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USC’s ties to Brazil lift interest in the university

By fall, the number of Latin American students at USC will have more than doubled since President Nikias and Provost Garrett took office

Brazilian officials visit USC
Brazilian officials visit with USC leaders on campus. (USC Photo/Becky Meza)

USC hosted a prominent group of Brazilian university presidents and top administrators from the country’s various institutions and government agencies.

“Since our São Paulo office’s opening in 2013, we have signed a number of key partnership agreements with top Brazilian universities and government agencies, which has substantially increased student interest in USC,” said Anthony Bailey, vice provost for global initiatives. USC applications from Brazil saw a record increase from 181 for admission in fall 2013 to 428 for fall 2014.

USC has established partnerships in Brazil with Fundação Getulio Vargas, the country’s top private university; Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil’s top research foundation; the State of São Paulo; the University of São Paulo and the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education in support of the Brazil Scientific Mobility program, which provides full scholarships to high-achieving Brazilian students.

By this fall, the number of Latin American students attending USC will have more than doubled since USC President C. L. Max Nikias and Provost Elizabeth Garrett took office in 2010 when Latin America became a top priority for university engagement.

Last week, top officials from Mexico visited USC, including Jose Antonio Meade, Mexican secretary of foreign affairs; Sergio Alcocer, under-secretary for North American affairs; and Carlos Sada, consul general of Mexico in Los Angeles, to initiate exploratory discussions and further strengthen ties. Nikias will host a high-level USC delegation to Mexico in spring 2015.

Global engagement

Other USC Latin American fellowship programs and partnership agreements have been established over the past few years with the National Council of Science of Technology of Mexico, the National Autonomous University of Mexico and The Bank of Mexico Fund for Development of Human Resources.

In Colombia, a recently established joint graduate loan-scholarship program provides tuition assistance to students at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and master’s students at the USC School of Architecture.

Two of the inaugural USC International Artists Fellowships went to Frederico Fernandez of Brazil and Jacinto Astiazarán of Mexico. Fernandez, who is pursuing an MFA in fine arts from the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, hopes to continue his street art while making as many animated films as possible. Astiazarán, who is pursuing an MFA at the USC Roski School of Art and Design, combines his multidisciplinary work involving dance and performance along with his video artistry.

For 12 years, USC has topped the list of U.S. colleges and universities with the most international students, according to the Institute of International Education. The university has also been one of the top recipients of Fulbright grants for students. In 2013, USC sent 12 scholars to various international locales for a year of study.

The Brazilian delegation included visitors from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Federal University of Rio Grande Norte, the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education, the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Federal University of Parana, Federal University of ABC, São Paulo State University, the Consulate General of Brazil in Los Angeles, Federal University of Itajuba, State University of Norte Fluminense, Federal Centers of Technological Education — Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian Ministry of Education, Federal University of Ceará, Fulbright Commission in Brazil and the Institute of International Education.

USC’s global presence encompasses offices in Mexico (Mexico City), Brazil (São Paulo), China (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing), Taiwan (Taipei), South Korea (Seoul) and India (Mumbai). USC’s office in Brazil is led by Paulo Rodrigues.

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