Luana Sueko Peres - Discovery

“Do you know that feeling when you are exactly where you are suppose to be? That is how I feel here and now,” said Luana Sueko Peres, a Brazilian exchange student at N.C. A&T State University.

When Peres first learn about studying abroad she instantly knew that she wanted to do it.

“This was always a dream I had but I thought it was impossible. I never had the money to do it so I worked, studied and kept on with my life,” she said

Although Peres thought her dream of studying abroad would never come true she continued to study other cultures. She studied languages—Japanese , Esperanto and Spanish and learned to speak English and  French. One day while speaking with her internship boss, Peres realized that her dream wasn’t so farfetched.

“To think that a little girl’s dream was reachable was unbelievable. So I kept trying until I got here,” she said.

Originally Peres wanted to go to Europe but was unable to make it. Her exceptional TOEFL scores led her study abroad program to convince her to look into other study destinations.

“I read about the Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I noticed that this could be a very unique experience so I jumped in,” she said.

Peres picked three universities and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University was at the top of her list.

“N.C. A&T was my first option because it was big enough for me to have a taste of everything but small enough for me not to get lost in the crowd,” Peres said. “I was satisfied with the academic level of my field of study and I checked the activities I could do. I felt like I wanted to be here.”

Since starting her study Peres has noticed academic, cultural and lifestyle differences between being the United States and her life in her home country.

“It is interesting because the academic system in Brazil is very different. I could have a four hour class there, which is something that will never happen here. The homework here is way longer, so you study by yourself. That’s good to develop our abilities to solve problems, and learn things by ourselves,” Peres explained.

“I wouldn’t judge one system better than the other,” she said, “it’s just different.”

In Brazil, Peres is used to greeting friends with kisses on the cheek. She also notices the differences in the way both cultures interact with others.

“People here are open and at the same time reserved. If I sit in the table with you and you want to hear it, I might tell about my whole life,” she said.

Through her experiences Peres is learning more about herself. She is also a member of the flag football team.

“It is good to see how I adapt to the cultural differences,” she said. “I think that we naturally become more kind to other people because of the new challenges we’re facing. We start to know ourselves better. I believe that in a few years I will still be seeing results in my life related to this experience.”

As for her goals, she plans to continue to strive for the things that she wants.

“The moment you give up is the moment when you don’t even deserve to win,” she said.

Points of Pride