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November 01, 2011


Elena Como

Very nice article! Thank you! One word of caution--if you study at a public university in Brazil, you may find trouble because of strikes! While I was living in Rio de Janeiro the public university, UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) went on strike. My Brazilian host-brother was stuck for most of a semester, because his classes weren't being taught at UFRJ.

When I asked our liason from the University of California why were weren't at UFRJ or UES (the state school of Rio de Janeiro), he explained that the public universities in Brazil are far more likely to go on strike, and as an exchange student you would get caught it, and lose your exchange semester.


I really liked reading Flora's article, I thought she pretty much summed up how many of my friends have felt about taking a semester to study in Brazil. Although I also appreciated this Brazilian's perspective (her essay is written in English) which explained some of the issues that Flora had with the Brazilian educational system :


Thanks for your blog by the way Rachel, I read it all the time!

Rio Gringa

@Elena, good point! @Laurena, thanks, I'm glad!


I am currently on exchange here at PUC Rio, and I am a friend of Flora's actually. I originally went to UCSC, and I would agree that academics here at PUC are certainly not to the level I am used to. Part of it is cultural, but culture doesn't justify everything. From what I understand, one of the biggest problems is that teachers in most disciplines are not required to take any courses on teaching. They can just be an expert in their field and that's enough, which showed quite a lot in the classes I took. My teachers knew a lot, but went about giving us that information very poorly.

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