Senior Letícia de Almeida Sbrocca is an exchange student from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has been studying at the University of Richmond since the fall and will be leaving after this semester.
Sbrocca is majoring in biology with neuroscience and education minors. When she first came to UR, she expressed how surprised she was, since her classes back home were quite different.
“Although the readings, assignments and group projects are pretty much the same in both countries, I was surprised by how punctual classes in the U.S. are,” Sbrocca said. “In my country, classes started and ended later than they were supposed to.”
Sbrocca also expressed how she is fond of the timely culture of American classes since she is able to finish her classwork on time and is able to do homework or hangout with friends as she pleases.
“I like being really focused during the class period and then working or studying,” Sbrocca said. “I also like how the teachers here are very involved with students and how students can reach them any time. Teachers back home, because of the big class size, were not that reachable.”
Even outside the classroom, Sbrocca is involved in an array of extracurriculars, including working with the geography research group Amazon Borderland Spatial Analysis Team.
The ABSAT group does research regarding the Amazon borderlines and the impact of deforestation and illegal activities on indigenous people, Sbrocca said. They work to raise awareness to educate people and provide suggestions to the local government, she said.
“As part of ABSAT, I helped with translation from English to Portuguese and vice versa,” Sbrocca said “Recently, we actually traveled to the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona to give a presentation on our research in the 37th Conference of Latin American Geography. It was a very pleasant experience.”
When asked about her favorite memory at UR, Sbrocca expressed appreciation for the friends and the countless memories she made here. She also expressed how she wishes that there were more events specifically geared towards international students.
“Last semester, we only had one event for international students,” she said. “I believe we need to have more international events. It is important to show other cultures from around the world and moreover, we would feel more represented if more international events occur.”
One word Sbrocca would use to sum up her journey as an exchange student at UR is, “Incredible!”
“I will miss my friends, of course,” she said. “Another thing I will miss dearly is people giving me a big ‘hi!’ regardless of whether they know me or not. Rio is a big city so people are not that open or nice. I am really grateful for my experience here and will always miss being here on this beautiful campus!”
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