Center for International Programs, Center for International Studies
Abigail August ’19

Thirteen students from FAE Centro Universitário in Curitiba, Brazil had the opportunity to experience life as American college students this summer through the Siena-FAE Summer Institute in Global Business. Coming all the way from Brazil, the students were on campus for a month to learn what it means to live like a Saint. 

FAE Centro Universitário has been a known institution for nearly six decades. Having programs not only in Curitiba but the entire state of Paraná, FAE has been recognized for their long-standing commitment to quality and innovation. Their mission is to educate for the promotion of a fair, sustainable and happy society. 

For those within the Siena community, these qualities may seem familiar. The connection between Siena’s Franciscan heritage and FAE’s mission allows for a strong relationship between the institutions, and an enriching academic experience for the group while at Siena. During their month on campus they completed two courses. 

“Students [were] assigned to choose businesses and outside activity sites, and observe how these businesses and organizations practice the Franciscan values of care for the earth, equality, and peaceable living”, said Melody Nadeau, Ph.D., associate director of the Center for International Programs and ESOL specialist. 

It wasn’t all work and no play for the new Saints. They spent a lot of their down-time exploring the beautiful sites that surround Siena’s campus, taking trips to the local Troy Farmers Market, shopping and eating in Lake George, and even spending the day in Boston. 

“Boston changed me,” said Giovanni Martinelli Alamini. “The atmosphere there is different and it is so calm, and I just realized things about myself and I think I would love to live and work there or in that kind of city. I was very quiet before Boston and now, I am very different." 

In addition, the students toured local companies such as Specialty Silicone Products LLC, Capital Roots, Cascades, and RenderTribe to get an idea of how American companies operate. 

Although they were excited by the beauty and attractions of our area, the group was equally in awe of our local Walmart. Although it may come as a surprise to Americans, massive supercenters are not popular in Brazil. They were excited to explore the aisles and aisles of products they couldn’t find at home. 

“Everywhere we [went], there [was] someone to practice English with us and we [could] learn the histories and stories about people who really live here, and how it is to live in America. Because we have an idea in Brazil from what we see in movies and stuff - but it's not like this in real life,” said Amanda Giovanna Miranda da Rocha, when reflecting on what she took away from the month-long experience. 

The students were excited to take the stories, photos, memories, and even Walmart purchases back with them to Brazil.

For more pictures from the summer’s program, click here