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International Student of the Month - Dec. 2013 Francisco Gomes

Each month, Office of International Students and Scholars introduces one international student by highlighting their cultural background, personal experience in both home country and U.S. It is our hope that this mini introduction will help Lehigh community to have a better understanding of the international students and scholars on campus. We encourage every student to participate in this activity. If you would like to be featured, send your message to intnl@lehigh.edu.

This month, OISS Graduate Assistant, Amanda Shao, interviewed Francisco Gomes, an exchange student from Brazil. The following is the interview and pictures that Gomes shared with us.

Q: To begin with, tell me a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What are you studying here at Lehigh? What year are you? When will you graduate?

A: Well, my name is Francisco Gomes and I’m from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I’m currently studying Mechanical Engineering here at Lehigh. I’m not sure what year I’m in, but I would guess something between Junior and Senior. My expectations are to graduate before 2017, but who knows?

Q: So far, what do you think about Lehigh? Do you like the campus? The courses? The people? Your apartment?

A: Well, Lehigh has one of the most beautiful campuses I’ve ever seen in my life. When I first got here, my jaw just dropped, especially after visiting Linderman Library, which is my favorite building on campus, by the way. I only took 12 credits in this semester, so it’s hard for me to say something. However, I got a big disappointment with some of the classes I took. The people so far have been great to me, saved some minor exceptions. My apartment is awesome. I currently live in Trembley, and it’s a very good apartment. My roommates are very helpful and made me feel like home in no time.

Q: What kinds of classes are you taking?

A: I’m taking 4 courses this semester. Fluid Mechanics, Graphics for Engineering Design, Electromechanics and Introduction to Aerospace Engineering (by far, the coolest class I’ve had in my life.)

Q: So in this short new journey of discovering America in terms of the culture, language, ideals, and traditions, what have you discovered or learned about the American culture?

A: Americans are crazy. That’s basically it. They are very obsessed with some stuff, like GPAs and such. I find it very interesting how they give a lot of importance to sports here, also. The Lehigh-Laf game was impressively crowded. This just doesn’t happen where I come from.

Q: What is the most obvious difference between American culture and the culture in your home country?

A: Well, the campus is a big difference. However, our engineering labs have better equipment, I believe. The professors here, on the other hand, are WAY better than those in my university.

Q: Describe what daily life is like for you in your home country.

A: Well, it’s pretty boring. I live far from my university, so I have to take the subway to get there, and once there, our classes start at 8am and go until 6pm. So I don’t have a lot of time to do anything other than that.

Q: What are your hobbies? Interests?

A: I love cooking and video-games. Soccer and basketball define physical activities for me. Sleeping is always an interest for a university student too, I guess.

Q: What do you miss most about your home country?

A: My brother.

Q: Describe the food in your home country. What are the most popular dishes? Your favorite dish?

A: Food in Brazil is the reflection of each region. We have marvelous typical foods for every region you go. There’s feijoada, which is a dish made of beans and pork, pao de queijo, which is kind of cheese bread. I could go on talking about them forever. My favorite dish is feijoada and churrasco (which translates as barbecue, but the true one, not that thing you guys have where you grill hamburgers and hotdogs).



Pao de Queijo


Churrasco (Brazilian BBQ)

Q: If someone was going to visit your home country, what would you tell them to do there and where would you tell them to visit?

A: Ooooooh, I’m too bias on this one. Rio de Janeiro, my hometown, FOR SURE. There’s no better place to visit in Brazil than there. And try the caipirinhas, which is a drink made of sugar, limes and cachaca, our national drink.

Rio de Janeiro




Q: Is there anything else you would like everyone to know?

A: Yes, two things. First, Brazil is totally going to win next year’s world cup. And second, I can bet whatever you guys want that I’m going to look better on the picture than Stephen Liew did in the other month :)

The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, which will take place in Brazil. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition!


Office of International Students and Scholars • Lehigh University • 32 Sayre Drive, Coxe Hall, Bethlehem, PA 18015 • 610-758-4859 • Fax: 610-758-5156 • intnl@lehigh.edu
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