Nothing spells challenge like SWB.
Short for the Science Without Borders program, SWB has resulted in Brock University welcoming 39 students from Brazil who are here for one year to tackle a program of intensive English, academic studies and a short-term research internship.
The program’s goal is to consolidate and expand science, technology and innovation in Brazil by means of international exchange and mobility.
The Brazilians, including 25 who began classes in January, are here on full scholarships from their government and come from 29 different federal and state universities across their homeland. Their fields of study include biology, biotechnology, chemistry, child and youth studies, computer sciences, digital humanities, health sciences, physiotherapy, radio and television and more.
Student Bruna Razzolini, 22, from in Porto Alegre, a city of about 1.5 million people in southern Brazil, is learning English now but starting in September, she will study health sciences for two terms.
“I think this is a great opportunity for the Brazilian students to know a different culture and improve their knowledge,” Razzolini said. “It is also a good deal for Brazil, too, because this experience will (allow us to) bring new technologies and new information back to Brazil.”
Although she’s been here a short time, Razzolini is an unabashed fan of Canada.
“I think Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live. Canadians are really polite and make us feel comfortable,” she said.
“Brock University has good infrastructure to receive exchange students, and the facilities are awesome,” she added.
Aline Del Giudice Penha is a 21-year-old health sciences student from São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city with 11 million inhabitants.
You don’t have to sell Del Giudice Penha on the SWB program, which started last year and will run for four years.
“I am loving it,” she said. “I think it’s a unique opportunity to improve my English, which will have significant importance on my professional life, to get in touch with another culture and see another country and education system.”
Like Razzolini, she thinks the academic experience “is an excellent opportunity to get in contact with new knowledge and technologies to bring it back to our home country.”
Del Giudice Penha said she finds Canada “an amazing country. Every aspect here is fascinating.”
She’s a fan of St. Catharines, too, which she described as a lovely, friendly city with many things to do.
“Also, it is very close to Niagara Falls, which is one of the most wonderful places on Earth,” she said.
“Brock is amazing,” Del Giudice Penha added. “I live on campus, so for me it is very easy to go everywhere I want, anytime I want … and the teachers really care about students. I have been well received by all and I feel at home here … I made friends from all parts of the world.”
And winter? “I was really scared about winter before coming to Canada,” Del Giudice Penha said. “But we are used to it and we just learned how to deal with it.”