New Experiences at work and at play through the eyes of A Brazilian co-op student
Bruno’s not wearing any shoes, just socks. He’s quickly settled into life at Ellipsis Digital, from enjoying our relaxed footwear policy to speaking English all day at work. He’s also embraced the full spectrum of seasons we experience around these parts.
Bruno Oliveira Arakaki is not our usual co-op student. He’s part of the Brazil-Canada partnership of Ciencia sem Fronteiras Program (Science Without Borders), and he’s in London, Ontario, for 15 months. It’s the first time he’s been outside of Brazil.
The Ciência sem Fronteiras (CsF) program, which is funded primarily by the Brazilian government, aims to send more than 100,000 students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) internationally by 2015. The students selected for the scholarship program come to Canada for 12 to 16 months, for academic study, English training (if necessary), and a research or industry placement. He says that CsF is a popular program, and there are currently about 30 Brazilian students in London right now.
Bruno, who’s from São Paulo, decided to apply for the program because he wanted to travel. He chose Canada because he wanted to spend time in an English-speaking country, and, as he says, “I wanted to see snow.” His English was already pretty good before he came, but he admits that he learned a lot of it from video games and movies. He’s been studying computer engineering, and is in the fourth year of a five-year program.
What’s also new are some activities he’s tried since arriving last June. He’s gone snowboarding, first at Boler Mountain and then at Blue Mountain. And he’s noticed that “people are really polite” in Canada—his favourite example is riders thanking the driver when they get off the bus. He’s worried that this may be a habit that leaves with him: “I’m gonna thank the bus driver [when I get home], and they’re gonna think I’m weird.”
In August, Bruno will be leaving London to go back to São Paulo. So what’s next for the 23-year-old programmer after he finishes school? He doesn’t know yet. “I’m just dreaming.”
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Laurie Bursch is Ellipsis Digital's copywriter. She's not from around here either.