K-State Salina welcomes 55 Brazilian students enrolled in an exchange
program K-State Communications and
|K-State Salina welcomed 55
Brazilian students this year to study engineering technology. (Photo:
K-State Communications and
State University Salina is experiencing an influx in its international student
population this year after 55 Brazilian students arrived on campus to study
The students are participating in the Brazil
Scientific Mobility Program, which allows them to study for one year at a
university in the United States. They continue with their current education
while improving their English-speaking skills and immersing themselves in
American culture. The program selects about 3,000 students to participate each
year after a lengthy application process.
"It was very hard. I waited
almost one year to find out if I was chosen," said Joao Cruz, a student from Sao
Paulo, Brazil. "But it was worth the wait. I am happy to be here. I want to
learn as much as I possibly can."
This is the first year K-State Salina
has hosted students from the exchange program, so the university's staff spent
extra time preparing for their stay. Dixie Schierlman, associate dean of student
services, says they tried to consider everything needed in anticipation of the
"We wanted to make sure these students felt at home in
Salina," Schierlman said. "We added activities and events during Wildcat Welcome
Week and placed them with American roommates so they could get more acquainted
with other students. We helped set up bank accounts, bought bus passes for those
living off campus and created a presentation on cultural differences so they can
become more acclimated to their new surroundings."
K-State Salina also
will receive 60 bikes from the refurbishing program at the Ellsworth
Correctional Facility so the Brazilian students will have additional
transportation around the campus and city. The campus also created the Cats
Community Outreach Program where local families, organizations and church groups
can sign up to share an American experience with students, such as a sporting
event, festival, theatre show or concert.
Along with learning about
American culture, the Brazilian students also expect to improve their
English-speaking skills and advance their engineering education. Before
arriving, the students completed an intensive six-week English program in
Manhattan, Kansas, and will continue to study the language at K-State Salina.
They also will enroll in business and computer systems technology classes as
well as electrical and mechanical engineering, and a petroleum engineering class
created specifically for their area of study in Brazil.
semesters at K-State Salina, the students will then be eligible for a summer
internship before returning to their home university. Mark Jackson, the head of
the engineering technology department at K-State Salina, says this experience is
designed to not only benefit the Brazilian students and their country, but also
the American students and industries they work with while they're here.
"The Brazilian students will take with them an increased knowledge in
engineering and English to help improve their country. But the relationships
they build in America will be key as well," Jackson said. "Connecting people
from these two countries could increase economic activity between the two in the
Jackson said bringing these students to K-State Salina raises
the international profile of the university — where there were only 23
international students last year, this year's number has tripled, including
other new students from the Czech Republic, China and Japan.
are very proud of me," said Louise Marianne De Matos Brasil, a student from Rio
Grande do Sul, Brazil. "I have never been to the United States before this, and
I'm very excited to be a Wildcat."
For more information on getting
involved with the Cats Community Outreach Program, contact Schierlman at
785-826-2643 or firstname.lastname@example.org