Helena Flores Mello from Brazil: Studying Biological Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Helena Flores Mello from Brazil: Studying Biological Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


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!


Helena Flores Mello, from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, is a junior studying Biological Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Why did you decide to apply for the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program in the USA?

In my field of study, it is undeniable that USA has the most qualified universities, and the largest companies involved in biological research. When I noticed that I could have the opportunity to be part of this high quality education program and create a wide network with faculty, I decided to apply.

The Brazil Scientific Mobility Program places students at universities. Where were you placed?

I was placed at Rutgers by IIE [Institute of International Education], but I am deeply satisfied with that. All campuses have a great structure (student centers, dining halls, study rooms, etc), the location is also great (close to New York City) which gives us more job opportunities.

What do you like best?

The opportunity to take different courses from the ones I have in my home university, especially those that require laboratory structure, for example.

What was your biggest surprise?

When I noticed that most of the students don’t usually commute. They would rather live on campus during the academic year.

... your biggest disappointment?

It was when I realized that most of my classmates are pre-med students, and don’t really care about research field.

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 will work in order to pursue a PhD degree in the field of biological sciences, more specifically in the cancer therapeutics area. My education experience in the U.S. was a great chance to get deeper into this area, learning more about molecular biology and immunology with the great faculty at Rutgers. Also, my internship this summer will be a unique opportunity to get in touch with the industry view of oncology.

All these experiences will hopefully make me an outstanding professional when I go back to Brazil, and I will get a really good job and continue working for the benefit of science.

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