Brazil Scientific Mobility Undergraduate Program in the United States (2012)

In July 2011, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced the creation of a new scholarship program known as Ciência sem Fronteiras, a multiyear initiative to send 75,000 fully funded Brazilian students abroad for training in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, with an additional 25,000 scholarships expected to be funded by the private sector.

The program was created to promote scientific research, invest in and fund educational resources within Brazil and outside of the country, increase international cooperation in science and technology, and initiate and engage students in a global dialogue through international education. Scholarships are available for students to study in their choice of one of more than 12 countries. The United States currently hosts the largest number of these Brazilian students, followed by France, Portugal, and Spain.

This IIE briefing paper presents findings from an analysis of the first year of the program in the United States.

Report Highlights:

  • According to the report, 1,954 Brazilian undergraduate scholarship students have been placed at 238 U.S. host institutions in 46 U.S. states as of the fall 2012 semester. The program is projected to enroll 2,500 students per academic year for the next five years of the program.
  • Nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of the students are enrolled in engineering and computer science courses, specifically in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer sciences, industrial engineering, and chemical engineering.
  • The top five U.S. host states are: California, New York, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio.
  • The leading U.S. host institutions are University of California – Davis, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Iowa State University, University of Colorado – Boulder, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, and Western Michigan University, each hosting more than 30 Brazilian undergraduate scholarship students.
  • Nearly one-third (31 percent) of students participated in internships, and IIE has identified nearly 100 corporate partners/internship hosts so far, including major global corporations such as Amgen, Boeing, Cargill, DuPont, GE, and Praxair.