Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo (ESALQ)
During my Brazil study abroad, I took classes for three weeks at ESALQ, which is a well known agricultural college that is partnered with Ohio State. During these three weeks I, along with the rest of AZP Class 19, spent time with four different professors who taught us everything from the history of Brazil to the double crop system that is common in Brazilian agriculture. We also learned about many controversial issues such as pesticide use and deforestation.
We also spent some time during the first week of class practicing our Portuguese with Cristina Fonseca. Cristina helped us to learn different phrases that would help us throughout the rest of our trip.
Another big component of our trip and class was a final group research project. Everyone was put into groups based on their interests and majors. We were then allowed to choose a research topic which we would learn more about throughout our time in Brazil. At the end of our trip, we all presented a research presentation on what we had learned about our topic. My group chose to research the education system in Brazil and how it affects Brazilian lifestyles and the agriculture industry.
Not only did I learn a ton of content knowledge through the classes I took in Brazil, but I also learned a little about how college courses are structured in Brazil. One of the most interesting things we learned about was the history slavery in Brazil. Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery, and the way abolition took place can explain many things, like the presence of favelas (slumps) across the countryside. The history of Brazil’s independence can also explain land distribution and the large farms that exist. Overall, the classes we took at ESALQ provided my classmates and I with a better background knowledge of the country, which provided more meaning as we toured the country for the remainder of the trip.