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Happy and boisterous LiU-Brazil Open Day


Brazilian families in Linköping were welcomed to LiU with an abundance of cookies, meatballs, Brazilian cheese bread and brigadeiros. The university was presented by a Brazilian student, a postdoc, and a professor.

Brazil’s purchase of Gripen fighter jets was the starting shot of what is now close cooperation between LiU and six Brazilian universities, and more cooperation is underway. Within the next few years, a total of 200 Brazilian families will be living in Linköping, since at least one member of each family will be working at Saab for a longer period. On Walpurgis Night, LiU invited Brazilians to an Open Day so that they could get to know each other and Linköping University.

Some sixty adults and numerous children met in Key Building where a gigantic fika table had been set up. Brazilian sweets such as carrot cake, brigadeiros (small chocolate balls), cheese bread and acai berries mingled with cinnamon buns, sausages, meatballs and Kalles Caviar. A half-hour for coffee became an hour before enough of the registered guests had arrived, and André Carvalho Bittencourt, postdoc at the Division of Automatic Control, had trouble making himself heard in the happy buzz. The idea was that the visitors would be treated to a little knowledge about what studies and work at Linköping could involve.

“They find out that they’ll be travelling to Sweden six months in advance, and there are good opportunities for the partner who is accompanying them to study during that time,” says Elaine Dali, who came to Linköping together with her son and researcher husband, and had organized a large part of LiU-Brazil Open Day.

André Carvalho BittencourtAn hour later than planned, Mr Carvalho Bittencourt was able to prepare them for Walpurgis bonfires, Midsummer dances, and schnapps. He talked about the beach at Varamon, the Berg locks, the opportunity to play Frisbee golf, paddle canoes, pick mushrooms, and much more.

Igor Cruz, master’s student in Energy and Environmental Engineering, is studying in his fourth term and spoke about why he’s getting on so well:

  • The cultural exchange among students from many different countries is great, and is encouraged.
  • The master’s programme has a strong focus on work in groups and deals with current issues, often in cooperation with Swedish industry.
  • The university invests in interdisciplinary research, and this also permeates instruction.
  • The great influence students have, but also all the student associations that make it easy to make friends alongside their studies.  

Brazilian professor Alex Enrich-Prast, who works at the Department of Thematic Studies – Environmental Change, spoke about his cooperation with David Bastviken. The two of them have been cooperating since 2006, and also published a number of articles together concerning the role of methane and other greenhouse gases in the ecosystem.

Cecilia Johansson, from the International Office, concluded by speaking about the international master’s programmes, and that there were scholarships to apply for. But she also reminded them that Swedes like deadlines, and that the final application date remained in force.

Conversations by the tableElaine Dali was satisfied with the day:

“Yes, everyone absolutely seemed to be happy. But don’t write that they ran so late,” she says with a laugh.

Ms Dali has been in Sweden long enough to be embarrassed about the fact that her countrymen aren’t punctual, as if that means anything when spirits were high and there were happy children running all over the place while their parents were socialising over sausages and brigadeiros.

Photo: Oskar Lindqvist

Monica Westman Svenselius 2016-05-03

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Last updated: 2017-02-13