Where did the idea come from?
The idea of a post-doc abroad was not a new one and it grew on me after I spent time in Germany. During that period, I saw different things, not only professionally, but also (and mainly …) personally. After that, I started thinking about several things in a different way. Besides, except for the time I was in Germany, I had lived for 18 years in Santa Maria and decided I should see the world. Then, I thought, “Here we go!!!” And the process started.
Choosing a place …
The first step would be to decide where to go. Or, even before that, what would be the criteria behind the choice: would I choose a research group? An adviser? A country? A city? There were many factors to consider. Actually, I should take it all into account at the same time. A qualified laboratory coordinated by a reputable researcher (and nice person) in a country and city where I could feel comfortable considering language, culture, people, etc. Of all the possibilities, one seemed very tempting: the Laboratory of Geo-materials and Environment (LGE) at Paris-East University at Marne-la-Vallée, in the metropolitan region of Paris. It is coordinated by Professor Mehmet Oturan, a well-known researcher who investigates application of AOPs (mostly electrochemical ones) to degrade organic contaminants, including pharmaceuticals. The laboratory sounded really great. And the city?
I visited Paris during my PhD and, like everybody else, I fell in love with the city. After that, I started “to consume” the French culture; mostly, cinema and music. And I also started to plan that I would live in Paris one day. However, “one day” sounded too far, and I thought “today” sounded better. Or, at least, “tomorrow” …
I also discovered that Professor Oturan has collaboration with a Brazilian researcher, Professor Márcia Dezzoti, which would make making contact easier. I e-mailed Prof. Dezzoti, introduced myself, and asked for information about LGE. She gave me very good feedback about the laboratory and mainly, about the people who work there. I also contacted a previous PhD student of Prof. Dezzoti’s who spent a year at LGE. Their feedback was also great.
It was time then to make contact. I e-mailed Professor Oturan, sending my CV attached. Professor Dezzoti had already done the same and Professor Oturan promptly accepted me. Voilà!!!