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Lehman College

Study Abroad


Carolina Hamuche
Exchange Medical Student from Faculdade de Ciências Médicas Santa Casa de São Paulo, Brazil 

Carolina Hamuche“Visiting Lehman and the Graduate Center as a part of the Pesquisadores do Futuro program for seven weeks has been an amazing experience. I was able to explore New York and understand how culture manifests itself as a valuable part in the field of research, as well as in patient care. Coming from a psychological and medical background, from Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo, I mainly observed in firsthand the differences and similarities of how research is approached in both countries, having the opportunity of meeting great researchers and professors, as well as learn about EEG and other valuable instruments.

My visit to the Lehman’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic was very welcoming and certainly reflected the care and engagement of the clinicians and students involved. I was also able to attend classes, such as Anatomy and Physiology of Speech, Research Methods and Aphasia, and interact with students from different backgrounds. This experience has been an important part of my academic, professional and personal goals, and I will always be grateful for the professors, faculty members and students that I met during this program from Lehman College, the CUNY Graduate Center and Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo.” 


Miya Wilson
Student, Masters of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Lehman College

Miya Wilson“Working and collaborating with students from Brazil has been one of the highlights of my graduate degree experience. With Shelly, a Speech-Language Pathology student from Brazil, we presented a poster at the 2022 ASHA Convention in New Orleans about Language screening and linguistic and cultural diversity. I enjoyed our weekly meetings to prepare for the presentation and learn about Brazilian culture. I am now working with another student on an article summarizing the experience of these cultural exchange experiences. 

There were several benefits from interacting and working with students from Brazil. For example, I gained an appreciation for other cultures as well as my own, developed collaborative skills to work as a team with others, and I developed the capacity to adapt to any environment and learn to communicate and express myself better. 

I hope future students will continue this tradition of these exchange programs and gain valuable experience as I did.” 


Leandra Furchi M.A. CF-SLP S
tudent, Masters of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Lehman College
Virtual Study Abroad

Leandra Furchi “I had the opportunity to study abroad in a virtual pilot run in Spring 2021. I honestly did not know what to expect during this experience since I was part of the first group of students to participate in this virtual exchange between Lehman College and the University of Sao Paulo during Covid. As part of this experience, I was able to expand my knowledge in the area of dysphagia and immerse myself in literature reviews and evidence based-practices. I had the opportunity to provide a critical review of a dysphagia screener that was currently being used by the fonos (SLPs) at the University of Sao Paulo. Overall, I was able to establish a better understanding of dysphagia, its several etiologies, associated risks, the role of a speech-language pathologist, the importance of screeners and identification, and intervention approaches. I participated in weekly hospital debriefings that allowed me to listen and learn about several different etiologies and their medical treatment protocols which included burn patients, cleft lip/palate, facial palsy, and progressive nervous system disorders. It was a pleasure working with and learning from my exchange partner Juliana, Prof. Ana, Prof. Claudia, and the other students at the University of Sao Paulo. They made sure to make me feel welcomed and included at all moments. Furthermore, this experience allowed me to become more comfortable with the Portuguese language. Being a child of parents, both born in Brazil, this was an honor not only for myself but to my parents as well; the University of Sao Paulo is one of the best universities in all of Latin America.

This experience contributed to my growth both individually and as a clinician. I want to thank Dr. Fortunato-Tavares for offering this amazing opportunity. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the faculty members at Lehman College and University of Sao Paulo for making this experience possible. I will always remember this experience!” 


Shelly Lagus
Exchange Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences student from Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

Shelly Lagus“In 2020, I was one of the Brazilian hostesses of the Lehman Speech students in Brazil. It was such a valuable experience for me: I could learn about speech-language pathology in the USA, some differences between our practices, as well as make friends that I have until today. Later that year, I was very lucky to receive a grant from FAPESP to visit Lehman College’s Clinic, so I had the best of both worlds to host and to be hosted! A Lehman alumni, from the 2020 visit, hosted me in NY, and I was received with open arms by everyone. All students and professors were really happy to explain everything, let me participate on some sessions and lab meetings. I started a research with Dr. Fortunato-Tavares, and after some months she introduced me to Miya, a master student that was going to work on the study with us. That was a wonderful surprise that allowed me to continue learning with this culture interchange, even after I left. This opportunity changed my life as the “Shelly” and as the SLP I'm today, and I am filled with gratitude.” 


