Meet Carolina Costa – international game programmer student at Futuregames
Carolina Costa is from Portugal and studies at our Game Programmer education. We caught up with Carolina to learn more about what it is like to be an international student at Futuregames.
– I have enjoyed video games ever since I was a child, but I never realized I wanted to make games until I started dabbling a bit with Unity in high school. I finished a university course in Portugal and tried to find a masters, but I couldn´t find anything with focus on video game programming. So, I started to look abroad and found Futuregames through a google search. I read a lot of testimonials about how good the educations were, so I decided to apply for the Preparatory Course. I got my work application, my work sample, my personal letter and all the other necessary documents ready – I had decided to apply for the real thing!
The Swedish community spirit
The community spirit of the Swedish gaming industry was a major contributing factor for the move to Sweden.
– Studying in a Nordic country was already on my mind, because I knew that the working conditions here are very good. And a lot of good game studios like Hazelight, Fat Shark and Mojang are Swedish. There is also a sense of comradery in the Swedish gamedev industry, where people are more interested in being friendly with each other than being competitive. I wanted to work with people who felt as passionate as I did about game development and were not only in it for the money. Sweden values games as an art form and game development as a real industry, whereas in Portugal it is seen as more of a hobby. That is why I would like to work in Sweden.
Futuregames made the process easier
Coming to a new country naturally involves some bureaucracy, but Carolina is satisfied with the guidance through the red tape she received from Futuregames.
– To be honest there is lot of paperwork when you apply as an international student. The documentation must be really structured. But it is rewarding in the end – having Futuregames on your CV when you meet the industry is already a huge help. And the international student’s coordinator Ieva has been really helpful. She explained everything very thoroughly and made the process much easier.
Being an international student broadens your horizon
– Being an international student is something I think everyone should experience once, especially when you are young. It broadens your horizons, it´s a change of pace and gets you out of your comfort zone, so it is a really nice learning and growing experience!
– Futuregames works really well for that experience, because the whole setup really encourages you to interact with industry people, to co-operate and make friends. It is nothing like studies when you sit with 60 other people in a room looking at power points, taking notes to pass an exam – it is much more than that. Futuregames creates this environment where you can co-operate, even if you are not working on the same project. And the format with projects and continuous evaluation is the best way to motivate students.
– My goal is to get an internship at a Swedish company – I would prefer an indie studio. I am usually a game play programmer in the projects I have worked on, but recently I have been taking an interest in shaders and technical art. I would be happy either way, as long as it is fun, it doesn´t matter what the exact discipline is.
Student life in Stockholm
Carolina is enjoying student life in Stockholm – not even the change from the Mediterranean climate to the gloomier Swedish winter weather is a problem.
– I like the cold! And I really like snow as well, so I don’t mind the climate. It´s better than just constant heat like you get in Portugal. And the Stockholm experience has been great so far! I live quite central in the city, so the communications to and home from school are very good and the student pass for the commute is much cheaper than in Portugal. Also, I think people who play video games have an easier time bonding, because we are so used to talking online and on Discord, so I made friends quite quickly.