Brazil students learn culture and engineering at UW-Platteville

April 30, 2013

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis.­­­ — Dilma Rousseff, the President of Brazil, created an initiative to jump start the Brazilian 21st century economy and education system through programs such as Science Without Borders. The goal of is to have 101,000 Brazilian undergraduate students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics spend one year studying abroad in the United States. The first wave of students began in 2012, with two of them currently attending the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

“You go through an application process to be placed within the initiative,” said Davi Degaspari Leite, a senior mechanical engineering major from São Paulo, Brazil. Guilherme Batistella Castellar, a junior industrial engineering major also from São Paulo, and Degaspari Leite both applied to study for a year in the United States.

The combination of the intended major and country of desired study led both students to UW-Platteville. “I was very excited to learn I was going to study at UW-Platteville, which is not only different in culture and language, but also climate. I’ve never experienced cold temperatures until I came to Platteville,” said Batistella Castellar.

The University of São Paulo is one of the largest higher education institutions in Brazil as it has multiple campuses including two in the city of São Paulo.

Engineering students are enrolled for a five-year term with double the credit load UW-Platteville students’ hold.

The pair recounted their experience studying at UW-Platteville through the Science Without Borders program. “There are many differences between UW-Platteville and the University of São Paulo,” said Degaspari Leite. “Per semester, we have 32 hours per week in the classroom as opposed to the minimum 12 hours per week in the classroom here at UW-Platteville. I have also had to adjust to the amount of homework here. We do not have homework in Brazil.”

Both explain how student life in Brazil is strictly for classroom education. “Because we are in class most of the time, we are not allowed to hold a job while attending school,” said Batistella Castellar.

In November 2012, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities began establishing working relationships with Brazilian universities in an effort to have Brazilian students spend one year in the United States to study in STEM fields.

“I have really enjoyed my time at UW-Platteville. It is a beautiful campus, the professors are very helpful and polite,” said Degaspari Leite.

According to the University of São Paulo, internationalization is one of the university’s guidelines. University of São Paulo officials believe in the importance of establishing partnerships with various countries to create new bonds of integration and also the maintenance and strengthening of the existing bonds.

Written by: Eileen McGuine, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, mcguinee@uwplatt.edu


 

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