Ricardo Primon Pereira de Souza from Brazil: Studying Industrial Engineering at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida through the Science Without Borders Program

Ricardo Primon Pereira de Souza from Brazil: Studying Industrial Engineering at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida through the Science Without Borders Program

Why did you decide to study in the USA?

Coming to the United States has been a dream of mine since childhood. Fortunately, I found the opportunity in the Science Without Borders Program. I chose the United States not only because it was a dream of mine, but also because of the quality of its universities and the desire to improve my English.

Why did you choose the University of Miami?

I chose the University of Miami (UM) because a friend was studying there. He introduced me to UM and I was immediately enchanted.

What do you like best?

The University of Miami is absolutely a dream! The structure of the school is full of surprises: cafeterias, dormitories, libraries, spaces to play sports and much more. The campus is beautiful, with greenery everywhere. What I liked most here was this variety of options that allow students to balance their time among studies, athletics, community and leisure.

What do you miss most?

My father, mother, siblings and friends have been very influential in my life and this experience has made me realize that even more. I have missed them.

How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?

I think my English has improved greatly. One of the influencers was the Intensive English Program (IEP) at the University of Miami. This program is spectacular! I had the opportunity to study English at IEP and this experience was essential not only to improve my English, but also to prepare and give myself greater confidence before starting the semester at the university. The professors are extremely professional and dedicated.

What was your biggest surprise?

What surprised me the most about life in the U.S. was the way things function. Americans respect deadlines and are punctual, they do not accept excuses. Everything is very organized and there is more respect among people. The patriotism of the Americans is also something that caught my attention. Everyone has an immense pride in their country, this is admirable.

The entire education structure is focused on the student. Students are not just numbers or mere clients of the university and that makes all the difference and motivates you to contribute in return.

... your biggest disappointment?

I’ve learned that many Americans know little about what happens beyond the country's borders.

How have you handled:

... language differences?

I made an agreement with my close Brazilian friends that between us we would only speak English. You have to get out of your comfort zone and practice as much as you can.

... finances?

I always tried to control my expenses and have a reserve in case of an emergency.

... adjusting to a different educational system?

I tried to learn about the American educational system and that made it easier to adapt. Making Americans friends also helped me to better understand the culture.

What are your activities?

In my spare time I like to lift weights and to run. There's also always something going on around campus, too. I also like to go out to enjoy Miami nightlife, which is absolutely awesome.

How easy or difficult was making friends?

It was not very difficult to make friends. Of course, Americans are a little more reserved than Brazilians. The university has students from all over the world, so there is always someone with whom you will identify and build a friendship.

How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country? 

This experience in the United States was unique and opened my eyes to how much I can progress. Bettering my English is now an indispensable tool for me to achieve even greater goals. I want to contribute to my country and take what I learned to my university in Brazil. After I graduate, I intend to return to the USA. Although I love my country, I believe the best opportunities for me are in more developed places.

What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?

If you want to build a different future, studying in the U.S. is an investment that is worthwhile. Do not follow standards imposed and don't allow yourself to be diminished, do not be afraid to face obstacles, either the language or the difference in culture. Look for the best for you, but without forgetting your origins and if possible, contribute to make them something better.

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