Master student came to Porto Alegre in 2016 and does volunteer work at MCT-PUCRS
In March of 2016, Luoyuan Liu (in Brazil, best known as Jennie), 24, arrived in Porto Alegre. About 10 thousand miles away from Chongqing, her hometown, the soon-to-be PUCRS master in Education had one main goal: to get in touch with a new culture. The idea of doing her masters in Rio Grande do Sul’s capital came up when she found out that one of her professors from Beijing International Studies University had studied Creative Writing at PUCRS. “He recommended me the University and I did some research about it”, she recalls. One of the most decisive factors for her transference was Federal Agency of Evaluation and Support of Graduate Education (Capes) great evaluation of the graduate program in Letters.
Jennie has always been interested in the Brazilian culture. While in Beijing, she studied Portuguese for four years. “My dad suggested that I learned the language, since it would allow me to travel to countries from South America and Europe”. To her surprise, the differences she noticed between Brazil and China were not that significant. “Even though the government models are different, the logic of China’s economy is very similar to Brazil’s. The biggest differences are on the food and on the fact that Chinese people are way more reserved”, she compares.
The exchange student fell in love with PUCRS’ Campus and infrastructure. She decided to write her masters dissertation about Brazilian students that went to China through the government program Ciência Sem Fronteiras. “It was really cool, because I sort of saw myself in them, but ‘backwards’. What was hard for me was also hard for them, in opposite ways”. In February, Jennie will present her finished thesis.
In august of 2017, one of Jennie’s teachers asked her to welcome a panelist from China that was coming to visit PUCRS’ Science and Technology Museum. Missing home, she decided to go, excited with the opportunity of speaking mandarin after so much time. “When I got there, I fell in love with the museum, so the educational management suggested that I did some volunteer work there”. She said yes. Jennie helped planning events like Uma Noite no Museu (where kids spend a night at the museum) and Seminário Defesa de Direitos – Catadoras e Catadores na Resistência (a conference on the rights of garbage collectors). “I got in touch with kids from way different realities, who, without those initiatives, wouldn’t be able to go to a museum. It’s very satisfying”. Her volunteer work at the museum will be finished by January.
Recently, Luoyuan was approved to do her doctorate’s degree at PUCRS, also on the field of education. “I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to do it or not. If I do, I will have to spend another four years in Brazil. It’s a great opportunity, but I miss my family and, most importantly, China’s food”, she laughs.