Tuesday, May 26, 2015
By Cadeem Harris ’17
Last fall seven students from Brazil came to Loudonville as part of the highly selective Brazil Scientific Mobility Program. The program offers students with an interest in science an all expenses paid opportunity to study abroad for a year before returning home to finish their degree.
This week junior Edoardo Lobl will be wrapping up his Siena College experience and head to an off campus internship before returning to his home country. Juliana Friedrichsen and Priscila Ferreira, who will also be participating in off campus internships, will return to Siena this fall to complete their year of studying abroad.
“The faculty, administrators and students at Siena wanted to get to know us and always offered help if we needed it,” Friedrichsen said. “We not only felt very welcomed but were impressed by the facilities and overall experience.”
While some of the students had apprehensions about the “individualistic culture” they heard rumors about in America, they were pleasantly surprised when they arrived at Siena and noticed how warm and welcoming everyone was towards them.
The benefit of having these students on campus was quickly noticed in the classroom too. “These students, like our other international students, enrich class discussions as the share their experiences and stories from a different culture,” Meg Verret, assistant director of international programs, said.
The program also requires them to complete a summer internship relevant to their academic pursuits in the United States. The students are headed to places like the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the Rockefeller University in New York City and Kent State University to complete their internship requirements. Eventually they will return to Brazil and finish their undergraduate degrees.
“It is important that we go home and apply what we learned in America in order to advance our nation in the sciences,” said Lobl.
Siena is part of a select number of colleges identified to participate as host sites for these students and plans to welcome more Brazilian exchange students in the fall as a continuation of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program.