Pedro Maia first met Linda Lopes Evangelista in their native Brazil. The two fell in love and years later are studying together at The University of Texas at Tyler.
When Maia’s father began working in Washington, D.C. as part of his job with the Brazilian Navy, Maia and Lopes Evangelista made the decision to attend college in the United States.
Scholarships in the area near the capital were extremely competitive, so when the two heard about the diversity of international programs in Texas, they began looking at colleges in the Lone Star State. Maia is studying electrical engineering, while Lopes Evangelista studies mechanical engineering.
Like thousands of international students before them, the two said they fell in love with the park-like atmosphere at UT Tyler. The college is home to hundreds of students from the international community. Citizens of 125 countries and two territories have called the college home, with more than 300 international students from 51 countries currently represented.
With just a year left in their studies, the two are now considering the masters programs UT Tyler offers in engineering.
In just four short years, the college’s Office of International Programs has helped the school see its international enrollment blossom. The current semester welcomed 91 new international students.
Costa Rica native Yanitza Davila Castillo came to UT Tyler because she wants to pursue a career in international business.
“I will be graduating this coming December and I feel very confident with my professional career,” she said. “I believe that with everything that I have learned here, I will able to add value to any company with my skills, talents and knowledge acquired in school.”
Davila Castillo is working on her Masters in Business Administration and also works part time for the school’s Intensive English Language Institute, which helps international students, as well as residents, perfect their English before they graduate.
More than half of the international students are pursuing graduate level degrees.
During the college’s inauguration for President Michael Tidwell on Tuesday, flags of all 51 countries will be represented, with the majority being carried by students from their respective countries.
The program also coordinates the college’s study abroad programs, helping students prepare for their time overseas as well as giving them the structure for the safety and security they need during travel.
The university is currently offering a weeklong travel study in Israel and a long-term study abroad option in Hatfield, England.
Each year in November, the college celebrates its diversity with International Education Week.
For more information, visit UTTyler.edu/OIP