Brazil

Brazil lives in the popular imagination as an exotic, tropical landscape whose glorious beaches offer stunning vacation destinations. For some, the mention of Brazil stirs thoughts of unrestrained logging, all-but-unknown indigenous populations along the Amazon and over-crowded cities where the disparities between rich and poor couldn’t be sharper. And yet for others, Brazil is a 21st-century powerhouse, bursting with plentiful natural resources and rich with development opportunities.

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At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14, WorldCanvass will explore contemporary Brazil. Our immense neighbor to the south—comprising roughly the same land mass as the U.S.—is the world’s fifth largest country and seventh largest economy. Bursting with biodiversity and undergoing rapid development, Brazil faces a host of tough choices for both its people and the natural environment. Our discussion will reach beyond the brilliant beaches and soccer arenas to reflect on the multi-cultural legacy of Brazil’s complex past as seen in everything from its language to uniquely Brazilian artistic expressions to the political and social dynamics that are actively shaping the Brazil of the 21st century.

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Aly Olson, a senior from Des Moines, is pursuing a bachelor of music in vocal performance, along with certificates in music education and performing arts entrepreneurship. At the UI, she has been involved in various activities and causes, including a study abroad program in Brazil. The 21-year-old is taking a year off from the UI to fulfill her duties as Miss Iowa, but will return next year.

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Thanks to the support of generous private donors, these UI students were able to study or conduct research abroad in the past year, gaining invaluable experiences and memories that enhanced their education and lives.

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Studying abroad, both to the United States and overseas, has increased nationally and locally — which some University of Iowa officials say is due to a more interconnected world. “The world is getting smaller,” said Georgina Dodge, the UI chief diversity officer and an associate vice president. “It is becoming easier to travel abroad … [and more] information has traveled between countries.”

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Because I had my daughter during my sophomore year at Iowa I felt like my study abroad aspirations were going to have to be a memory. This is because I could never bear the idea of being a long distance away from my daughter for a long period of time. But upon discovering the Critical Cultural Competency Certificate program and needing to go on an immersion experience to complete the certificate requirements is when I finally went into the Study Abroad office and inquired information about various Winter Session trips.

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As part of Iowa City’s first carnaval celebration this summer, the University of Iowa Museum of Art will present two spring-time talks by carnaval designers. The first is by architect and interior designer Jaime Cezário. His free, public lecture will be held in the Old Capitol Museum Senate Chamber from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, March 25.

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Name: Guilherme B. Prudente
Home country: Brazil
Currently attending: University of Iowa
Major: Computer science
Career aspirations: Game/App Developer
Graduation year: 2013

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UI Professor Armando Duarte has been a choreographer at the University of Iowa since 1993, but a trip back to his native Brazil in 2008 is what inspired him to research the culture of Carnival. Armando organizes the Brazil Carnival winter study abroad program.

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In January of 2012, approximately 650 of Brazil's top-notch undergraduate students traveled to the United States to study on U.S campuses as part of the Science without Borders program, sponsored by the Brazilian government. The University of Iowa has had the fortune of hosting four participants in this two semester academic scholarship program, and is expecting to host more Brazilian undergraduates in the fall. Below, the four undergraduates have shared some of their thoughts and reflections on life at the University of Iowa.

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