Part 1

(The Adventures of 2 Brazilian Students at American Universities)

“I like the snow now, but our first winter here was rough”, said Solange, “we didn’t have the right clothes, we weren’t sure how to heat our house properly, and we didn’t know how to keep from slipping and sliding on the ice which soon formed under all that pretty snow. We were wet, we were cold, we were miserable. How could we stay here five years? And that’s not to mention the new culture, new language, new food and everything else that we had to get used to”.

Solange Scorsatto and her husband, Fernando, are Brazilian students who have been studying at universities here in New Jersey for the past five years. Solange is studying for a Master’s degree in statistics at New Jersey Institute of Technology and Fernando is working on his Ph.D in Economics at Princeton University. They are almost finished with their studies and will return to Brazil in June. I wondered what it would be like to be Brazilian and to have to immerse yourself totally in the American lifestyle and in American universities. Would it be hard? Would it be a great adventure? Would it be aggravation? Maybe all of this. In addition to the cultural and language differences, the educational system in Brazil and the United States differ greatly. So, I asked Solange and Fernando if they would relate some of their experiences from a journal they kept during their time here.

Some samples from the journal…”Not having a maid. How can people survive here without those wonderful helpers” “If you don’t have cable TV, you cannot watch TV” “Some American people don’t know where Brazil is” “A horrible experience with one of my professors” “I miss Brazilian food” “A big challenge.to drive an automatic car”

Solange and Fernando said that, by and large, their experiences here have been wonderful. They have made lifelong American friends, they like the education they received, and they would recommend studying in American universities to Brazilian students. They especially like New Jersey because. Not only is the “Garden State” renowned for its history, scenery and educational facilities ,but it is very close to New York City. So, those attractions that everyone knows from the movies, including the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, even those yellow taxis, are very close by.

From the journal again.”What surprised me most about American life was the political corruption here. I thought we only had that in Brazil!!!”

Stay tuned for the further adventures of Solange and Fernando….

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