World champion students return from Australia with a wealth of experience

World champion students return from Australia with a wealth of experience

It was very emotional this Saturday night (6) for 33 students from the State Education Network, who returned after an exchange of almost six months in Australia and were met by their parents and family at Afonso Pena airport in São José dos Pinhais – another 13 also landed in Foz do Iguaçu. They are part of the most recent group of exchange students from the 2024 edition of the Winning the World program who are returning to Paraná with diverse life experiences in their luggage.

The students had the opportunity during the last few months to study on a curriculum equivalent to high school in Brazil, in addition to improving their study of the English language and getting to know a new culture. The landing successfully ended the international learning journey of the teenagers, who were selected from more than 12 thousand candidates to study in 2023. The first 54 exchange students going to Australia landed in Curitiba at the end of June.

In total, a thousand students were selected in the 2024 edition, 250 for Australia, 400 for Canada, 50 for England and 250 students who are in New Zealand and will arrive in the State throughout this week, according to the head of the Department of Exchange of the State Department of Education (SEED), Marlon de Campos. “This week we closed the arrival of students who remained in New Zealand, completing the return of the 950 students who traveled between January and February, and in August, the last 50 students of this edition will travel to the United States,” he explained.

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According to Campos, the program has been improved since its creation to ensure that all exchange students have a positive experience in all aspects. “This is our fifth edition in this process of articulating, managing and caring for our students. It is very important that their experience is successful, happy and promotes learning, so the SEED team and the international teams and partners that accompany the teenagers work in synergy to make this happen”, said the head of the exchange department.

life experience – Thrilled to be reunited with her family, Maria Luiza Almeida, 16, from Turvo in the central region of Paraná, is looking forward to meeting her colleagues and friends and sharing her experience in Australia with them. “I was very nervous at first because of the language, but I managed to learn it well and met many new people, experienced habits and tried different foods. I can’t wait to go to school and tell them what happened, to encourage other people to achieve it too,” she said.

For Marcos Vinicius Bragança, 17, from Abatia, Norte Pioneiro, the exchange in Australia made him want to dedicate himself even more to studies and future international travels. “It was a magical, incredible thing. I had contact with animals, places, people, food and things that I never had in Brazil and that made me want to study more, pursue what I wanted, which is to see different places, even more now that I can understand and speak English better”, he said.

Also from Norte Pionero, but from Santo Antônio da Platina, 16-year-old Maria Eduarda da Silva valued the extensive cultural and linguistic knowledge she gained in just half a year. “It is difficult at first to deal with a new language, but people were very kind and it was an incredible experience, full of knowledge. It is a cultural experience that definitely changed my life a lot”, she revealed.

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Priscila de Fatima, 16, from Inácio Martins in the Center-South region, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to participate in Ganhando o Mundo. “It was an incredible experience that I never thought I would have, living in such a faraway country and with another culture for such a long time. I am grateful to have experienced this learning that made me a completely different person”, she said. “I hope to share what I experienced there here and, who knows, maybe one day I go back or bring some of the friends I made there to visit me,” Priscila added.

Program – Created in 2019 by the state government as a student exchange initiative, Ganando o Mundo has already taken 1,240 students from the state education network to English-speaking countries in North America, Europe and Oceania.

After the students, 96 teachers and pedagogues who took courses and instructors from the continuing education program “Formadores em Ação” were also included in the initiative, with the creation of the Gaining the World Teachers modality with exchanges from Canada and Finland. Later this year, it will be the turn of 200 state school managers for a two-week training in Chile, whose departure is scheduled for August.

Last week, SEED issued another call for Winning the World 2025. The supplemental call includes more than 12 names selected from 50 thousand candidates, making it the largest edition of the program to date. Students will leave for Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

On the same day, SEED also released the second supplementary call for the first edition of the Gaining the Agricultural World program, aimed at first grade students of technical courses in agriculture, agroforestry, forestry machine operation and agribusiness in the State Education Network. The destination is Iowa in the United States, recognized worldwide for its agricultural technology.

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About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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