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Internationalization

Publicado 10/18/2023, 9:50:20 AM, última modificação 2/21/2024, 4:50:50 PM
UTFPR-PB's exchange project in partnership with the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University began in 2020 and had more than 50 participants to date

Laisa Zych Langhinoti, Electrical Engineering student who is currently in Germany

The Pato Branco campus of the UTFPR strengthens its international ties through different exchange projects, including a significant collaboration with the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS), in Germany. This cooperation project, which began in 2020 and, since then, has had more than 50 participants from Germany and Brazil, is coordinated by professors Jean Patric da Costa, from the Academic Department of Electrical Engineering (DAELE) at UTFPR-PB and Marco Jung, from H-BRS.

The project aims to promote the exchange of students and teachers between Brazilian and German universities to enrich their academic and cultural experiences. One of the most notable approaches of this project is the offering of subjects taught simultaneously at both universities. This strategy promotes a significant knowledge and experience interchanging between students from both countries.

Furthermore, the partnership between UTFPR and H-BRS also seeks to facilitate collaboration in joint research projects with experts from both universities, taking advantage of the expertise and resources of each institution. As a result of this collaboration, some scientific articles in international cooperation have already been published and a few multi-user research laboratories have been established.

The benefits of cooperation extend to student exchange and academic mobility programs for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as employees of the institutions involved. Currently, a German student from H-BRS is applying for an exchange at UTFPR-PB. There is also a graduate student from UTFPR on an exchange funded by the German university.

The initiative also promotes the acquisition of specific knowledge in areas of expertise on the universities involved, encouraging students to delve deeper into fields that may not be available at their home universities. Furthermore, the project encourages learning the language and culture of the partner country in order to benefit students from both parties.

Furthermore, the following testimonials show that this experience prepares students to face global challenges, providing an international perspective in their education and helping them to develop communication and collaboration skills in multicultural contexts, as well as facilitating the creation of networks, international programs of internship, employment and research opportunities.


 Student Laisa Zych Langhinoti, from the Electrical Engineering course at UTFPR-PB, highlights that participating in the Control of Grid-connected Inverters subject allowed her to study current topics in a foreign language and have contact with professors interested in mobility programs between Universities: “As a student, I understand that the opportunity to study current topics within the academic environment and with supervision and support makes the learning process more focused and successful.”

Laisa is currently in Germany, interning at H-BRS and working in a research group whose interest is power converters for photovoltaic systems. Regarding her arrival and routine there, she points out: “During my internship, I am supervised by researchers, I participate in the routine of a research group and I work 20 hours a week. I was monitored by the International Office throughout the application process, including support from a student in the last year of the course. When I arrived I was greatly welcomed, I participated in integration events with other foreign students, I got to know the department, laboratories and the coordinator. The university enrolled me as a student and, because of this, I have benefits such as transport tickets, access to language courses and various discounts. Doing an international internship at a partner university allows me to continue my studies, experience another culture, immerse myself in both English and German and receive monthly and airfare assistance through DAAD/TOFI (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst / Take-Off4Internationalization).”

The Electrical Engineering academic, Marcelo Piveta, participated in the subject Advanced Topics in Analysis and Dynamic Systems, another of the subjects taught simultaneously at both universities, and says that it was a very enriching experience, from both an academic and professional point of view. “The opportunity to work together with foreign colleagues strengthened teamwork skills, as barriers such as different languages, time zones and different work methodologies needed to be overcome. The topics covered in the discipline are current and relevant, being applied in different areas. Personally, the topics discussed allowed for greater depth in relevant points of the dissertation. Furthermore, the interaction with colleagues from Germany contributed to the development of a collaboration that resulted in an article for an international journal that is nearing completion for publication.”

Currently, there is a permanent offer of one place per semester for applications from students on undergraduate courses in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering at the UTFPR Pato Branco Campus. The candidate can also apply for financial aid to cover the costs of travel tickets and undergraduate scholarships financed by the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - DAAD),  throught H-BRS’s Take-Off4Internationalisation (TOFI) project. There are also notices that allow applications for receiving financial support from UTFPR (those interested should contact Professor Jean Patric da Costa directly, at email: jpcosta@utfpr.edu.br).

To date, the main actions within the scope of this cooperation have focused on the research areas of the Postgraduate Program in Electrical and Computer Engineering – PPGEEC at UTFPR-PB. However, negotiations have already begun to expand actions in other areas of knowledge on the campus. The future goals of this agreement are being discussed remotely, but in-person meetings are also planned in order to detail the actions at both UTFPR-PB and H-BRS. With this in mind, a visit by the German university delegation to the UTFPR Pato Branco Campus is scheduled in February 2024.