Opportunities abound in Brazil for Lewis students

The success of last year’s trip to Japan on a Latin American Initiation grant, caused Dr. Frank Rose and Dr. Ian Gladding from the College of Business to search for learning opportunities for Lewis students in Brazil over the 2010 summer.
Due to existing relationships and LaSallian connections, Brazil was an obvious choice.  It is one of the booming and developing countries in the world, along with Russia, India and China, according to Gladding.
The purpose for exploring Brazil was to experience the way Brazilians manage businesses and how this knowledge could benefit the university.  Rose and Gladding visited businesses, government agencies and the LaSallian universities during their stay.  They traveled to Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro.
“I have never been there before; it was very different,” said Gladding.  “People were very friendly; a lot more people spoke English than I expected.  People were working very hard.  It seemed more like Europe than South America.”
The three cities were completely different.  Sao Paulo is mainly a business center; Porto Alegre is known for immigrants living in separate communities, such as having Italian towns and German towns and Rio de Janeiro has luxurious beaches.
The College of Business is organizing the trip to Brazil for students next May.  Gladding expects to visit the three cities and the sister LaSallian schools.
“There’s really interesting learning opportunities in Brazil for everyone,” said Gladding.
Rose and Gladding were invited to a meeting of American and Brazilian companies to discuss environmental sustainability, which might interest science-related majors.  Nursing majors will also have opportunities in Brazil.  There’s a need to improve health care.  Volunteer workers will have a chance to assist poor communities with education.
Gladding suggested that he is “trying to develop a program for these countries where we bring students from all different backgrounds.”
Another reason for traveling to Brazil was to open opportunities for local businesses.  Educating companies in the community with international relations, and placing students in the positions to assist with these connections will provide future job opportunities.
“I had a bunch of experience in Asia and living in different parts of the world.  I came back here to give something back, and I do this by sharing my experiences with young people so that they can do better with their lives,” said Gladding.  “I’m passionate about it.”
Gladding is currently raising money for scholarships for these international programs, and will be arranging fundraisers for the May trip.  For more information about this program, contact Gladding at gladdiia@lewisu.edu or call (815) 836-5221.

The Lewis Flyer

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