Brazilian students in Melbourne have documented the city for a one-day exhibition, as part of a special internship program run by RMIT.
The project, produced under the School of Media and Communication Brazil Internship Program, involved 100 students finding elements of their home country in Melbourne.
Students showcased their work at an exhibition held at RMIT’s Design Hub, titled “I Found Brazil in Melbourne”, as well as on a custom built website.
Run by Stephen Joyce, Manager, Research and Enterprise at the School of Media and Communication, the internship was designed as a summer school for Brazilians studying in Melbourne under the Science Without Borders program, organised by the Brazilian Government.
“We recognised a unique opportunity to run a six-week intensive summer school for non-media students - largely from engineering,” Mr Joyce said.
“For the focus of the course I wanted to answer the question of what media and communication skills and abilities are fundamental to all future job paths and disciplines.”
Students focused on developing business and creative skills including professional writing, web development, photo-imaging, networking and pitching, social media for business, and communication across different cultures.
“The concept of ‘I found Brazil in Melbourne’ is not about what's different about Melbourne and Brazil, but in fact what is similar, or what ties the two cities despite their distance from each other,” Mr Joyce said.
Electrical engineering student Luiz Guimaraes Silva wanted to show people in his home town of Belo Horizonte, in Brazil’s south-east, the distinct system of Melbourne street lights structured to illuminate the city.
“One thing that got our attention was the street lights and illumination of the city in general, but mainly how dark some spots in the city are,” Mr Silvia said.
“With that in mind, my group decided it would be interesting to show people back in Brazil how Melbourne is illuminated, both practically and for decoration, and compare it to some cities in Brazil.”
This opportunity exposed him to a range of fascinating ideas within his field to consider when he returns to Brazil.
“It is really good to see how everything works in Australia, specifically energy generation, transmission and distribution, and comparing it with how everything is done in Brazil,” he said.
“Getting in touch with people all around the world in just one place such as Melbourne and, more specifically, RMIT was awesome.”
A number of universities across Australia host the Brazil Internship Program and it is expected that it will run again in the summer of 2015/16, with its success attracting participants even before this year’s course was complete.
“We were surprised to be contacted by the University of Melbourne at the start of January, half- way through the course, wondering if they could put 10 of their Brazilian students into our course for the last three weeks,” Mr Joyce said.
“Word had spread that our course was working well.”