Improving Student Exchange between UFV and American Universities
Universidade Federal Viçosa’s program consisted of four activities: (a) undergraduate classes in English at UFV; (b) Portuguese training for U.S. students; (c) Creation of a UFV Ambassadors program in which UFV students help U.S. students become orientated with life at the university; and (d) English training for UFV students planning on studying abroad. UFV cited many successes in each of the program activities. Before offering classes in English, 18 faculty members participated in a course, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), which was offered and facilitated by the University of Queensland. The upcoming academic year introduced 4 upper-level courses taught in English (INF100: Intro to Programming; NUT339: Functional Foods – Microbiological, Nutritional & Health Aspects; FIP300: Plant Pathology I; and BQI100 – Fundamentals of Biochemistry); however, due to lack of student enrollment from UFV, only INF100 was offered at this level, which had 42 students, and the rest were cancelled. The primary reason cited for the low/no enrollment was that the English language level was far too advanced for UFV students. So for the summer semester, UFV offered 2 additional new courses but in Basic English (NUT35 – Special Topics on Nutrition & Food; TAL493 – Special Topics on Food Science & Technology), which resulted in a more successful turnout with 40 students enrolled in each course. As for the other activities, 38 students from the university’s U.S. partner institutions took Portuguese classes at UFV; the UFV Ambassadors Program interacted with and helped 68 U.S. students and 14 faculty members become acquainted with university life; and 1440 students (1080 proposed) took advantage of the free English classes offered. UFV plans to take the lessons learned from the program to develop more basic courses in English for UFV students and to also target the courses more so that it attracts interest from students coming from their U.S. partners.