Home Away From Home

Hey, guys! My name is Maria Cecília, but I’m most known as Cece. I am an international student at Kent State from Brazil, majoring in architecture, and I will be graduating in 2025 with my bachelor’s degree.

Maria in a group photo

I am part of the American Academy program, which is a dual enrollment program between Kent State and PUCPR (a university in Curitiba, Brazil). In the American Academy, we have classes with Kent State professors that travel to Brazil to teach us for the first two years, then we graduate with our associate degree. After those two years, we then have the option to either come to Kent State to pursue our majors or we can choose to finish school in Brazil.

The best part of this program is being able to come to the U.S. with all my friends, allowing us to have a close Brazilian community, which has become a family to us.

Due to the fact that we all come to Kent together, the transition was much easier because most of my friends had been here for a semester before I came, and were able to help me get settled and used to the new environment. Kent has also been an amazing part of this transition, making us all feel welcome and making sure we have everything we need. 

Arriving in Kent was a huge change. I came in January, so it started with all the snow and cold weather, which is a huge contrast with where I’m from, especially because in January, it’s summer in Brazil. Also, because of COVID, most of my college experience happened virtually, so I had to get used to the university environment and in-person classes again. In the beginning it was hard to grasp so many changes at once, but I got the hang of it.

Maria in a group photo

Being in architecture, I do have to put in a lot of time and effort into school, which can be hard sometimes, but my passion for architecture is what keeps me motivated. That same passion is what inspired me to become an Ambassador for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED). I have always liked being involved with the school and leadership positions, as it makes me feel more included. 

I also hope that my passion for what I do can inspire other people to pursue their dreams.

Being an ambassador, I’m able to meet hundreds of young people looking to pursue the same path as I am, and I like being a resource for them to be able to get an insider perspective on the degree and ask questions, the same questions that I wish I was able to ask in my educational journey. I found this opportunity on the Kent State Handshake website, and it immediately caught my attention.

As an ambassador, we attend events like Open Houses and Future Flash Days, and we are there to give people a student’s perspective of the CAED, as well as helping to organize and set up the events. It is an amazing opportunity to be more involved with the school and the faculty, as well as enabling you to know things about the program that a regular student probably wouldn't know or even look into. 

My life in Kent has been an amazing and crazy experience, but my favorite memories are for sure with my friends.

Maria at Dix Stadium

I have a family here, and we support and love each other more than anything. Also, I have met some amazing people in the architecture program who have become super important for me, and our bond is for life. It doesn’t matter the situation, I know that both my Brazilian and American friends will be here for me and have been here for me.

If you are considering attending Kent State, my advice for you is to follow your heart. Kent has seriously been a magical place for me, and I will always remember the amazing time I had here. I would and I do recommend Kent for everyone who asks me, because coming here was the biggest and best decision I have made.

Admissions Student Blog

POSTED: Saturday, April 1, 2023 09:28 AM
UPDATED: Thursday, May 23, 2024 01:37 AM
Maria Ribeiro