Student Spotlight: Brazilian Freshmen Stay True to Texas Tech
They are the first graduates from the TTUISD program in Brazil to also enroll at the university.
Written by K'Leigh Bedingfield
Bruno Saliba Helmer and Victor Lima Castro dos Santos.
As college freshmen packed up their belongings and embarked on new adventures, two students from Brazil left their homes for the United States to begin college careers at Texas Tech University.
After earning their high school diplomas from Texas Tech University ISD (TTUISD), an online-based education program, they knew continuing at Texas Tech would be their foot in the door for a quality education.
Bruno Saliba Helmer, 18, and Victor Lima Castro dos Santos, 18, grew up in Brazil looking forward to studying in the U.S. It wasn’t until TTUISD they realized they could earn an American education from home.
“I always wanted to study in the U.S., and TTUISD allowed me to do so,” Helmer said. “I could see a big difference in the quality of education between Brazil and the United States.”
Texas Tech’s Presence in Brazil
Texas Tech University ISD enables students to earn their high school diplomas no matter where “here” is. Since its beginning in 1993, TTUISD has served more than 300,000 students from 54 countries and counting.
The K-12 education system provides print-based materials for elementary students and online-based materials for middle and high school students around the world. From champion surfers to actors/actresses, models and those who live in different parts of the world, students can earn their diplomas from any possible location.
One of TTUISD’s biggest international partnerships is with Brazil, where the school serves more than 2,000 students.
Helmer and Santos are the first two Brazilian students from TTUISD to enroll at Texas Tech for their college education.
“These young men are pioneers in choosing to come to our university from TTUISD’s Brazil program,” said Sam Oswald, executive director of TTUISD. “We are proud to have them attend Texas Tech this semester. We expect many more students to follow in their footsteps.”
The students, who are the first in their families to leave the country, had mixed feelings about leaving home but look forward to their futures.
“Unlike other students, we’re not able to just go home on the weekends,” Santos said. “It’s not easy to leave your family but we’re both still excited to be here.”
Home Away From Home
When they first arrived, they got a good dose of southern hospitality.
“Texans are seriously the best,” Helmer said. “They are a lot like Brazilians because of how friendly and warm they are. When I first arrived at Red Raider Camp everyone was so nice and welcoming to me.”
Helmer and Santos hope other students from Brazil will attend Texas Tech.
Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis has similar aspirations. After recently visiting the TTUISD program in Brazil, he was proud to see how excited Brazilian students are about Texas Tech.
“Diversity is something we strive for at Texas Tech,” Nellis said. “The TTUISD students in Brazil are so proud to be a part of this system, and I hope they continue to pursue higher education. With these two students bridging the gap between TTUISD in Brazil and Texas Tech, I look forward to more international students encouraged to do the same.”
Helmer and Santos credit TTUISD for their opportunities to attend Texas Tech. By graduating from the program in Brazil, they feel prepared for their college careers.
“Because of TTUISD and Texas Tech, I am living the dream,” Santos said. “Coming to Texas Tech is and will be a great experience. Whenever I look back after graduation, I will be able to say that everything was worth it. Earning a diploma with Texas Tech will give me a bright future.”
Texas Tech University Independent School District (TTUISD), part of Texas Tech's University College provides a comprehensive K-12 education.
Accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the elementary, middle and high schools provide a well-rounded curriculum written to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
If you are homeschooling or are unable to attend a public or private school and need a full-time K-12 distance learning option, consider TTUISD. A helpful, knowledgeable staff will guide you every step of the way.