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English and Writing Prepares University of Minnesota-Duluth Student for Many Career Choices Back Home in Brazil


Finding employment in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil is quite challenging says, Mariana Osorio. Attending college in the United States is not only important for Mariana's future, but essential for her to later be able to go back home and work. “In Brazil where I am from it is extremely hard now a days to find a job and companies are extremely picky and I have experience in a different country especially in the United States plus to be fluent in English and writing and also in speaking is extremely important for you to get a better job,” she says.

“They value a lot this experience because I have also been here alone so I had to go through a lot of things and I had to make decisions by myself. I don’t have anyone that can help me with that because my parents are really far away,” she says.

“So you also develop skills like how to handle situations, how to think fast, how to not depend on anyone so these are some skills that companies are looking for now a days especially with globalization we have a lot of international companies in Brazil so we would be dealing with different cultures, different countries and they want people that can live for a while in other country or maybe know how to travel to a different country and how to communicate and everything else.”

Mariana already has one degree. Now, she is working on a post bachelor’s degree, which she explains. “I decided to come to the United States to have my post bachelor’s in professional writing at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD). It is a post bachelor’s. It is not undergrad and it is not a master’s program yet, but it is a post bachelor’s a program that you do after you graduate from undergraduate and it is more specific because I already have a degree in journalism and in my country for you to get a better job it is extremely important for you to be fluent in English.”

In 2006, Mariana was here studying English. The twenty-four year old says her coursework at the University of Minnesota-Duluth now consist mostly of professional writing and communication classes. “This program is a thirty credits program and inside of the composition and inside of the communication department at UMD they focus on speech classes and all writing classes so I have classes such as Business, Arts and Letters, Speech classes, Web Design classes and also I needed an internship too to get my certificate,” she says.

“So it is extremely interesting because I already have a degree in Journalism, so I am focusing on writing and English and how to deliver speeches too like to prepare PowerPoint and presentations and how to write reports, memos, everything so it is really interesting.”

Mariana says socially it was challenging for her to make friends, but once she did it has added to her university experience. “At the beginning it wasn’t easy I was extremely shy. My English is wasn’t very good and people couldn’t understand me very well because of my accent and my vocabulary was very poor at that time, but now I had to be friendly to meet new people, to make more friends and it wasn’t easy, but you get use to that and then you just have to go and start talking to people and after you start meeting people it is great!”

Culturally though, Mariana says it is totally different. “Well, it was really hard because I am from Rio de Janeiro. I live at the coast and it is a big city around seven or eight million people and I came to Duluth and that is really small, less than one hundred thousand people. We don’t have a lot of things to do and their winter is really hard and the food it is different, sometimes I am depressed because I miss my friends and I miss my life in my country, but on the other hand I am experiencing things and its different having fun with different things that I never thought I could have fun to before.”

Mariana will graduate in May this year and then she will return to Brazil.

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