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Global Perspectives: Siqi Chen

Siqi ChenSiqi Chen is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in engineering at The Ohio State University.

It was a ifechanging experience being in Brazil for two months. When I got accepted by CESAR, an innovative company in Recife, I felt excited but also nervous. After I arrived in Recife alone a few days before the program starting date, the adventure had already started. Everything was new to me, and the people I met were very nice. When I walked to a shopping mall to apply for a SIM card, the company Oi couldn’t provide the service, and because I don’t speak Portuguese, the staff members wrote down a note for me telling me to show to other companies such as TIM to apply for a SIM card so that they would understand. People were patient and loved to help.

In the first week, I got the flu. Fortunately, a manager from CESAR took me to the hospital and took care of me till my fever went away. I didn’t feel helpless in a country where I didn’t know the language at all.

When the program started, four international students were arranged into different teams with other Brazilian students. Every team had its own project, and we were all in the same room. We shared thoughts and ideas with different teams and helped each other in different ways – intelligence and creativity enriched the atmosphere. Every morning, the program manager stopped by each table to check on students, especially international students. The Brazilian students hung out with us after work, showed us different festival and places – the strong bond of friendship became priceless and valuable. The best memory was that we went to Porto De Galinhas together to enjoy the beach and the ocean.

I went to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro after the program. The cities in Brazil are so different from each other. São Paulo seems to be a global big city; Rio de Janeiro seems to have a lot of local Brazilian culture. I went

to the São Paulo Museum of Art, which contains drawings by famous artists such as Rafael. It was amazing to see Paulista Avenue block cars so that people were free to ride bikes. Beco do Batman was an avenue full of amazing graffiti, and Ibirapuera Park was good for renting a bike, breathing the fresh air.

In Rio de Janeiro, my host was a grandma, and she was very nice, although we don’t speak the same language, I completely understood the love she gave me. She prepared breakfast for me and bought me my favorite fruit, maracujá. On my last day there, she prepared cream mousse of maracujá. Every day after I got back home from touring, we talked, using body language or Google translator. I felt the warmness from a foreign country and a sweet stranger. I went to the classic stairs, Santa Teresa. I also went to the Museu do Amanha, to see amazing technologies. I saw the whole view of the city from Sugarloaf Mountain and visited Copacabana and Leblon, which were beautiful neighborhoods.