Penn State Greater Allegheny, GlobalPittsburgh meet with educators from Brazil

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Penn State Greater Allegheny hosted a meeting on Sept. 29 with 10 Brazilian higher education administrators coming to the region through GlobalPittsburgh (formerly the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors), with the goal to learn about the infrastructure provided by the Penn State campuses for international students. The trip was sponsored by the United States Embassy in Brazil.

The visitors were selected from Brazilian IHE (universities and federal institutes) to travel to the United States to visit a diverse selection of universities, colleges and community colleges. The intent of the visit was to see the U.S. facilities and help Brazilian institutions to better build the capacity to host American students in Brazil. The national itinerary for the group was designed and implemented by the GlobalConnect division at Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C.

Nancy L. Herron, interim chancellor at Penn State Greater Allegheny, was honored to have an opportunity to host the Brazilian administrators, who were traveling with Marcos R. Hirata from the U.S. Embassy in Brazil.

"For nearly 10 years, the Penn State campus has been designated as an international campus, and the infrastructure is established to assist foreign students,” said Herron. "We have been providing services and meeting student needs for quite some time." 

Victoria Garwood, director of enrollment management at Penn State Greater Allegheny, worked with GlobalPittsburgh to ensure a successful visit.

"When they contacted us to gauge our interest in hosting the visit, we jumped at the opportunity to talk about our successes and to share our experiences about our international students," she said. "A percentage of our student body currently consists of international students, so other services such as housing, student advising, and health services are already in place."

Also present in the conversation was Penn State Greater Allegheny international student Gabriela Selmi from Sao Paulo, Brazil. A first-year student pursuing a degree in business, Selmi shared her experience as a foreign student living on campus.

"From the minute I arrived at Penn State Greater Allegheny I felt welcomed and immediately realized that I was part of something bigger than myself," she said. "It was so nice to speak and hear my native tongue spoken with the diplomats today and to share with them my experiences. I hope they can take this information from a student’s perspective back and share with students at universities in Brazil.”

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The group poses for one last photo before departing campus.

Image: Penn State

It is GlobalPittsburgh’s hope that it was able to successfully initiate an ongoing dialogue between the Brazilian diplomats and all of the universities they visited while in the United States. 

"We hope this is the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship that will reinforce Penn State’s global emphasis and the future development of universities both in Brazil and here in the United States," Herron said.

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Last Updated October 15, 2015