Brazilian students come to SJU’s campuses


Shawn McCresh

Students from Brazil gathered for dinner at the St. John’s Manhattan campus.

Twenty-nine Brazilian students moved to the University’s Manhattan and Queens campuses for an intensive English program and insight into American culture for the fall semester.

Aaron Royer, the senior language educator of the Language Connection, teaches in the seven-week program for the students, who are staying in New York City for the purpose of developing fluency in English.

Royer said the majority of the visitors are majoring in science, engineering or math (S.T.E.M.). They came to the U.S. via the Brazilian Science Mobility  Program, which provides scholarships to the country’s undergraduate students for a year of study at colleges and universities throughout the world.

“A strong grade point average and high scores on standardized tests must be reached for the undergraduate students to qualify for the scholarship to go abroad,” he said.

“We must reach certain grades to come here; it depends more on the student,” Renado Gheno, from Roca Sales, Brazil, said.

He, along with 19 other civil engineering majors, are living and taking all of their classes on the Manhattan campus, according to Royer. Another nine students are living on the Queens campus.

Gheno notes that there is no comparison between New York City and large Brazilian cities.

“Although it is a huge city, things work here,” he said. “In Brazil, big cities like Sao Paulo just don’t work. Here the buses, trains, subways, and police all work.”

The Brazilian Mobility Science Program, administered by the Institute of International Education, is part of the Brazilian government’s initiative to grant 100,000 scholarships for the best students from their country to study
abroad, according to the program’s website.

The website went on to say that the goals of the program for their students are to promote scientific research, invest in educational resources, increase international cooperation within science and technology, and to encourage initiative and engage students in a global dialogue.

Once students are accepted into this program, they don’t find out where they will go until days before their semester starts, as in the case of our Brazilian guests.

Rodrigo Rezende of Maranhao, Brazil has been enjoying the experience so far at the University and New York City.

“New York is amazing, never sleeps, really different from my home city,” he said.