Undergrad News

Isaiah Jeremy Marcano (Class of 2014) is completing an interdisciplinary major at Vanderbilt entitled “Brazil in International Context (O Brasil no contexto internacional).” He traveled to Brazil this summer on a summer FLAS fellowship and is currently on the FIPSE exchange program, One Nation Out of Many: Multiculturalism in Brazil and the United States, with the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, University of Florida, and Universidade Federal de Pernambuco. Isaiah reflects on his experiences in the following excerpt:

“Xerox. Chimarrão. SC Internacional. My first two weeks in Porto Alegre cannot be summed up better. As a FIPSE student at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), I quickly learned the importance of making copies of official documents. With passport and visa copies, proof of residency, a personal identification number (CPF), and proof of enrollment in hand, I registered for three classes—two international relations courses and one advanced Portuguese language course, applied for a student metro pass, and activated a local cell phone number. I also secured a slot in a paid independent project with the UFRGS College of Letters and its team of Portuguese-English translators.

Beyond the realm of administrative procedures, I have also come to appreciate chimmarrão, a Gaúcho pastime. Sunday strolls through Porto Alegre’s Parque da Redenção (Redemption Park)—a local favorite for its Sunday fairs and central location—taught me early on that porto-alegrenses truly relish this traditional tea. Locals sunbathing with a hollow gourd packed with tea leaves beside them is a common sight. Finally, my stay in Porto Alegre has pulled me into a local soccer rivalry between the two largest teams in the state—Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense and SC Internacional. To my host mother’s dismay and reasons that seem beyond my control, I looked away from the tricolor of Grêmio and became a Colorado (SC Internacional) fan. It looks as if I will be forming a part of the Nação Vermelha (Red Nation) for the long run.

Christopher Ammerman, Charles Winfred Billingsley, and Matthew Nostro studied in São Paulo, Brazil on a Vanderbilt University-approved program in spring 2013.