Santa Fe College received a Capacity Building Grant from the U.S. Department of State in order to develop and implement a biotechnology internship program in Brazil.

The project has been developed in partnership with the Universidade Estadual Paulista “Julio de Mesquita Filho” (UNESP), the State University of Sao Paolo. It has allowed Santa Fe College to host two leading biotechnology researchers from UNESP, send one of our biotechnology professors to four cities in Sao Paolo, strengthen our institution’ relationship with UNESP, and launch the biotechnology internship. 

In July 2018, Dr. Alejandra Maruniak, the project director and professor of biotechnology at the Perry Center for Emerging Technologies, traveled to Brazil with four Santa Fe baccalaureate students. The group first visited Iguaçu Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world. This natural wonder is located on the border between Argentina and Brazil has been labeled as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The group then traveled to the city of Botucatu in the state of Sao Paolo to carry out a research-focused biotechnology internship at UNESP’s Instituto de Biotecnologia. The Santa Fe students who participated in this program worked closely with Brazilian researchers, applied their scientific skills and knowledge, and learned to appreciate the environmental and socio-cultural context within which science is produced. In the process, these American students also interacted closely with Brazilian university students, learned about Brazilian culture, developed their intercultural competence, and began developing their Portuguese language skills. This project also allowed UNESP students and researchers to learn more about how biotechnology is taught and applied in the United States, strengthen their English language skills, and gain a deeper understanding on U.S. culture. The exchange was a very successful experience for all involved. UNESP published an article in Portuguese highlighting the Santa Fe College visit. The ePortfolios below capture student impressions of their experience in Brazil.

Our student ePortfolios

Clay Abraham

Martha Young

Rorie Oglesby

The Capacity Building Grant is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Partners of the Americas.

Partners of the AmericasNafsa Primary