Recently, one of our dual-degree students, Anthony T. Scott, MPA ’16, IM ’16, emailed us about his first week abroad (and his summer in Baltimore, Maryland). Tony is currently studying in São Paulo at Fundação Getulio Vargas Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo, which is one of the leading academic institutions in Latin America. I won’t give too much away in his letter below, but he’s having a blast!
Hi Family & Friends,
I’ve arrived safely and soundly in São Paulo, Brazil! I’ve been here less than a week, but I’m beginning to feel more settled. I’ve spent most of my time just getting all the documentation I need to be recognized as a legal student entitled to things as basic as a cell phone number—the bureaucracy is daunting, but I’ll concede Americans don’t make it easy for foreign students either…on purpose!!
Baltimore. I had a great experience working for the Finance Department. I really learned something new every day about Baltimore’s financial and economic development struggles that are both structural (out of its direct control) and political (within its control). My boss offered me a job, as did another manager I got to know in the Housing department. (I did a lot of informational interviews during the summer. *smile*)
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also gave me a shout out in her email to the entire City government (which I really did not anticipate when I was asked to quickly write up something)! Check out my official photo of as a 2015 Mayoral Fellow here.
São Paulo. Well, where do I start? As I mentioned, I’m safe and sound. I have an awesome host family, in a beautiful home (in Pacaembu neighborhood) that is walking distance to where I take language classes at night (PUC-SP), and it’s a 30-minute bus ride from where I take my master-level classes (FGV-EAESP). (The cityscape is the first photo above.) My master’s program is focused on international business management, which is already fitting very well with what I learned at the Finance department. (Context: Neither working at the Finance Department, nor pursuing this private-sector focused master’s program were my first choices, so it’s amazing to see those experiences fitting very well. God is good.)
The food is great, and fresh. The people are super kind and helpful. (When I got my cell phone, the guy was able to make my last four digits my birth year to help me remember it better!) I feel like I’m adjusting well. It’s a big city with a lot of inequality, so property theft is a big concern, but I’m from Baltimore, so I can deal. *smile…and then a frown* I can only understand half of what is said to me, but I know from previous experience that this is normal, and will get better.
God-willing, I’ll be home for Christmas!