|Name: Bruno Emanuel Ferreira de Sousa Correia
Year of Birth: 1980
Place of birth: Coimbra, Portugal
City of residence: Seattle, Washington, USA
Years in the US: 8 months
Undergraduate Degree: Chemistry
Current professional status: PhD Student at the University of Washington
Research interests: Computational Biology Protein Design / HIV vaccine design
Best career achievement: Still to come...
To be or not to be an immigrant in the US
What brought you to the USA?
First I came to experience a research environment known as one of the best in the world. Second, I wanted to know more about a culture, different in so many ways, from most of the European cultures.
Name the three most valuable lessons you have learned in this country (at work or not).
In the work context, until a certain extent, the idea is: Lets do it and then well think about it. The importance of a National Health System, either working efficiently or not. How subjective can be the definition of poverty or what is a basic need, regarding the cultural/economical context.
Are you planning to go back to Portugal? Why/Why not?
Im certainly planning to go somewhere closer to Portugal, but I dont know where or when. It is attractive the idea of going back to your native environment, closer to family and friends, and to be able to pursue the romantic idea of making your country a better place. The why not answer is based on the competitive global societies that we live in. Portugal doesnt need exclusively Portuguese people to achieve higher standards of quality, but it will need the best, regardless of their nationalities. Summarizing my idea is, if you are Portuguese and useful to your country, perfect, other than that you might as well just follow a different route.
What conditions (other than salary) do you have here that you do not have in Portugal?
In my particular research field the intellectual environment is outstanding. The surrounding infrastructures regarding a research group in the U.S. are very professional, allowing almost full time dedication of researchers to their scientific work. The funding available for research is in a completely different scale. The scientific networking and consortiums are more popular, which in my perspective can be critical for the success of any scientific activity.
What do you think Portugal is still better at?
Portugal is very good at raising highly motivated people, with a very sharp sense of how to find alternatives to solve problems. Also, I think Portugal is better at taking care of social issues such as people in poverty or the elderly.
What would you like to see changed in the Portuguese educational system?
In my opinion the Teacher position should be re-enforced, contrary to what has been happening in the past years, students should know who has the control, and respect it. Only teachers with vocation should teach, due to the importance of their roll. Cultivating a thinking culture opposing to a memorizing one, should be the main aim of teachers and scholar programs. Students should have part-time jobs. This would enrich the general life experience, helping to make better choices. Finally, the idea that is possible to achieve success without hard work has to be changed.
The daily life in the US
|Favourite news from Portugal:
||Publico, Visao, Sabado
|Ideal weekend program in your US city:
||Start Saturday morning, Downtown Seattle at the Pike Place Market, having a coffee in the oldest Starbucks in the world and enjoying the handcraft of local artists. Afterwards take the water taxi to Alki beach, which will give a different perspective of the city. Back to downtown, to the Paramount theatre to see a good concert, and finish in Belltown to have a drink. On Sunday, wake up early to spend all day hiking on Mount Rainier.
Unfortunately, so far I havent found any official Portuguese Community in Seattle. But most likely, the Microsoft neighbourhood is the one that holds more Portuguese people.