International Student Spotlight: Leandro Pires de Souza

February 13, 2015

Saint Leo University is happy to host this year our first student through the Science without Borders exchange program, Leandro Pires de Souza. The Science without Borders program, also known as the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP) is a non-degree program for Brazilian students to study abroad in the United States for one year, and is part of the Brazilian government-sponsored initiative to grant 100,000 Brazilian students the chance to study at colleges and universities across the world.

Leandro is from Campos dos Goytacazes in Brazil, a town north of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. He came to Saint Leo to supplement the computer science studies that he began—and will complete—at Fluminense Federal Institute.

During the 2014-2015 academic year, Leandro is at University Campus, taking a full academic load with courses such as computer architecture and decision support systems. Leandro is the first in his family to travel to the United States for study. He recalls that when he first thought about the exchange study opportunity with Science without Borders, he was intrigue, but also a bit hesitant at first to travel so far from home. But a college friend also wanted to apply for the program, and he was accepted for study at Purdue University in Indiana. The two regularly communicate and support each other’s efforts. Even better: They traveled together to California during the Christmas break to see headquarters campuses of Silicon Valley companies and other sites of interest.

Leandro was happy to return to Saint Leo in January, though. He enjoys the physical warmth of Florida, and the friendly, welcoming personalities he encounters at University Campus. Computer science faculty member Dr. Michael Moorman included Leandro in the Moorman family Thanksgiving celebration, where the Moorman family members found him “polite and charming,” just as in class.

After this year, Leandro will return to his home school to complete his undergraduate degree studies, and then hopes to work as a web applications developer. His goal matches precisely with the Brazilian government's Science Without Borders program, which supports promising students financially with scholarships for their yearlong programs of study at colleges and universities in the United States. Scholarships are awarded primarily to students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. In the United States, the program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), which matches student applicants with participating universities.