia?

The admission process for non-European students is done through the same
exam, but we compete in a different ranking. This makes access to higher education fair and attractive for foreigners.


Is there a specific reason why you chose to study medicine in Italy instead of Brazil or another country? Have you found many differences between the educational system you come from and the Italian one?

Studying medicine in Italy was an opportunity granted by God. The love for Italy, as well as for medicine, has always been within me, and my biggest dream is to live medicine in intercultural missions. One of the differences between the educational system of Brazil and Italy is the ease of diploma recognition by other countries, an advantage that Italy offers and that supports my goal.


What were your first impressions of the University of Brescia and the city of Brescia in general?

My first impression of the city of Brescia was truly memorable. I remember exiting the escalators of the Vittoria station excited and facing the arch celebrating Brescia and Bergamo as capitals of Italian culture. The city and the Italian people welcomed me with open arms with great kindness and beauty. I was fascinated by the cultural diversity, historical depth, and beauty of the buildings. It is impossible not to mention the Castle and the Santa Giulia Museum, which are fascinating. Another attraction of the city was its mobility, which for me as a student is essential! The University also does not disappoint. Its modernity, extension, reputation, and proximity to such an important hospital were factors that caught my attention.


What do you think about the support system for international students at the University of Brescia?

I feel very welcomed. However, I do not deny that it is challenging to find myself far from family having to reconcile the high academic rigor required while adapting to the language, culture, and personal development. The kindness and availability of the university staff are crucial in this process.