Graduate Students Share Experiences with Global Scholar Exchange program at Kent State

The School of Communication Studies hosts three exchange students from Lisbon, Portugal this semester who are participating in the Global Scholar Exchange program. 

Maria Pimentel is a first-year graduate student focusing her studies on media and journalism. She received a degree in advertising and marketing from the IADE Creative University in Lisbon. She hopes to work in advertising for entertainment television upon graduation. 

“I finished my undergraduate degree and wanted to travel to the United States and Kent State was the only program I could find with an exchange program,” Pimentel said. 

Carlota Godinho is a second-year communication graduate student with a concentration in organizational studies. She has a degree in communication studies from Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) in Lisbon and hopes to develop a healthcare communication system for Portugal. Manuel Machado is a first-year graduate student focusing on media and journalism. He has a law degree from Nova University in Lisbon and plans to work for a national or international newspaper or television news show upon graduation. 

“I prefer American education by far more than Portugal’s,” Pimentel said. “It has showed me a whole new way of learning.”

The three students all said they were overwhelmed at first when they started classes at Kent State because in Portugal, professors just lecture with little interaction in class. 

“I enjoy the professors here because our point-of-view is appreciated and they motivate us to speak up,” Pimentel said.

Godinho also explained how in Portugal, students don’t have the same class all semester. Students go through modules for several weeks and then the class is complete. 

“We have readings to do, but not as many as here,” Machado said. “It is not necessary to read them before a class, because we are evaluated on them by the end of the semester, usually with the final paper.” 

The students appreciate how small the classes are and the fact that you get more of a well-round understanding on the subjects in the U.S. 

“In Portugal, professors tend to be less receptive to a student’s different point-of-view,” Godinho said. “As a student, one needs to carefully and precisely justify a different opinion.”

After completing the Global Scholar Exchange program, the students hope to have gained more knowledge about communication and the American culture, and experience a new way of thinking. The students are very thankful for this opportunity that UPC and Kent State has provided for them. 

The Global Scholar Exchange program in the School of Communication Studies is a two-year collaborative program offering students the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts degree in communication studies while exploring and learning a new culture. Students enrolled in the program spend a semester abroad either studying at UPC or at Kent State. 

The structure of program is broken down as follows: During the first semester students from both cohorts remain at their home institutions. In the second semester, Portuguese students arrive at Kent State and take courses here. In the third semester, Kent State students study abroad in Lisbon and take course at UPC. During the last semester, students finish their remaining course at their home institutions. 

For more information on the Global Scholar Exchange program visit, 


POSTED: Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 8:52am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 12:44pm
Rachel Gill