Juliana Matias is in mobility program at Mary Immaculate College
Student Juliana Matias, from the Letters program, headed to Limerick, Ireland, in January, on a scholarship for the academic mobility program of Mary Immaculate College (MIC). The exclusive opportunity came from the School of Humanities and from the Office of International Cooperation, amid the cooperation projects with the Irish institution.
In Juliana’s view, this has been quite an enriching experience. “In the very first week, I had the chance to attend several classes until I made up my mind about which courses to sign up for. I attended the classes that interested me the most and I chose four courses in my major, Linguistics and Education”, she comments.
Juliana uses her free time on the weekends to get to know the city, in the mid-west of Ireland, and to meet other students from all over the world. She claims to be very happy to be representing PUCRS overseas. “Creating bonds with a university from outside of Brazil and representing the institution I go to is important for the internationalization of my career. Being exposed to different varieties of English will earn me many teaching ideas to use in class with my students”, she adds.
As a language teacher, Juliana is proud of meeting people from different countries who are proud of their accents. “I want to share this with my students and prove that it is ok to speak an additional language with a Brazilian accent. We have to be proud of our identity. In addition to all of that, I love the opportunity to be more independent and have more responsibility in a different country. This is my first time outside of Brazil, so everything is new”, she claims. She will be staying at MIC until May 2019. She is expected to return to Brazil to continue working on her program at PUCRS.
The coordinator of the English major of the Letters program, Dr Lilian Cristine Hübner, claims that being awarded with a scholarship abroad is something unique in the life of a student. Not only does it improve their language competence but also gives them the chance to live in a different culture. “Students will develop interpersonal competences by interacting with people from several countries in an international context”, she adds.
The Dean of International Cooperation, Dr Heloísa Delgado is happy about the results of the partnership between the two institutions. “This opportunity marks the beginning of the process of internationalization of this undergraduate program, since this is the first time one of its students is awarded a grant of this type (outgoing mobility). In this regard, it is important to stress the importance of the partnership involving PUCRS and Mary Immaculate College, as it advances excellent opportunities for mutual cooperation”, she says. Delgado has embraced other initiatives for the consolidation of the internationalization of the Letters program, such as the participation in the English Teaching Assistants program (Fulbright/CAPES) and in the Fellowship program (US Consulate), which serve to encourage internationalization at home.
The partnership between PUCRS and MIC
In September 2018, the Director of International Relations at MIC, Holly Cowman, came to PUCRS to deliver a lecture at the event Conexões Internacionais. Holly also met with faculty in the School of Humanities and introduced the study opportunities at the Irish institution.
Since then, both institutions have been in close contact and new academic mobility initiatives have been discussed. In addition to Juliana being in a mobility program at MIC, the program has also made it possible for Giovani Santos, a student at MIC, to spend three months at PUCRS for a doctoral research internship in 2019. “These major opportunities have been made possible thanks for the financial aid provided by the Erasmus + International Credit Mobility program of the European Commission. We’re looking forward to new cooperation actions involving MIC and PUCRS, as we’re building our partnership for the future”, Holly says.