In January 2012, approximately 650 Brazilian undergraduate students arrived in the United States to study at U.S. campuses with funding from the Brazilian Government’s Science Without Borders Program. The students will study for two semesters at one of more than a hundred U.S. colleges and universities across the United States, and will take part in a summer internship.
Marcelo Lindenberg was one of these students. Marcelo, a junior from Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, had never heard of Tulsa before but has quickly gotten involved on campus and has made friends in class, at the gym, and at his residence hall. In Brazil, students generally do not live near their university, so international students always enjoy the chance to experience American campus life with all of the students living, studying, and having fun together.
Before getting involved in the program, Marcelo was studying geosciences, with an emphasis on mining; however, since coming to Tulsa he has opened his eyes to other fields which will influence the rest of his undergraduate degree. In his short time at TU, Marcelo has embraced TU’s focus on petroleum engineering and the oil and gas industry, and he says he will change his focus to include this field of study.
The Brazilian presence in Tulsa is significant as well, as the city and state have many commercial interests throughout the various regions of Brazil in areas such as agriculture, aviation, and energy. Dr. Bruce Willis, head of the Department of Languages, explained that TU has offered instruction in Portuguese since 2005, and this year, current instructor Rosana Khan has even begun an advanced-level course in Business Portuguese, focused on Brazil, with enrollment including Portuguese-learners as well as native-speakers. Frequent course offerings on Brazil also include Brazilian literature in translation and Brazilian film and music. Dr. Willis stated, “As TU continues to expand internationally, we are fortunate to be able to develop strong partnerships with Brazil on several levels.”