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New Program for undergraduate students of Political Science, International Relations and Journalism


12/08/2008 15h31 - última modificação 12/08/2008 15h33




Dear Brazilian Undergraduate Students of Political Science, International Relations and Journalism,

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Brazil is pleased to announce an opportunity for 20 undergraduate students of political science, international relations and journalism to observe the 2008 Presidential Elections in the US.

The Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy will start receiving the applications on August 15, 2008 on our website: www.usembassyprograms.org.br. More information will be posted there when the site is active.

The deadline for applications is Sunday, September 14, 2008.  Applications received after September 14 will not be considered.


General Program Description

This message solicits applications from Brazilian undergraduate students of political science, international relations and journalism for a two-week program at the North Carolina State University about the US electoral process. Selected students will be able to observe the 2008 Presidential elections.  Deadline for candidate applications to be received by the US Embassy in Brasília is Sunday, September 14, 2008; applications received after that date will not be considered.  Participants must be fluent in English.


The program will include:

·       Special seminars for the participants

·       Access to numerous undergraduate political science courses

·       Personal contact with key policy makers and a variety of citizens during site visits

·       A debate of the issues moderated by political science faculty

·       A special election symposium and an election night results event, and

·       A three-day educational tour of Washington, D.C. 

This program will take place at the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina for a group of 20 Brazilian students of the courses mentioned above. The selected students will travel to the US on the 25th of October and will return to Brazil on the 8th of November.

Regional diversity is a priority so applicants from all regions of Brazil are encouraged to apply. 


Program Details

I.      Objectives and learning Outcomes

Overall program objectives include: 1) an exciting cross-cultural experience for the students; 2) lead the students in exploring and engaging the U.S. election process at all levels during the exciting campaign season; 3) promote understanding of current U.S. political issues, how local and national campaigns are waged, and how the voting public views the elections; and 4) assist the students in observing how various cultural institutions in a diverse population impact and are impacted by our electoral process. 

II.     Academic Components

The first week of the program will focus on in-class academic components with specialized lectures, a choice of different political science courses in which the program participants can participate, and thought-provoking site visits. In the second week, the students will shift their focus to learning by participation, visiting two different voting stations (in different ethnic neighborhoods), interacting and viewing the televised results with politically active students on campus, and traveling to Washington D.C. for cultural visits after the elections.


Other Essential Program Information:

A.      Program Funding: The U.S. Department of State will cover all participant costs, including: program administration; international and domestic travel and ground transportation; books; cultural programs, and incidental allowances; housing and subsistence as well as health insurance.

B.      Housing and Meal Arrangements: Students will be housed in a recently renovated hotel. Each participant will be in a shared room with one bathroom per room. Students will be given a Campus ID card that will serve as a library card, transportation access to city and campus busses, gym and pool access, and will also have money for meals embedded in the magnetic strip on the back. Students can choose their own meals so participants with dietary restrictions or preferences have the choice of choosing any one of the several on-campus dining halls and fast food restaurants. 

C.      Program Requirements and Restrictions: Participants are expected to participate fully in the program.  They are expected to attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings.  Candidates should be aware that the program is very intensive and that there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.  This should not be viewed as a research program.  Family members and/or friends cannot accompany participants on any part of the program.   Similarly, participants will not be allowed to leave the program to visit relatives or friends while in the U.S.  Under no circumstances are participants allowed to arrive in the U.S. prior to the start date of the program or remain in the U.S. after its end date.  Violations of host institution rules or local, state or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.  

D.      English Language Ability: All candidates should be proficient in English so that they can be an active participant in the academic program.  Proof of fluency must be presented with the application (TELP or TOEFL test scores. Addresses of testing centers: www.fulbright.org.br/estude2.html). Exceptions will be analyzed on a case by case basis.

E.      U.S. Visa: The Embassy will facilitate applications for a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa.  Selected applicants are responsible for obtaining a valid Brazilian passport.


Candidate Description and Qualifications:

A.      Candidates should be highly-motivated undergraduate students in their second or later year of study (at time of application) from Brazilian universities who are interested in understanding the US electoral system.

B.      Candidates will be selected from the courses of political science, international relations and journalism.  

C.      Candidates must have strong speaking and reading skills in English, to be demonstrated by test scores (see above). 

D.      Candidates with little or no prior experience in the U.S. or elsewhere outside of Brazil are encouraged to apply.

E.      Candidates from all regions of Brazil are encouraged to apply. 


Other Factors for Consideration:

Please be advised that this program is highly competitive.

The following factors will be used in selecting participants. 

The clarity with which an applicant addresses each of these factors will strongly influence a candidate's chance of selection. 

·       Personal Statement: In order to get a better sense of potential participants' motivations and goals, the Department of State requests that each applicant provide a short personal statement (maximum one page) indicating why he or she is interested in participating in the program and what he or she expects to get out of the experience.

·       Future Study or Career Plans: This statement will provide additional perspective on how the program will benefit the student. (Maximum one paragraph)

·       English Language Ability: It is imperative that all candidates demonstrate English language fluency. This is a rigorous and demanding program; participants will be expected to handle substantial reading assignments in English and to be full and active participants in all seminar and panel discussions. English fluency is vital to a successful experience in this program.

·       Academic achievement: University transcript and any special academic honors received. 



Please fill out your application online: www.usembassyprograms.org.br no later than Sunday, September 14, 2008. The website will be available to receive applications on August 15, 2008.

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