Tag Archives: Brazil

Limited-Time Opportunity: 76 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships to Brazil!

Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil, Mark Beasley-Murray, 2007-2008, reading to a group of students


As of May 2 through July 14, 2017, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is pleased to offer 76 additional Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship awards for program year 2017-2018 through funds provided by the Brazilian government.

These new Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships are open to all eligible prospects, including those who applied in 2017-2018 and did not receive a grant offer. Grants will begin in February 2018.

To learn more about these new Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships and other Fulbright U.S. Student grant opportunities to Brazil, please visit the Brazil Country Summary Page. Good luck!

Through ‘Racialeyes’: A Brazilian Perspective through Media and Storytelling

By Laura Li and Mia Yamahiro, 2014-2015, Fulbright English Teaching Assistants to Brazil

Mia Yamashiro and Laura Li

Mia Yamashiro (left), Laura Li (right), 2014-2015, Fulbright Teaching Assistants to Brazil, presenting at the Fulbright Mid-Year Seminar in São Paulo

When I decided to apply for a Fulbright U.S. Student grant, I chose Brazil, and in particular, Curitiba, because of its strong Asian-Brazilian community. I thought that my Japanese-Okinawan heritage and cultural background would be a way to connect with Curitibanos. Yet I quickly realized that instead of creating connections, it often made me feel isolated.

It was difficult adjusting to the racial climate of Brazil where, in stark contrast to the United States, people are not very sensitized to race issues. For example, people pulled their eyes at me as a way to tease me or establish familiarity with me, like, “You’re Japa,right?” (pulls eyes). People asked Laura, who is Chinese-American, if she was my sister. Men on the street cat called me, yelling “Japa!” and touched my hair.

So Laura and I decided to give voice to these racial issues by creating Racialeyes, a project dedicated to further understanding the Asian-Brazilian community in Curitiba, Paraná. Our project was born out of the desire to dispel harmful stereotypes and educate people about the diversity and richness of the Asian diaspora in Brazil. While eyes are often pulled back at us to mark us as “other,” this project seeks to re-appropriate our racialized eyes, diversify the dialogue about Asian-Brazilians, and make us question our instinct to mark different as “other.”

Culture and Contrast in Fortaleza

By Missy Reif, 2013-2015, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil

Missy Reif-1

Missy Reif, 2013-2015, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil (center), performing with members of Oré Anacã

During my time as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Fortaleza, Brazil, it was apparent that my students at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC) had widespread access to American culture. They watched American TV shows and movies, listened to American music. Yet, despite living in the fifth largest city in the country, most of my students had never met an American before I arrived on campus. While this idea made me a little nervous at first, it was an amazing opportunity to show my students that life in the United States is more than American Pie.

ETAs in Brazil fill a number of roles on their university campuses. At UFC, my time was split between giving guest lectures and running my own extracurricular activities on campus. In two years, I led many conversation clubs where we played games and practiced English without the pressure of grades or assignments, and organized weekly cultural seminars on topics including religious and cultural diversity, sports, and American holidays and traditions. All of these activities provided students with opportunities to improve their English, and their confidence, in a fun and laid-back setting. While our activities sometimes focused on aspects of the language—workshops on slang and phrasal verbs were always a hit—I found that the students were most interested in in-depth discussions focusing on distinctions between the United States and Brazil.

Fulbright: The Grant That Keeps on Giving

By Sarah Sanderson Doyle, 2012-2014, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil

Sarah Sanderson Doyle - 1

Sarah Sanderson Doyle, 2012-2014, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil, with her husband in Rio de Janeiro

In 2011, my husband and I were ecstatic to find out that I was selected as one of thirty Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) to Brazil for the 2012-2013 academic year. We spent an incredible ten months in Ilhéus, Bahía, teaching English, giving cultural presentations and volunteering in the community. I was even more excited to learn that I was chosen to be one of ten Fulbrighters asked to return to Brazil the following year to serve as mentors as the Brazilian Fulbright ETA program expanded from thirty to one hundred and twenty grantees. We were relocated to the north of the country and spent another challenging and fascinating ten months in Belém, Pará, right at the edge of the Amazon.

Though I have plenty of stories and experiences to share about my time as a Fulbright ETA, what I would like to highlight are the amazing opportunities that I’ve had because of my Fulbright experience, along with how valuable it is to stay connected to the U.S. Department of State’s and the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) alumni communities after the grant period ends. Some of the many advantages include having stories to share in interviews and applications, increased chances for professional development and volunteering, networking and internships.

Falling in Love with the Inferno: Adjusting to Life in Piauí

By Ilana Robbins Gross, 2012-2013, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil

Ilana Robbins Gross

Ilana Robbins Gross, 2012-2013, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil (second from right), visiting her students’ hometown in rural Piauí, Brazil – one of the many examples she experienced of people opening up their homes to her

Teresina, a small capital in the almost forgotten state of Piauí in Brazil, is known with affection, pride, and frustration as “the Inferno,” both for its intense heat and historic lack of opportunities.

Despite the roughly one million people who live in the greater metropolitan area, Teresina feels like a small town: everyone knows everyone or at least they know your people. A native New Yorker, I landed in Piauí as a Fulbright English Language Teaching Assistant (ETA), felt the heat (joy!), saw the mainly empty streets (panic), watched as people slowly ducked from shady sliver to shady sliver (behavior I was soon to adopt) and asked myself what the inferno was I going to do for the next nine months?

Once I had gotten over the initial shock, (mostly) adjusted to the heat, and accepted that people would stare at me no matter what I did since for many I was the first foreigner they had ever seen, I set about the business of becoming part of the community and falling in love with a city largely forgotten even by other Brazilians.