Blog: Urban mobility and Portuguese lessons

| Lennart Borau

My name is Lennart Borau, a German Bachelor’s student of Communication Science. Currently I am living my personal dream of being able to live in Brazil. In the upcoming months, I will keep you updated about my experiences in this place 10.000 kilometres from home.

In my last blog entries, I was talking a lot about the fun times and the great weekends we have had. But with another big trip planned, I stayed in Curitiba to live a bit the ‘normal life’. However, this is a good opportunity for me to show you guys what I am actually doing here all week long and I must say I enjoy it a lot!

Back at the UT I study Communication Science, and I can say I truly love my study program (who knows, maybe some of my professors read this here), but yes I am actually very much enjoying that program.

Last year in October, we as students of Communication Science were asked if we wanted to go to Brazil to participate in a research program about smart urban mobility here in Curitiba in the so-called ‘SUM-Lab’ (Smart Urban Mobility Laboratory) initiative. I was like ‘Yeah why not, I have no idea about urban planning, but I would like to know more about it and Brazil sounds amazing!’

I got accepted and planned my stay here in Curitiba for quite a long time. The SUM-Lab is based at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR). I am working together with two other students from the UT (Els and Hanna, who you got to know already on my last posts) and two more Brazilian students from the PUCPR. Everyone was free to choose their own research ideas, which match with their studies and interests. However, to provide us with guidance we all work under the ‘Research Umbrella’ of our lovely Brazilian PhD-candidate André Turbay from the PUCPR. He helps us to shape our ideas in our weekly meetings and tries to connect our research attempts with one another and of course with his PhD-thesis.

I personally am very interested in socio-economic factors and human behaviour. To learn more about this diverse community here in Brazil, I tried to combine ‘human behaviour’, ‘socio-economic factors’ and ‘urban planning’. So in general, the research I’m conducting, is about how people of different socio-economic groups (that are way more divided into poor and rich here in Brazil) behave in regard of travelling behaviour with the public transportation system of Curitiba.

I hope you got a slight idea and I will for sure keep you updated about that in my upcoming posts. Besides that I am taking classes (Portuguese and mobility classes) at another University here, the Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR).

Today, in Portuguese class I held a presentation about my hometown Bremen in Portuguese, and damn I was nervous. But it went good, I would say. After that, everyone cooked a dish from their home country and we started the weekend with some good food.

I hope you could wrap your head around it a bit and I will keep you updated about my ‘serious’ life here and of course I will also elaborate more about my Universities in some upcoming posts.

Enjoy your weekend and Até logo! (See you soon in Portuguese)