By Clarrie Ng
Last month, UW Bothell welcomed two Brazilian exchange students, Bruno Souza Cabral and Matheus Lima, to our campus. Cabral and Lima are both participating in a prestigious one-year undergraduate exchange program, Science without Borders, which pioneered their first group of students to the U.S. this year.
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE) website –
“The Brazilian government’s new Science Without Borders Program [provides] scholarships to undergraduate students from Brazil for one year of study at colleges and universities in the United States. Scholarships will be given primarily to students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Students in the program will return to Brazil to complete their degrees. This program, administered by IIE, is part of the Brazilian government’s larger initiative to grant 100,000 scholarships for the best students from Brazil to study abroad at the world’s best universities.”
Hosting the two students is a great opportunity for UW Bothell to display our existing science programs, which will continue to grow with the recent approval for construction of a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) building. The building, which will be refered to as “UW-03,” will allow for the admission of an additional 1,000 students, as well as an increase in the number of STEM graduates in the Puget Sound region.
Like all the applicants that applied, Cabral and Lima had to go through a rigorous process of research, as well as a series of testing to be chosen by their country. Their acceptance to the program was quite an honor considering they were among the first ever students to be given this opportunity through this newly launched program.
The pair flew in to Washington D.C two weeks ago, where they and 35 other particpiants were recognized for their accomplishments and were given the opportunity to meet with the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff.
Lima is currently working on the neurobiology of songbirds in the Brenowitz Lab at UW Seattle, as well as restoration ecology at UW Bothell. Cabral is working on a research paper with Professor David Sosha on computing education.
During their time here, Cabral and Lima have both noticed immense academic and cultural difference between US and Brazil.
“In Brazil, everything was done on our own. There was not much facilitation, unlike at UW Bothell. However, there were more variety of courses in Brazil,” Lima said.
“Faculty members are so approachable here. They are always there to help when we are in need. Even the bus drivers are so friendly!” Cabral said.
Both students hope to return to UW Bothell to further their education by entering the graduate program. Cabral and Lima both expressed interest in returning to the U.S. to pursue their doctorate degrees, as well.
Cabral has plans to apply for Microsoft while Lima aspires to be a professor or a researcher on animal physiology.