Our International Spotlight features focus not only on those who came here from abroad, but also on American students who devoted a significant part of their time to intercultural activities while enrolled here at the University of Iowa, as well as faculty and staff who support internationalization at Iowa.
Adair Gallo Junior, University of Iowa College of Engineering international scholar from Brazil, was ready to engage in the classroom and Iowa City community as a result of being selected as a Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP) scholar. The BSMP selects Brazilian students to study in the United States for one year, as part of the Brazilian government’s initiative to give Brazilian university students the opportunity to study at some of the best colleges and universities in the world (http://www.iie.org/Programs/Brazil-Scientific-Mobility).
Originally from Toledo, Brazil, Adair studied chemical engineering for four years at the State University of Western Parana. This prepared him well for his year at the University of Iowa, where he has taken courses in sustainable systems, quality control, alternative energy systems, design for manufacturing, operations management, and manufacturing systems, courses selected in consultation with his faculty advisor, Dr. Charles Stanier. In addition to engineering-related coursework, Adair has particularly enjoyed the business and entrepreneurship courses he has taken. As a result of these courses, Adair says he realizes “…that it’s possible to achieve big things if you believe that you have the potential to do them!”
During his time at the University of Iowa, Adair has appreciated the opportunity to meet and form relationships with people of different cultures from all over the world. “I have met excellent professors and scientists, and there are a lot of opportunities on campus, such as lectures, interesting courses, and research facilities. Iowa City is a really beautiful place to be,” says Adair. Support for BSMP abounds on campus, ranging from activities to learn about American culture and customs to workshops and individual assistance with resume writing and preparing to search for internship and research positions.
When not in class or studying, Adair can be found at the recreation center, spending time with friends, going to the cinema and parties, or at home drinking chimarrao (a traditional South American Yerba mate tea beverage). Adair has come around to American football—he can be found streaming Hawkeye football games from his computer on football Saturdays!
In addition to courses in the field of study, another goal of the scholarship program is have students take part in major research or obtain an internship. Adair jumped at the chance to do research over the summer at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He worked in a materials laboratory, researching liquid-solid interfaces, specifically hydrophobicity.
Adair’s advice for other international scholars? “Find what you like and what you want to be, then look for people who have already gotten there. Try to learn as much as you can from them!”
This story originally appeared on the UI's Global Engineering Facebook page.