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       A second home: the Brazilian influx to Irish Universities

Irish Times Article: More young Brazilians are arriving in Ireland to study science at third level, drawn by instruction in English and our location in Europe

MIC is developing memoranda of understanding with a number of prestigious universities across several states in Brazil that are very keen to collaborate with us across a range of research and teaching initiatives. In addition,  MIC has responded to a call for proposals to host Government of Ireland scholars from Brazil for one year and has also expressed interest in hosting Brazilian teachers of STEM and English language teachers for short upskilling courses as part of a Brazilian Government-funded initiative. The article above mentions the Science Week conference that took place last week in Dublin Castle, organised by Research Brazil Ireland, a consortium of Irish third-level institutions and research centres that promotes Ireland’s scientific reputation in Brazil. This was attended by our Director of Enterprise and Community Engagement and Senior Lecturer in Science Education, Dr Maeve Liston, as well as over 80 Brazilian scientists.
As the article states, the biggest news is the success of another government-funded project, the Science without Borders scholarship programme. Mary Immaculate College is one of the 26 Irish third-level institutions enrolled in this programme. The main areas of study are science, technology, engineering and maths. As you know, Mary Immaculate College has been teaching English to LIT’s intake of SWB students since January 2014 and was approved to host students in its own right from September 2014. MIC is the only College of Education and the Liberal Arts participating in the programme. The College expects to welcome five more Brazilian scholars for the 2015/16 Academic Year, the same number as we are hosting currently. The scholarships, which are valued at up to €23,000 per student, cover tuition fees, pre-sessional language classes, accommodation and a stipend for living expenses. These students have been approved by the Brazilian Government to take certain modules in Physical Geography, Mathematics, Education, Psychology and Media & Communication Studies.

One of our current SwB students, Mauricio Jardim, has really been enjoying the Media & Communication Studies programme here. As he has been telling prospective SwB students back home on Facebook, “I recommend anyone interested in studying at Mary Immaculate College to come!  The lecturers are great, the modules very interesting and the location is convenient to downtown.  All this and the friendly environment make my time here worthwhile!” 

A Geology student from Rio de Janeiro, Tainá Maciel, is studying Physical Geography here. She says, “Limerick is a fast-growing city with many cultural events encouraged by MIC.  All academic tastes can be met here, with interests from sports to music well provided for. The biggest surprises MIC has provided me with are the academic support and attention, no matter what the hour.  Simple things that are poor in Brazil.  It has been a great experience!”

Finally, Fred Nesti, who studies for an actuarial degree back home in Brazil and studies Mathematics here at MIC, says: “Mary Immaculate College provides the incentive to become involved in cultural and multidisciplinary education, truly offering a complete educational experience.”

If you would like any further information about any of the above, please contact Holly Cowman, holly.cowman@mic.ul.ie.

               

                             MIC Science without Borders Students

                              Back row: Mauricio Jardim, Fred Nesti

             Front row: Tainá Maciel, Pedro Quesado, Paulo Medeiros

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