04/25/16- Brazilian Students Expand Studies through MSU Exchange Program
Contact: Georgia Clarke
STARKVILLE, Miss.—More than 20 Brazilian students are culminating their education at Mississippi State this week during a ceremony and reception Wednesday [April 27] to recognize their achievements at the university in broadening their cultural and academic horizons.
A 3:15 p.m. program in Mitchell Memorial Library’s John Grisham Room will honor participants of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, a competitive exchange program and scholarship-driven opportunity for Brazilian college students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly known as STEM fields. Participants study at institutions of higher learning around the world for one academic year.
At Mississippi State, these students have enjoyed study and research opportunities, while simultaneously improving their English. This week they will receive certificates of completion signifying their MSU work is complete, and they may transfer their college courses back to their home institutions.
Alison Stamps, director of the MSU English Language Institute, part of the university’s International Institute, said the majority of the students came to MSU last summer and participated in an intensive six-week English-as-a-Second-Language course. In addition to about 20 hours per week of English, MSU staff planned extensive cultural activities and service opportunities for the students, Stamps said. Each activity was designed to enhance their time at the university and prepare them for success in their respective academic programs, she explained.
Joice Dos Santos Cezar, a senior biochemistry major from Maringa State University, said the program has opened doors for her future.
“I am taking classes to help me better write in English,” Cezar said. “I want to be a scientist, and being able to write well in English gives me better chances to later be published in a really good journal.”
Luis Felipe Tome, a senior agriculture engineering major from the Federal University of Lavras, said that despite the long distance from home, he has adapted well with the help of other exchange students.
“We are not only learning about the American culture together, but we are teaching each other about different parts of Brazil, too,” Tome said. “We have formed a family here.”
Stamps added that the program enhances diversity on campus and also creates interest in international programs. “When these students leave, they take away not only the knowledge they have gained, but also the experience of studying abroad, which is very enriching,” she said. “Of course, we hope some of them will consider coming back to MSU for graduate school.”
In the U.S., the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program is administered by the private, non-profit Institute of International Education. In addition to MSU’s International Institute and its English Language Institute, the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center also contributes support.
To learn more about BSMP, visit www.iie.org/en/Programs/Brazil-Scientific-Mobility.
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