Ian's Study Abroad - Rio de Janeiro

Spring Semester 2015 it is my goal to do a Study Abroad  in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Going there will complete my International Business Minor (My major is Supply Chain Management).  Study Abroad programs are very expensive and I estimate mine to be near $20,000 everything included. I have been accepted to all programs so now I am raising as much money as I can to pay for it.  I worked 60 hrs/week all summer to raise as much money as I could.  My financial aid covers a portion but not enough.  To tell you a little more about why I decided to go to University in Rio, here is my statement of purpose essay:

           “Adventure is something you seek for pleasure or even profit...but experience is what really happens to you in the long run, the truth that finally overtakes you.”  This quote by Katherine Anne Porter, expresses some of my hopes for my opportunity to study in Brazil.  I am very grateful, nervous, and excited at the thought of surrounding myself in the culture, the language, and the academic setting in Rio de Janeiro.
           I have many goals I would like to achieve during my experience abroad.  Regarding cultural immersion, I cannot wait to be surrounded by a whole new lifestyle.  I love learning about other cultures and experiencing one first hand will be an amazing opportunity. I find the Brazilian Portuguese language to be very beautiful and I have been studying it for the past year in preparation for spending time in Brazil.  To be proficient in a second language is essential for successful international business relations, and with my basic knowledge of Portuguese already, I feel I will be fluent by the time I return from my study abroad.  Brazil is quickly becoming a big player in international business, and I plan to be a part of this global growth.
          In regards to my career, my courses at IUPERJ will satisfy 12/16 credits toward my International Business minor.  This minor compliments my Supply Chain Management major and is very important for my resume. I would love to someday have a career where I work between Brazil and the United States.
            Academics are extremely important to me.  I settle for nothing less than a 4.0 and plan to continue this excellence while in school abroad.
          While school is my main focus, there are many personal experiences I would like to have while in my new home.  I have a passion for nature and the outdoors.  With a beautiful area like Rio, I cannot wait to explore the amazing forests, parks, waterfalls, and of course, the famous Cristo Redentor statue.  I want to have an experience full of new customs, foods, friends, colleagues and adventures. I plan to create many lasting friendships and business connections that will be important for my social life in a new city, and my career in the future.  
           In addition,  I am excited to see many of my close family friends that live there.  Two years ago, my family hosted a foreign exchange student named Maria Dias.  Maria lived with our family for a school year and it was a life changing experience for all of us.  She came to us a complete stranger and I now consider her my sister.  Maria is from Rio de Janeiro, and as she described her beautiful home in Brazil, along with all the benefits and amazing new things she learned while in the United States, she really inspired me to include studying abroad as a part of my own education.  Our families grew very close while she was with us and it will be wonderful to have this support system in close proximity while I am away from my own family.
            In conclusion, Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” As the world becomes more and more connected, it is each of our responsibility to broaden our horizons and adapt to a changing world. I hope to gain many positive results from my time studying abroad. I hope to fall in love with the city, the people, and the culture of my new home. I hope to build my resume, my minor, my career and my business connections. I hope to speak the beautiful Portuguese language and ultimately, I hope to have a unique and positive experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

For info about my program take a quick visit to the website!


Thank you for reading!!
Any and all donations are VERY appreciated and will go to a great cause of helping me further my education and career. Thank you!!!
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Ian Smyth 
Plymouth, MI
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