Name: Rita Damasceno de Campos Costa
Year of birth: 1981
Place of birth: Coimbra, Portugal
City of residence: Chicago
Years in the US: 1
Personal webpage/blog: http://andreinevanston.blogspot.com/
Undergraduate Degree: Economics (Faculdade Economia da UNL)
Post-graduate Degree: Masters in Public Policy, University of Chicago
Current professional status: Student
Research interests: Public Policy/ International Development
Best career achievement: Having had different work or study experiences in countries like Denmark, Russia and now, the United States (instead of staying in Portugal with a job for life).
To be or not to be an immigrant in the US
What brought you to the USA?
Boyfriend and the desire to go back to studying.
Name the three most valuable lessons you have learned in this country (at work or not).
To never be afraid of asking questions, how important the civil society can be and that it is important to make compliments to others every once in a while.
Are you planning to go back to Portugal? Why/Why not?
It is still too early to decide. Depends on the work opportunities I might have after finishing the masters.
How do you compare the working conditions between the USA and Portugal?
In the USA and more precisely, in the University of Chicago, I found the best conditions to pursue my graduate studies. The graduate programs are in general much better here than in Portugal. Moreover, there is no serious program in Public Policy in Portugal. At the University of Chicago, I have the chance to have the best professors in the field (some Nobel Prizes included) and to work with students and faculty from all over the world.
What do you think Portugal is still better at?
Food, being close to the family.
What would you like to see changed in the Portuguese educational system?
Here in the United States very good students have some advantages like scholarships, possibility of taking more advanced classes or skipping some exams. In Portugal, the system should be more like this in terms of better rewarding merit. Also, it should be less theoretical and more focused on preparing the students for the world outside the university.
The daily life in the US
|Favourite news from Portugal:
|Ideal weekend program in your US city:
||Summer: BBQ by Lake Michigan, dinner in Lincoln Park and attending one of the many free open-air concerts at Millenium Park. Winter: Walk down Michigan Avenue and finish at Ghirardellis to warm up and have a hot chocolate.