is Scheila Maliska and I was born in Brazil. My mom's family is Italian
and my dad's side is Polish.
When I was 18 years old I was at University in Brazil, taking Computer
Science. I went to USA for one year as an International Exchange Student
in Missouri. My wish was to stay but it would be a lot of money, so
I went back to Brazil.
I carried on studying and also I was going from one job to another,
earning money and getting more responsibility.
Finally in July 2000 I graduated and now I have a Bachelors Degree
in Computer Science. I then decided to do an MBA.
for a work placement abroad
middle of the course I started to look on the Internet for summer
jobs, and end up finding AIESEC - a organisation run by students that
help other students find work placements.
I finished my course in January 2003, by which time AIESEC had matched
me with 'Network Disaster Recovery' in Birmingham.
I wanted to see a different country and culture. The language was
a barrier in the beginning, more the accent than anything else - my
English was American.
on the 5th of March 2003 and had a warm reception with members of
AIESEC meeting me at the airport, and giving me all the support on
the first days, taking me to my new house, my work and showing me
the first steps.
I was the only trainee at NDR, so they didn't know me and how experienced
I was. I had to show them what I was capable of.
After 6 months I was a full time employee, so it's one of those things
"be in the right place at the right time with the right experience".
I didn't want to change much of my routine that I had in Brazil -
before coming to England I found a Master Swimming club I could join
- in this way I could keep going to competitions and training sessions.
I am now
a member of FHM Master Swimming Club and also Heart of England, which
compete in international competitions.
many new friends from my job, from AIESEC and from the swimming club.
for a curry
Being here I am also able to travel around Europe. Last year I went
to Paris and Amsterdam, and this year I will be going to German, Belgium,
Italy and Spain.
It's being great to be here to get to know another culture and improve
my English - I am already in love with an Indian curry and like to
go out clubbing.
England by the movies and what I know about history. I looked on
the Internet for things about Birmingham - the culture of the city,
what's on, the sights - and I found many articles about "Balti"
restaurants. I really didn't get the picture until I got here and
had my first experience.
with some of her Aiesec friends
coming to England I thought I could travel around Europe, listen
to the beautiful accents and get to see all white people with ginger
When I arrived I really had a cultural shock, because I didn't expect
to see people from so many different nationalities, and see women
dressing in different ways of covering themselves.
I had to get used to the culture and habits, and stop looking at
the "Turbant" on some people's head - I really hadn't
seen them before.
I didn't know anyone before coming here, so I had the support of
AIESEC, NDR and some other trainees that arrived the same time I
did, and we became very good friends.
I am really into the culture now.
is expensive, but I love the clubbing
going shopping here, but everything is much more expensive than
Brazil, so I tend to go for the sales and also alternative cheap
I think the shops close too early, but a good point is that they
are open on Sunday.
out clubbing was always something that I liked. I like going to
Broadstreet sometimes, even going to student nights and listening
to "cheese music" - I like real live bands.
I think Flares is a fun place to go, but also go to Godskitchen,
where they bring all the best DJs.
I haven't been to any festivals yet, but this year I want to go
and also have already booked some concert tickets for Shanaia Twain,
Sting, Eric Clapton and Elton John.
wouldn't have missed this opportunity for anything
me being here is an opportunity to know another world, things that
I could not reach before and now is possible.
My only concern is being away from my family, my cat, my friends,
but it's all part of the challenge, and once I am here it's also
an opportunity for them to come and visit me and get to know another
culture, except for Garfield my cat.