From May 3, student applications from partner universities of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora – UFJF) for the Global July Program 2021 will begin. Global July will take place from July 12 to 23, entirely in digital format, due to the health emergency brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this edition, 44 courses will be offered for six areas of knowledge, in both undergraduate and graduate levels, in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese for foreigners. To participate, students must fill out this form by May 31. Registration for UFJF students will happen between June 1 and 30.
Created in 2017 by UFJF’s International Relations Office (DRI), the program brings together students and professors from various countries, and places UFJF as an interesting destination in Brazil, capable of offering seminars for professional development, study and research in periods of extracurricular activity. With a pioneering format in the country, the program offered 123 courses for all areas of knowledge, in six languages, in the three previous editions, with the presence of 54 foreign professors and 967 participants in total. The 2020 edition did not happen due to the pandemic. This year, the six areas will be divided into four blocks: Literature and Arts, Biological Sciences and Health, Humanities and Applied Social Sciences, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
With the edition being entirely online, the challenge will be to organize an event seeking to compensate for the absence of face-to-face interaction and focus on the positive points that the digital version offers, as evaluated by the dean of International Relations at UFJF, professor Anderson Bastos. “In addition, of course, to the possibility of participating in the event in complete safety, we expect broad participation from international students precisely because of the logistical and financial ease that an online event provides.”The duration of the event will also be affected by the remote mode. “We opted for a more compact version of Global July for 2021, held in two weeks and with shorter courses than usual,” explains Bastos. However, the director guarantees that the compact version will bring the same level of excellence in the content that will be offered.
In its origin, the structure of the short-term courses was developed with the support of an American institution and inspired by the summer courses offered by the University of Cambridge. One of the goals for the creation of this ambitious project is to reach a high level of internationalization for the institution, as explained by DRI officer Clarissa Campos, one of the creators of the program at UFJF. “In order to be truly effective, comprehensive and inclusive, the internationalization process needs to understand a much more extensive sense of multicultural and multilingual integration in global dimensions within the environment of education, of transnational academic collaboration and of shaping global citizens in an interdependent world. In addition, this digital format allows our campus to virtually expand to the entire world. ”
Howard University professor in the USA, Clement Akassi, who participated in previous editions, emphasizes the importance of internationalization promoted by the program. “Global July makes a significant contribution by internationalizing knowledge, teaching and scholarship. Which creates a sense of global exchanges, right there at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora. It is a unique experience in academia, enabling international connection between professors / scholars and students; and between professors / scholars themselves. Over the years, the team has shown outstanding organization skills and availability. It’s definitely exciting and worth the effort to be part of this experience”, points out Akassi, who this year will offer a course on Pensamientos y Prácticas Womanistas, on African Studies.
The aspect of promoting interculturality and the experience with other languages that Global July offers is remembered by student Flávia Guimarães, from the School of Pharmacy at UFJF and coordinator of the Buddy Project that welcomes international students at the institution. “The opportunity to get in touch with specific content in other languages was very important. In addition to learning the equivalent in other languages to the terms used in areas that I study, I was able to make contact with the teachers and colleagues who also participated”, she evaluates. This aspect also marked the experience of student Stéphanie Carias, from the School of Languages and Literature at UFJF and member of Em Rede, a student initiative project that carries out internationalization activities. “Being included in an environment with people speaking the language I study (Spanish), seeking to learn more about the topic and attending classes from professors who had a lot to contribute, showing their research and experiences, was very enriching.”
The courses are not mandatory and also aim to stimulate students’ interest in other areas of knowledge. The Italian Elena Pagni, visiting professor at UFJF and frequent lecturer at Global July, who this year will offer La presenza di Socrate nel pensiero del filosofo ceco Jan Patočka, emphasizes another relevant aspect in the offer of courses that cover all areas of knowledge. “This interdisciplinarity helps teachers to think about courses in a comprehensive way, spreading knowledge without limiting aspects. The event is also an opportunity to learn from foreign teachers, which also covers an intercultural view on a given topic, enriching its approach.” This view is shared by Les Keniston, professor at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, USA, who will also participate in Global July again. “For students it offers a risk-free opportunity to explore not only new areas of study but new perspectives from students and educators from around the world”, ponders Les, who will offer, this year, the course Theories and approaches in neurosciences.
The program based at the Brazilian university surpassed its own barriers and won the affection of students and professors from other countries as well. “For me, UFJF’s Global July is a dream realized. The deeper importance of such a free exchange of ideas is the confidence in humanity it inspires. As the pandemic has shown us so very cruelly, we need each other more than ever. Global July may be the easiest way I’ve ever seen to achieve a global viewpoint founded in real human interaction”, reflects Les Keniston.
The novelty this year, in addition to the online modality, is the partnership signed with UFJF School of Tourism’s junior company, Inova Rumos, with the purpose of presenting international students with tourist destinations close to the city of Juiz de Fora. The promotion of tourist activities will be offered when Global July happens again on-site, with destinations that seek to contemplate the different areas of knowledge so that it can enrich the student experience in Global July. As an example, we will travel to historical cities that chronicle the beginning of Brazilian society – Ouro Preto and Petrópolis -, the Inhotim Institute, the largest open-air contemporary art museum in the world that holds an important collection of Brazilian art, the Circuits Caminhos Verdes and Serras de Ibitipoca, suggestive immersion in Brazilian nature and biodiversity, and Usina Marmelos Zero Museum, a collection of the first hydroelectric plant in South America, built in 1889, in Juiz de Fora.
Dean Anderson Bastos leaves a message for students at UFJF’s international partner universities: “We want to welcome those students and reinforce that, although shorter than previous editions, Global July 2021 is being prepared with the same care as in previous years and that our goal is to hold another successful event with great learning opportunities in several areas of knowledge.”
For further information and inquiries about the event: firstname.lastname@example.org