Sophia Lenhart is an undergraduate student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Lenhart is also a current member of the Brazilian Student Association (BRASA) and a 2020-2021 FLAS fellow (Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowships run by the Center for Latin American Studies at Ohio State) who spent some time in Brazil before the pandemic started in 2020.
I was an exchange student in Brazil in high school, and I fell in love with both the culture and the language. I also went back during my second semester at Ohio State to study at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and study Portuguese further.
At the time, the university was excellent towards the foreign students and keeping us informed. There was only one other American, from Purdue. He was their first student to go, and both of us agreed as the first students there from our universities, we would highly recommend it to anyone interested. The university did a welcome week full of events specifically directed towards the exchange students and getting us acclimated/familiar with Brazilian culture. They also had upperclassmen from various colleges in the university to mentor/guide us, which was very helpful.
They let us have two weeks to go to whatever classes we wanted to, and then talk with the professors and teaching assistants about the classes to help us decide which classes to register in. I took a Brazilian literature class, a Brazilian history class, a history of dance in Brazil class, and a hydrology/oceanography class (just to mix things up!).
I plan to go to law school once I finish my undergraduate Portuguese program, and go into immigration law to work for the government to help people struggling with the current immigration laws and processes.