Ana Carolina Martins Rosa from Brazil: Studied English and Industrial Engineering at Mercer University
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I’ve always seen the USA as a country full of opportunities to grow as a person and professionally. When I saw a Brazilian program offering scholarships to the U.S. I didn’t think twice and applied myself.
Why did you choose Mercer University?
Well, I didn’t know very much about the different states, so I tried to find a university that would fit the needs related to my major. I looked up universities with good labs and classes that would give me practical knowledge in the engineering field, such as manufacturing practices where I could learn how to program in CNC machines and engage in 3D printing.
What do you like best?
During my time at the English Language Institute (ELI), I was really amazed by how the teachers tried to help us, understanding our culture and needs. The classes were really fun, and I developed my English skills quicker than I thought I would. My English was “perfect” within three months.
My engineering classes were difficult in the beginning because of the new vocabulary, however in one month I was already fine. My grades were sometimes higher than the American students.
What do you miss most?
I missed mainly the Brazilian food. I couldn’t find some ingredients in the U.S. to cook my dishes. Also, of course, I missed my family!
How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?
I studied English for five months and Industrial Engineering for one year. My English improved so much at Mercer that since I came back to Brazil I have been teaching English in a private school. I went to the U.S. speaking basic English and came back with advanced skills. Recently, I got my first job as a Logistics intern at Tetra Pak because of my English skills.
What was your biggest surprise?
I loved how cheap clothes, electronics and junk food were! In Brazil those things are so expensive! So, I had a great time shopping.
During my engineering classes I had to work a lot outside my classroom hours doing homework or projects, this made me focus more on organizing my time and becoming independent in order to study and understand things by myself.
... your biggest disappointment?
I thought I would make more friends than I actually did. Americans are difficult to befriend.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
I handled them very well. Problems only came when I encountered people that sometimes didn’t have the patience to understand me, or to wait for me to “find the words” to communicate.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
At the beginning, it was hard because I was used to spending more time in the classroom doing my projects and studying. In the U.S. I had to be more independent and learn things by myself. However, the tests were easier than in my Brazilian university, so, piece of cake for me.
What are your activities?
During my time in the USA I traveled with my ELI program: I went on a city tour in Atlanta, I went hiking many times all over Georgia, I went to Six Flags and I participated in international fairs about my country.
How easy or difficult was making friends?
Truly hard. I made a total of 10 friends in the USA, even though I’m a very communicative person.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My goal is to work in a global company, traveling and representing it around the world. I will unite my engineering knowledge plus my English language to do a great job for this company.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
The USA is a country full of great opportunities for you to develop yourself in many ways. If you work hard, you can have many open doors in your life. I strongly assure you that the USA changed my perspective about the world and helped me to be where I am today.
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