I remember when I got accepted to come to IIT through the BSMP in mid-2014. I was at my mom’s house in a cape town in the coast of Brazil, sweating probably under over 100°F when I got the news that I was going to Chicago – to shiver under 0°F…

I got very excited and at the same time scared about the new challenges to come. Going to grad school was already a challenge, even more having to figure out a life in an actual big city for the first time. But I knew that all would be a great learning experience and I’d finish this journey with a few scratches and tons of new experiences to tell. And that was exactly what happened.

At IIT I could find a strong and diverse community. You know, mostly with Chinese, Indian and Brazilian students (we rule!). But still having a few people from many other countries, including the USA, and this diversity could make any simple conversation a discovery of truly new worlds.

I studied in another university in the USA before, just for one year. But over there, I don’t know why, I didn’t feel as comfortable as I did at IIT. Maybe it was the size (it had around 40,000 students), maybe I was younger and silly (sillier!). But whatever was the reason, I enjoyed more my stay at IIT.

I can say that the student organizations at IIT were a big contribution to that, as well as the general culture of the students on campus of being down-to-earth people. I like that. I’ve been part of many clubs/student organizations and even when I was not “a regular”, I always felt welcome in any group. The student organizations really help bringing people together, and this makes the college experience way more enjoyable.

Academically, I believe I learned a lot and I had a chance to improve myself as well. However, I believe that many classes and entire course curriculums should be updated. Not because the information is out-of-date but because the teaching method is. In the end, what matters is to know how to make decisions so we should have more stimuli on that. IIT could be even more amazing than it already is! Still, the overall academic experience was great and I will carry it with proud through my life, career and on my resume.

In the end, IIT it’s a very unique school with very special and talented people, students, faculty and staff. It is unique by itself, but it becomes even more special because it is in Chicago: a great city to live, learn and have fun.

I’ll be leaving back to Brazil soon and I know I’ll remember my time here as the best time of my life. That is amazing and scary at the same time. Amazing because I know how great it was and I feel grateful for having this experience, and scary because now I know how incredible things can be and I will have to work hard to keep it up from now on away from IIT and Chicago… I’ll miss this place!

MS in Food Process Engineering
Department of Food Safety and Health – IIT
Graduated May/2016.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Office of the Vice Provost, Student Access, Success and Diversity Initiatives.

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