Thursday, May 28, 2009

Last Spring, three Californian students attended classes in Brazil. Jessica Hartsell and Emerald Agpaoa traveled to Manaus in January of 2009. “There’s nothing I’d rather be doing this semester than going to school in Manaus, witnessing the growth of an emerging country and how they’re implementing knowledge into the next generation”, said Emerald. The students also had a chance to see the rainforest, make friends and get to know the region and culture.

In the picture: WV students Jessica Hartsell and Emerald Agpaoa on a trip to see the waterfalls in the Amazon rainforest, March 2009

"It's been a life changing experience for students from both countries", says Margarise Correa, Program Manager of the Silicon Valley Center for International Trade Development. "Brazil has the largest economy in South America and the U.S. is the major trading partner. By living in the country, students learn the local business culture which is very important since most of Fortune 500 companies operate in there and experts say Brazil, along with India, China and Russia, will be tomorrow's superpowers."

Brazilian students at Apple with company's Sr. System Integrator Carlos Ribas, Sep 2007.

Students at Intel, Oct 2008 (above), and at the CA Senate Office of Intl. Relations, Dec 2007 (on the left)

Students with Brazilian scientists and engineers at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Sep 2007

The commitment of all partner institutions is the essence of the program success. Faculty, staff and administrators from both regions are highly engaged in the program, working closely to support students to make the most of this experience.
Exchange students with WV and SJSU faculty, staff and administrators on Sep 2007 and on Dec 2008

Business & Academic Events

Some of exchange students parents work at Silicon Valley companies and have shared their knowledge during bi-lateral activities.

Last April, Katherine Hartsell, mother of WV student Jessica Hartsell, went to Manaus to visit Jessica and to give two presentations at partner university FUCAPI. Katherine is a Director in the External Research Office of Sun Microsystems and spoke to students and local small businesses about free software downloads, internships and what might be involved in getting an internship or employment upon graduation either in Brazil or the US, and Computer Sciences students online social clubs around the globe.
Thank you, Katherine


  1. Margarise, this is a marvelous way to let people know about our great exchange program with Brazilian universities. I just returned from visiting UNIFEI in Itajuba, and in 2006 I had a tour of INATEL. These are perfect places for U.S. college students to immerse themselves in Brazilian society and to discover the true Brazil. Thanks for all that you've done to make this program a huge success! Mike

  2. This is a great program with many possibilities for both Brazilian and America students. I learned a great deal from my visit to FUCAPI. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the students and faculty, and hearing about all the really great work they are doing. The program is creating a wonderful community of young men and women from both countries establishing friendships that will continue to foster positive alliances for many years.

  3. What a wonderful program!!! The exchange program with West Valley College and San Jose State University is for sure the best program that I could have ever participated.... At WVC I was able to meet many nice people, make lots of friends (some of them will be around forever... for sure), and also learn a lot about the American Culture.
    Six months passed fast enough to think that I still want to be back to the USA, but slow enough to make of this program a milestone in my life!
    I encourage every single student to take this opportunity and participate in this great program!
    Thank you Margarise for making this all possible for me and all the other students that can be benefited of such a wonderful program!
    All the best to you Margarise!

  4. As mentioned by the other students, it was a great opportunity I could live.
    WVC offers such a really nice learning and a chance to be in touch with another culture. I could meet different people and visit amazing places.
    Besides of all, being in the heart of the technology world, the Silicon Valley, was terrific. I could visit many of the major hi-tech companies and also work as an intern in a startup company, which I'm sure will help in my carreer.
    For certain, this program is a life experience that every student should enjoy.

  5. Is six months enough? I don’t think so. Although, it was enough to meet wonderful people, visit wonderful places and live in a different culture in such a wonderful way. I can say, for sure, it was one of the most important life experience I’ve ever had and I’m very grateful to all the people that made it possible. The program is amazing and I hope many other people have the chance to take part on it.


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