Having the opportunity to play Tennis and go to school is why twenty-six year old Brazil native Luiz Miranda is attending Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. “The reason why I decided to come to the United States is the opportunity to have education in this country and what really caught my attention is the opportunity to play Tennis and get my degree here at a college,” he says.
“So the reason I choose Cumberland,
I came here to Cumberland when I was a junior.
I played here my junior and my senior year. I first went to a community college in Mississippi and I met my
Tennis coach there at a Tennis workshop.
He told me about the opportunities I could have here, having a
scholarship. I saw that it is a small
private school, something that I was really looking for, good environment where
I can pretty much talk to teachers face-to-face. It is easy to communicate and I like where the school is located,
because it is right here in Lebanon where you can focus here during the week.
So that is the real reason that I wanted to come. Also, I always wanted to learn English, so those are the things
that attract me to come here.”
Luiz received a full scholarship to work on his Master's degree. He says it was initially difficult for him being in the United States because he didn't speak much English, but things have gotten a bit easier for him. “I already graduated. I got my undergraduate degree in May 2006, so right now I am working on my Masters degree,” he says.
“I’m going to get my MBA in Business Administration. In the beginning it was a little bit harder most of the time because I didn’t speak any English so it was kind of tough, but right now I don’t have any problems so I am doing pretty well.”
“I’m an assistant Tennis coach for the women’s Tennis team here. I have a full scholarship to be here right now. I am a GA, a grad assistant. So I get my school paid for being a graduate assistant for the Tennis team.”
Luiz says many of the international students play Sports for the university and are on a scholarship as well. “We do have many different people from different countries. I would say I believe we have people from about twenty-five different countries. Most of them are all athletes. They came for the same reason why I did for a scholarship so there are a lot of people from Central America on the Baseball team, a lot of people on the soccer team, Tennis team from South America, Basketball team. Pretty much each Sport you can find somebody from a different country.
For several reasons, Luiz says being in the United States is important and it will pay off for him in the future. “Right now it is definitely important to work on my MBA and getting a degree from the United States has a lot of value in Brazil just by the fact that when they look at me they will know that I have been living here by myself, I’m independent also it is a different language and that is a plus knowing English.
Everybody is speaking English now-a-days and if I go to Brazil say and I speak English if definitely helps a lot when trying to get a better job,” he says. “So being here I’m going to finish my MBA, going to get some work experience and it is easier to get a job here once I graduate than it is in Brazil.”
Luiz says staying in the United States and working for a while is on his list of things to do after graduation. “My goal once I graduate is I want to work in the country, I will probably get a work permit for a year, after that I need to get a work visa to keep working in this country, to be legal of course and I want to work for a big company and work for the next four or five years, maybe move back to my country I am not so sure about that as to what I am going to do after work, but after graduation I am going to stay here and get some work experience.”