Meet Students of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program
Through the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, thousands of Brazil’s brightest students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are given the opportunity to study at some of the world’s finest universities. Scholarship recipients spend one year of study abroad and then complete their degrees at Brazilian institutions. The United States is currently hosting nearly 2,000 students from the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program. Meet some the students studying in the USA!
Fábio Witt Jagnow, from Universidade de Ribeirão Preto, is a senior studying Computer Information Systems at California State University, Chico.
Why did you decide to apply for the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program in the USA?
I only saw advantages by applying to this program. It was an opportunity that, if I wanted to give it to myself with my own efforts, it would take a really long time. I chose the U.S. because I would have the opportunity to improve my English and also the chance to know a culture that is quite different from the Brazilian.
The Brazil Scientific Mobility Program places students at universities. Where were you placed?
The first time that I heard about this program was at my university in Brazil. I was one of the first students of my university to apply for it. The objective of the program is to choose the best students from universities all over Brazil and to give a full scholarship for [to study in] a foreign country.
Since the program is new, we had no reputation to rely on; we had to trust that it would be a good experience for us. And I don’t regret one bit. In my opinion Chico is a great city for international students. The people here are really open-minded, and they seem to love to share experiences with others. Chico is not a big city, which makes it easier to get familiarized; also we can reach almost anywhere using a bike.
What do you like best?
I would definitely say the people [in Chico]. I did a trip once visiting other places here in the U.S., and in most of them the people were less welcoming, colder in a sense. But some places in California the people behaved pretty similar to folks here in Chico.
What was your biggest surprise?
The biggest surprise was the amount of assignments. Here in the U.S. you have a lot of homework to do. And when I say a lot, I mean it (compared to my home country of course). In my opinion this is a great thing, because it forces you to stay in touch with the subject outside class. In the beginning it may seem overwhelming, but as time goes by, you get the hang of it.
... your biggest disappointment?
One thing that I didn’t like was the following: Here in the U.S. we have to buy all the books requested by the teachers. Sometimes you can find used books that are cheaper and you end up saving some money, and that’s how it should work. But some teachers write their own books and they “force” you to buy them every semester.
How is your U.S. education and the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I want to do something that helps my country, and to achieve that I plan to create my own company. This program, it’s helping me a lot to broaden my horizons, to see how things are done in a developed country and how people deal with all these different things. I hope I have the opportunity to bring all the good knowledge that I acquired here and apply it in Brazil.
Travel abroad was one of my personal goals, it was a dream and now it became true, but it still feels like a dream sometimes. I would definitely recommend this program to someone.