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!
Luísa Becker Bertotto, from the Universidade Luterana do Brasil, is a senior studying Biomedical Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Why did you decide to apply for the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program in the USA?
It was always a dream of mine to study abroad, to be able to expand my knowledge and to know different countries, but my financial situation wouldn’t allow me that, so I took the opportunity the Brazilian government was giving.
The Brazil Scientific Mobility Program places students at universities. Where were you placed?
At the time I did my application, the United States was the only location possible. But, I’ve always wanted to study in the U.S. because of the quality and structure offered by American colleges, which are known throughout the world.
What do you like best?
The “life on campus.” To be able to live close to your college, and all the events, lectures, etc. that are offered in an American university.
What was your biggest surprise?
To see that classes here are not that different from Brazil, that here you also have good and bad teachers, and students that like and don’t like studying. I was impressed also by the support universities receive for research here and the structure of the university—it is quite big!
... your biggest disappointment?
I think that the U.S. is not the perfect place that foreign people think it is. It has its own problems too, but that wasn’t a disappointment, it’s just a cultural shock!
How is your U.S. education and the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My goal is to work with toxicology, maybe forensic toxicology. I’m not sure if it will be in research, at crime labs, or something related to it.
I think this program is, more than everything, an experience that changed my vision of the world and the future. It made me grow up and be more mature. That will change my relationship with people back in Brazil, open up my mind to new things, and will help my country. Of course, so will all the knowledge acquired and all the contact I had (and will have) with experienced scientists and new technologies.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
I would advise anyone who wants to study abroad to do it. Will you miss your home eventually? Yes. Will you get tired of a different culture and to speak a language that is not your native one every day? Yes. But it’s worth it. All the people you will know, the different cultures … you will carry this for your entire life.