Rafael Duarte

Chevening Officer

Part of Speakers' Corner

6th November 2013 Brasilia, Brazil

International Exchange: what is it good for?

Students at the Prior Park College, Bath
Knowledge is GREAT Britain – Prior Park College, Bath

A question that usually comes up when we talk about international exchange is: what is it good for? Exchange is, above all, about sharing. Different points of view, ideas, and cultures bring an important element to human knowledge: diversity. Great civilizations have their foundations in a mixture of different knowledge to produce knowledge in ancient times, like the Greek, Roman and Chinese. The present era  Brazil concentrates elements from virtually all continents in a cultural expression admired for its diversity and openness. The United Kingdom is one of the few places in the world where you can find examples of every culture in mankind nearby. So what international exchange is good for? To know more about the world and yourself, to access more knowledge and to be, above all, more diverse.

Once in the past I heard from a fellow professor that knowledge is one of the few human creations that when you share it with someone, it grows. And when people share knowledge and experiences, everyone can benefit from that. Studying abroad, from a language course to a PhD program, allows us having another look at the world we live in and what can we do about it. International exchange is, beyond any question, enhancing your knowledge. The more knowledge you have, the more ideas and opportunities there will be for you and , wider, to build better societies.

This is the reason for governments encourage people to do international exchange and  why universities have their international programmes to send and receive students and professors from other countries: to diversify knowledge production. It’s not a surprise that the best universities in the world don’t  just stand out for having the best professors or research structures, but because they can attract and harness human diversity to produce knowledge with people from all around the world.

Sharing this vision, the UK Government offers to 118 countries the Chevening Scholarships Programme, which for 30 years has given full funding for Master studies in any British university. This is  with the condition that the students have a clear idea to return to their countries and make the difference as a future leader after completing their courses. What for? To use the acquired knowledge to help their native societies to overcoming its challenges.

So, are you thinking about studying in UK? Here is an option: in the Chevening Brazil webpage you can find some alumni profiles like the Minister of Supreme Labour Court, Lelio Bentes, and André Lahoz Mendonça de Barros, Chief Editor of Exame Magazine to inspire you. It is also possible to apply for a scholarship: the deadline is November 15. I created the session Ask Chevening on Facebook to answer questions about the Program procedures, in Portuguese.

See you anywhere in the world!

About Rafael Duarte

Rafael Duarte is the Chevening Officer in Brazil since June, when he joined the embassy team. Previously he worked for 7 years as a professor in many universities in Brasilia…

Rafael Duarte is the Chevening Officer in Brazil since June, when he joined the embassy team. Previously he worked for 7 years as a professor in many universities in Brasilia and also as advisor for the Ministry of Health of Brazil. He is a specialist in International Cooperation, Science, Technology and Innovation and Foreign Policy. Born in the Brasilia, he also loves to play his percussion in jazz, samba and pop concerts with friends across the city.

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