Brazil comes to the Midlands this week, with 100 Brazilian students at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) organising Carnival celebrations.
The events kicked off today (Monday) with a lunchtime flash mob, which took place through the main canteen area on campus. Students spent last Friday making face masks for the event.
Tomorrow there will be an opportunity to taste Brazilian foods at lunchtime in the canteen, as well a mini-World Cup, which happens from 5-9pm in the John Count McCormack Hall.
Wednesday will see an exhibition of Brazilian dance in the canteen at lunchtime, while later on it’s movie night.
The samba continues on Thursday with a celebration of Brazilian music in the canteen from 1-2pm, with a mixed international volleyball game happening that evening.
Carnival concludes on Friday with the announcement of the winners of the International Society photo competition, as well as a Carnival party in Scribes bar on campus to bring proceedings to a conclusion.
Karl Turley, Coordinator of New and Emerging Markets at AIT, said: “Carnival at AIT looks like it’s going to be a fantastic celebration of Brazilian music, food, sport and life. We’re encouraging everyone to get involved, and so far the reaction has been fantastic.”
In autumn 2013, AIT welcomed 99 students from Brazil to study in Athlone under the Science Without Borders scheme.
This was the third largest intake of any institute of technology or university in Ireland of Brazilian students this year. Science Without Borders is an initiative of the Brazilian government to send students overseas to study at the world’s best higher education institutions.
The Athlone-based students are undertaking a variety of programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including English language studies, civil engineering, forensic toxicology and psychiatric nursing.
During their time in the Midlands to date, the students have visited Birr Castle and the Cliffs of Moher.
The initiative to attract Brazilian students to study in Irish Higher Education Institutions is supported by the Higher Education Authority, Enterprise Ireland, the Embassy of Ireland in Brazil and the Department of Education and Skills.
AIT has participated in a number of education exhibitions and events in Brazil with the support of government agencies and departments.