University creates new Portuguese Program



[Top row from the left] Students Serena Krause, Paola Valdes, Sam Cecere, Professor Denise Osborne, Nico Gladis and Joseph Bouxa present Brazil’s flag while in their Portuguese class.

The start of the academic year brought forth a new foreign language program and an increase in the number of Brazilian students on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus. While there are similarities to the Spanish language, Portuguese is its own distinct language and is spoken in eight countries worldwide, one of which is Brazil.

A native of Brazil and humanities lecture Denise Osborne has been influential in developing the new Portuguese program.

“We are working with our first group of students now and currently have six enrolled,” Osborne said.

Elementary Portuguese I is being offered this semester with Elementary Portuguese II being offered in the spring. With UW-Platteville students needing to satisfy the foreign language requirement, Portuguese offers a new option.

“I am doing as much as I can to keep the Portuguese program here on the UW-Platteville campus,” Osborne said.

The number of Brazilian students on campus has increased in recent years. There are currently 31 students from Brazil studying at UW-Platteville. In 2011, the Brazilian government began the Scientific Mobility Program in which top students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics study internationally for one year in the United States, Canada and Europe at educational institutions. The students are also required to complete an internship.

“UW-Platteville applied and was accepted as a host institution and began taking students in the fall of 2012,” Donna Anderson, Director of International Programs, said.

Agreements were signed with two higher education institutions in Brazil allowing for close relationships between faculty on the UW-Platteville and Brazilian campuses. Through virtual collaborations, faculty and students can learn from one another with an emphasis in developing and maintaining relationships so that programs like these can benefit institutions while being thousands of miles apart.

“Since the Scientific Mobility Program won’t go on forever, we are intentionally creating partnerships with Brazilian universities,” Anderson said.

Brazilian students arriving at the UW-Platteville campus are presented with many opportunities to learn about American culture while sharing theirs as well. The Brazilian government wants their students to learn as much as they can during their time abroad.

“The three main things we must learn while here are English, knowledge within our major and about the culture,” Bruno Passarelo Braz Paiao, Brazilian exchange student, said.

While the students from Brazil are only here for a short period of time, they have high hopes for the Portuguese program on campus.

“[While living in Brazil] we want to continue helping the program through videos and other avenues,” Liana Carolina Carvalho Rocha, Brazilian exchange student, said.