Cedars: International Student Spotlight

By Jewell Strock

Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth-largest country in the world by land area and population. Brazil has a rich cultural heritage influenced by a blend of indigenous, Portuguese, African, and other European cultures.

 Elisa Araujo is a junior accounting major who has lived in Brazil her whole life and has moved across Brazil multiple times.  Araujo loves the beaches, the culture, the food, and the people in Brazil.

 “I love the people. They are warm and friendly people,” Araujo said. “They are pretty similar to the people here at Cedarville.” 

Choosing a Christian college was something that Araujo knew she wanted to do. Her parents supported her coming to America to attend Cedarville University, and she got a few scholarships and financial support from her parents. 

“We don’t have Christian colleges in Brazil at all,” Araujo said. “That’s not a thing. They [Brazil] can be a little against Christianity. It’s a privilege to be here and learn from a Christian educational university.”

Before attending Cedarville, Araujo had visited Ohio multiple times in her life and was used to the changes in weather, but living multiple years in Ohio required her to adapt even more. Living on campus, Araujo has had to adjust to a colder climate. She learned to layer, bought boots and coats, and began drinking hot tea.

One of the main differences between life in Brazil versus life in Ohio was the population. Living in a city.

“I was comfortable walking everywhere and using public transportation,” Araujo said. “Now it’s a bit more difficult because Cedarville isn’t a big city. But it isn’t too bad because if I get a ride to Columbus or Cinncinati, I am back in a city.”

Transitioning to life at Cedarville was difficult for Araujo, as it has been for other international students. Mrs. Ayers and Mrs. Reed in the International Students Office have been a massive help to international students arriving at Cedarville. Professors and friends have also helped Araujo adjust to living in the States. 

“My friends have been a huge help,” Araujo said. “I have quite a few American friends in general. On breaks, I go to their houses, and although I don’t have that family here, I do have available friends. There is a professor that speaks my language, and his wife knows how to make food from my country. It’s  nice to sit down with someone and speak your language with a homemade dish that your mom might have made.”

Araujo has appreciated having ALT nights celebrating part of her culture, such as the World Cup. She also will bring coffee from Brazil and clothing for her friends to share her culture with them. She also enjoys different organizations on campus that celebrate a variety of cultures. 

Araujo loves both Brazil and Cedarville. She wishes everyone could visit Brazil. 

“I would definitely recommend Brazil,” Araujo said. “It is a really beautiful, wonderful country.” 

Jewell Strock is a senior International Studies major & journalist for Cedars. She enjoys matcha, rainy weather, writing, traveling, & Jane Austen.

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