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Brazilian Midshipmen Visit U.S. Naval Academy

Posted on: March 05, 2014 08:00 EST by MCSN Nathan Wilkes

Two Brazilian exchange midshipmen visit the U.S. Naval Academy from Feb.22 to March 4 as part of an annual exchange program to gain experience working with other cultures and see firsthand what life is like for the U.S. midshipmen.

During the two-week visit, Midshipmen 1st Class Paulo Lage and Rodrajo Marques, from Rio de Janeiro, were absorbed into the Brigade of Midshipmen at the academy, attending classes, playing sports and interacting with the mids.

“It has been a wonderful experience," said Marques, the battalion commander at the Brazilian Naval School. "The academy is an excellent program, and its traditions are very interesting."

The Brazilian midshipmen chose their own classes, participating in the ones they thought would benefit them the most.

“The biggest difference is the kind of classes that we have here,” said Lage, the brigade commander at the Brazilian Naval School. “In Brazil our classes are the same based on your year. Here you can have two midshipmen of the same class year and same company, but they don’t have any classes together because they have different majors.”

Lage said the class style is also an important difference here.

“You have a lot of discussion in classes,” said Lage. “In Brazil we don’t have a lot of discussion. The teacher explains and teaches the lesson while we are listening.”

This opportunity has been amazing to see how male and female midshipmen here behave and interact with each other, said Lage.

“This is the first year our naval academy has accepted women,” said Marques. “In Brazil, because of the culture, we have never done this at our academy until now. We have learned a lot here about how we can work together.”

Lage said that although the U.S. and Brazil are different countries with different cultures, they found that midshipmen in Brazil and the U.S. are quite similar.

“We have seen that midshipmen appreciate their sports teams here as well as in Brazil,” said Lage. “We have something similar to the formations too – a little different, but the idea is the same. The midshipmen here joined us in everything that we’ve done. They gave all the support that we needed.”

Select U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen are scheduled to travel to the Brazilian Naval School in Rio de Janeiro during spring break as part of the exchange program. 

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