In the Summer of 2019, our second cohort of students from our Master's program participated on the Brazil trip. This time, led by Dr. Peggy Conner and Professor Caroline Spelman, our students Cecilia Bolger, Jennifer Meza, Yurico Soriano, and Leheiddy Tamarez spent over two weeks at Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo. They all had the opportunity to follow many interesting cases at different settings at Hospital das Clínicas, ranging from ambulatory to intensive care, from neonates to seniors, all under the support of Professor Claudia Andrade and the clinicians of the hospital and the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Course at Faculdade de Medicina of Universidade de São Paulo. Specialty clinics included cleft palate, face and neck burns, oral-facial motor disturbances, fluency disorders, sleep apnea, and adult neurogenic and swallowing disorders.










Summer 2018 was the inaugural clinical experience abroad offered by the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Lehman College. Our Department has an international agreement through Lehman College with the Medical School of Universidade de São Paulo. Three of our graduate students (Amanda Starr, Kathy Velasco, Mabel Estevez) and two of our faculty members (Mira Goral and Talita Fortunato-Tavares) were in Sao Paulo for 20 days and spent most of their time at Hospital ds Clínicas, the largest hospital in Latin America. The Medical School of Universidade de Sao Paulo provided housing for Lehman students and faculty and they were given the opportunity to see many interesting cases of facial palsy, cleft, head and neck cancer, dysphagia across the lifespan, severe burns, progressive nervous system disorders, and facial and dental abnormalities in both outpatient and inpatient settings. Students of the Speech-language-hearing sciences program of Universidade de São Paulo generously planned cultural activities for the weekends. The opportunity to collaborate, work, and share cultural perspectives with the speech-language pathology students, professionals, and faculty at Universidade de São Paulo was invaluable. Our department is currently working on expanding the number of agreements with different countries so our students have immersion opportunities for their clinical development, including cultural competency.

Lehman students and faculty at the Hospital das Clinicas,
Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil

“Studying abroad, even if is only for a short period of time, is one of the best ways to foster personal and academic growth. I honestly did not know what to expect during this trip since we were the first group of students who participated in this exchange between Lehman College and the University of Sao Paulo. As part of this trip, we had the opportunity to be at the hospital and get hands-on experiences with the patients. We learned about the different assessment and treatment protocols that Speech Language Pathologists use and how culture affects the interactions between patients and clinicians. The people I met, the places I saw and the relationships that were built during this trip are invaluable. Life was different in those two weeks but different in the best kind of way. The constant support of the students and faculty at University of Sao Paulo made me feel like I was returning back home as opposed to arriving to a different country. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the professors and faculty members at Lehman College and University of Sao Paulo for making this amazing experience possible.”

Mabel Estevez
Graduate Student, Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences
Lehman College

“This professionally and culturally immersive experience at the University of São Paulo’s Hospital das Clínicas enhanced my understanding of the speech-language pathologist’s role in a variety of medical specialties. In both outpatient and inpatient settings, I observed and interacted with patients who were being treated for a host of different etiologies including severe burns, progressive nervous system disorders, cleft lip/palate, cerebrovascular disease, and congenital disorders. While becoming familiar with several medical treatment protocols, I also gained an invaluable perspective on cultural competence in a different country. Across age groups and disorders, the clinicians were highly skilled in educating their diverse patients, who travelled from national and international regions to seek the best medical treatment. This experience also fulfilled my personal interest in becoming fluent in Brazilian Portuguese, as I had learned the language previously as an undergraduate student and with Brazilian friends.
This international practica has undoubtedly contributed to my growth as an individual and clinician. I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Fortunato-Tavares for guiding us in her home country and in the hospital and to the delightful and hospitable students, fonos (speech pathologists), and professors from the University of São Paulo!”

Kathy Velasco,
Graduate Student, Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences
Lehman College

Lehman and Universidade de Sao Paulo students exchanging experiences while on cultural activities in Sao Paulo, Brazil

For more information contact Talita Fortunato-Tavares, Assistant Professor, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Lehman College