USP iFriends is a volunteer program created by USP International Cooperation Office in order to improve the relationship between international students and the academic community. The USP iFriend (a regular undergraduate student at USP who signs up for the program) is responsible for this process.
What is an USP iFriend?
He/she is an undergraduate USP student who volunteers to collaborate on the reception of up to three exchange students.
What are the advantages of having an USP iFriend?
Universidade de São Paulo receives hundreds of students each year, which means, among other things, opportunities to practice other languages, make new friends, learn more about other cultures, as well as having contact with students from foreign universities. The USP iFriend will help the exchange student with cultural integration and overcome cultural stereotypes.
I am an undergraduate exchange student and I want to have an USP iFriend
If you are an undergraduate exchange student, your decision to sign up for the USP iFriends Program is made at the moment you submit your online application as an exchange student. In case someone becomes your iFriend, you will receive an e-mail with information on how to contact your iFriend (please check the e-mail you registered at our USP digital systems). If you are a graduate exchange student, please join our group on Facebook, where you will get in touch with many undergraduate and graduate USP students who are part of the program.
From June 18 up to August 10, 2018, subscriptions will be open for regular USP students who might add you as a contact. Please check your e-mail regularly.
What are the USP iFriend activities?
• AIRPORT – receiving the exchange student at the airport or finding ways to help him locate himself and go to his first destination (the hostel, house or the university);
• HOUSING – helping the exchange students to find housing. Since the USP iFriend knows the city, the location of the campus, the best places to live, he can take into consideration prices and other factors, according to the needs of the exchange student;
• LEGALIZATION OF THE STAY – taking the exchange student to the Brazilian Federal Police to attain the due legalization process.
• CULTURAL INTEGRATION – indicating the best options related to practical and immediate questions, at first, such as guiding the exchange student on how to use public transportation, how to go to the bank, to the post office and so on. Also, taking him to cultural activities such as cinemas, exhibitions, theaters, festivals, among others. All that will help the exchange student adapting himself to the Brazilian culture and daily life as quickly and as conveniently as possible.
The USP iFriend must welcome the exchange student at the airport and take him/ her to his/her new house, hostel or university. In case the USP friend isn’t able to do it, he/she must explain to the exchange student how to get to where he/she desires. The routes to the USP Campi are detailed at Student and Researcher´s Guide, designed by USP International Cooperation Office.
In regards to housing accommodation, the USP iFriend should indicate to the exchange student the best neighborhoods in São Paulo, taking into account prices and the distance from the University. The USP iFriend may as well offer his/her own house for the exchange student to stay.
When it comes to his/her stay in the country, the exchange student has one month to regularize it with Brazilian Federal Police. After this period, a penalty will be charged for each day of delay. The USP iFriend should help him/her with all necessary documents (the website of the Federal Police is available only in Portuguese!), as well as accompany him/her to the appointment at the Federal Police station.
Last but not least, we suggest the USP iFriend help the exchange student with the daily routine – using the public transportation, going to banks, post-offices, supermarkets – and to accompany him/her to cultural events.