Skip to main content

in this section

CEE welcomes 3 of the 27 newly arrived Brazilian students

(From left to right: Hugo Lima, Marina Servino, Marlon Passos)

The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering welcomed three of the 27 Brazilian students studying at Cornell University for the 2013 year. Marlon Passos, Marina Servino, and Hugo Lima are all majoring in Civil Engineering and have shared some of their thoughts about the program below.

Marlon Passos

Basic Info:

Hometown: Campo Mourão, Paraná State
Major: Civil Engineering
School you attend in Brazil: Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR)

Questions:

1. What are the biggest differences between Cornell and your university back home?

"Perhaps the biggest differences lie outside the classes. There are plenty of student organizations to join and meet people with similar interests in Cornell. I went to the pep band rehearsal and it was really enjoyable! I feel that I'm part of a caring community to support me so that I can improve not only as an engineer, but as a human being as well."

2. Is the Engineering program here anything like the one you are in back home? How are they different?

"In Brazil I used to attend to many more hours of lectures than here. Also, the Engineering course takes 5 years for the graduation. On the other hand, I will have here many more homework, assignments and reading to do during my free time. Both methods are challenging, but I think that the American system rewards more those who are responsible and disciplined."

3. What do you think you will miss most about Brazil while you are studying at Cornell?

"I will definitely miss my family and friends. It wasn't so cold there, but we still liked to be together!"

4. What are your plans after you graduate?

"I want to specialize in Hydraulic Engineering and be useful on the development of society. Engineers possess power to help many people! I attend to a revolutionary exchange program from Brazil and I look forward to return to my country all the opportunities provided here."

 

Hugo Lima

Basic Info:

Hometown - Recife
Major – Civil Engineering
School you attend in Brazil – Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

Questions:

1. What are the biggest differences between Cornell and your university back home?

"Though there are numerous differences, the ones I think are the most impacting are the time spent in class and the work load. In Brazil I was used to do 6 to 8 courses, each one with about 4 hours of lessons per week, which made me spend almost the entire afternoon and evening at school every day. The work load, on the other hand, is much smaller. We just had to attend classes and study if we thought so, there were hardly any homework or assingments, only the exams. In Cornell we spend less time in classes, but that time is more productive, since the homework helps in the understanding of the subject."

2. What made you choose to come study at Cornell for a year?

"It was actually the Institute of International of Education (that was responsible for the placement of Brazilian students at American universities) that chose Cornell for me. However, Cornell was one of the three universities I suggested for enrolling. And that’s because the prestige of the University, as well as the strong civil-engineering program. The fact that it is close to New York City is also a positive point, since one of my main interests is transportation engineering, and the city has one of the best and most important transportation systems in the world."

3. Is the Engineering program here anything like the one you are in back home? How are they different?

"The course is divided in pretty much the same way. In Brazil, however, we are required to do courses in specific semesters and we can only choose between some (about 20% of the subjects), the others are obligatory. Being able to enroll just in the courses (and in the area) of my interest is definetely a positive point. Also, the fact that we can (and are recommended to) course something totally different form our major really helps to gain a better perspective of the University and profesional world as a whole."

4. What do you think you will miss most about Brazil while you are studying at Cornell?

"Doubtlessly, the weather! The cold is manageable, but having always lived in a city where it makes about 80°F the whole year, is not easy to face even negative temperatures! Not being close to old friends and family is always hard as well."

5. What are your plans after you graduate?

"After graduating with emphasys either on transportation or structural engineering, I first pretend to work, to gain a little experience in the field, then, after (or meanwhile) enroll in a Masters or PhD program, probably abroad as well. It is also in my professional goals to become a University Professor one day. Help teach the following generation of engineering students, and, maybe, have from them the admiration I have for my Professors now. Another professional dream is to design and be part of the implementation of public transportation systems to solve the urban mobility problem in most Brazilian cities."

 

Marina Servino

Basic Info:

Hometown: Vitória- Espírito Santo- Brazil
Major: Civil Engineering
School you attend in Brazil: Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo

Questions:

1. What are the biggest differences between Cornell and your university back home?

"One very prominent difference between Cornell and my Brazilian University is related to the American University culture. Here is traditional living on campus, which provides a way more complete experience, allowing more exchange of knowledge and closer relations with the other students and faculty members. Is worth to say that this is only possible due to the phenomenal infrastructure held by Cornell University, which has marvelous dorms and restaurants, besides all the options of university clubs, libraries, labs and classrooms."

2. What made you choose to come study at Cornell for a year?

"I choose to come study at Cornell to have the opportunity to study in one of the best universities in the world where I can acquire new knowledge, have contact with new technologies and live different cultures in order to strengthen my qualifications."

3. Is the Engineering program here anything like the one you are in back home? How are they different?

"In general, both programs are very similar, but in Brazil engineering programs usually take 5 years while here it takes 4 years. In my opinion, the biggest difference among the programs is that at Cornell, engineering students have the opportunity to enroll in courses not directly related to their major, graduating more versatile and skilled professionals."

4. What do you think you will miss most about Brazil while you are studying at Cornell?

"Probably the weather. It’s too cold here in Ithaca."

5. What are your plans after you graduate?

"I intend to become a very talented and successful professional, and use all the knowledge that I’ll acquire here, to help my country to grow even more."


back to listing