CSULA International Office | Nov. 4, 2013 | Spotlight

Cal State L.A. hosts 3 students from Brazil

Program provides civil engineering majors the opportunity to study in the U.S.

Video interviews:

Brazil students studying at CSULA.
L-r: Camila de Moraes Duarte Miranda, Deborah Cardoso da Cruz, and Guilherme Pereira dos Reis.

Olá. Boas-vindas. Obrigado. This fall, three students from Brazil—Camila de Moraes Duarte Miranda, Deborah Cardoso da Cruz, and Guilherme Pereira dos Reis—began taking classes in the Department of Civil Engineering at Cal State L.A. as part of the Brazilian government’s new Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP).

“We are pleased to welcome the first group of BSMP students who will be studying and living on campus,” said Jennifer Amaya, study abroad advisor at CSULA. “We hope that Camila, Deborah and Guilerme will gain a better understanding of the American culture and language, as well as be exposed to the cutting-edge research in civil engineering here at CSULA.”

The BSMP provides scholarships for Brazil students to study one year in a college or university in the United States, followed by an internship at a company that will offer them practical field experience in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

This program, administered by the Institute of International Education, is part of the Brazilian government’s larger initiative to grant 100,000 scholarships to its top students from Brazil to study abroad at the world’s best universities.

Cardoso da Cruz, who wants to become a civil production engineer, believes the program is helping enhance her knowledge of civil engineering, specifically in hydrology, computational fluid dynamics, water resources, and transportation.

“I’m focusing in these civil engineering areas because Brazil is a large country with a dense watershed and huge population,” she said. “Our environmental conditions provide us resources that should be used to meet our demands for energy and transportation. So, I believe that, after studying in CSULA and graduating in my country, I’ll be prepared to work with engineers on Brazilian demands and then provide solutions to those around the world they may benefit. That’s my professional aspiration.”

de Moraes Duarte Miranda, who just completed her third year of her five-year undergraduate program in Brazil, is already working as an intern for a Brazilian research program.

“Based on my experiences, I decided that I want to work with soils and structures, which is guiding my course choices here at Cal State L.A.,” she said. “My goal for participating in the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program is to learn as much as I can, in any area (research, study, knowledge, etc.), then adjust it to my country’s needs. We have a lot of needs, since we are a developing country that has had stagnant growth for a long period of time. I just want to make this lifetime opportunity, and everything that comes with it, worthwhile for me and my country.”

Pereira dos Reis, who is studying at Catholic University of Brasília, where he received a scholarship called PROUNI (University for All), is taking advantage of the BSMP in his own way.

“My goal with this program is to learn new procedures to improve our technology, and share new techniques of building and design,” he said. “I became interested in civil engineering, particularly in structural design, highway design and water resources, because I’m fascinated with the ability of human beings to build amazing landmarks by using math and physics principles.”

Prior to taking civil engineering courses, the trio was enrolled in the University’s summer English Language Program to gain language proficiency skills and become prepared for their academic coursework.

“Being a participant in the new Brazil Scientific Mobility Program has also enabled me to improve my communication in English as my second language,” said Cardoso da Cruz, “and I hope to help build a closer partnership between Brazil and USA institutions.”

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