Student in Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian Studies wins trip for academic excellence

York University’s Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) has announced Beatriz Aguiar as the 2018-19 recipient of the Portuguese Gives You Wings award, sponsored by Azores Airlines.

This award aims to recognize academic excellence in an elementary Portuguese language course (POR1000). Aguiar excelled in Portuguese 1000, earning a final grade of A+. The award is a free trip to the beautiful region of the Azores, Portugal.

Aguiar, an international student from Bermuda, is currently pursuing an honours degree in psychology. Learning Portuguese at York has been an enjoyable experience for her.

Beatriz Aguiar

Beatriz Aguiar

“Because I was born in Azores, I took this course in order to better understand my family’s language and to be able to connect with my relatives along with my culture,” she said. “I found the course to be a wonderful and quite enjoyable experience as the material was quite easy to understand since the professor made everything so clear to her students when explaining the concepts. I found it extremely helpful when we would apply our knowledge of the language frequently in the form of speaking to our colleagues and the professor. I would definitely recommend this course to any student that is interested in learning Portuguese.”

Aguiar, like other students in the past (since 2016, when this award was launched), will soon experience life in the Azores, an archipelago widely recognized by UNESCO and National Geographic, among other agencies, for its natural beauty, ecological and sustainable development. It is known for its açorianidade, a term coined by 20th century Azorean intellectual Vitorino Nemésio, which stands for the particular identity of its inhabitants. The Azores islands are also well known as one of the hypotheses for the location of the lost continent of Atlantis.

This award is representative of the program’s efforts to provide students from first to final year with significant and meaningful opportunities to engage with the language. It offers a privileged space designed to stimulate not only language interaction, but also the sense of belonging to a wider global community while valuing cultural difference and the richness of a language within its regional variations.

Azores Airlines is a conglomerate dedicated to the aviation industry. Founded in 1941, the head office is located in Ponta Delgada, on the island of São Miguel, Azores. With representation in several countries, it boasts over 80 destinations, with international, national and island routes. Azores Airlines’ principles, based on values such as quality, professionalism, punctuality and hospitality, also feature the company’s commitment to collaborative initiatives, such as this award, as well as any others destined to promote the Portuguese language. Azores Airlines in Canada is also a valued community partner of the program’s advanced experiential education course called Language in Context: Portuguese in the Greater Toronto Area.

The official award ceremony will tentatively take place in October at York.

More information about this and other awards and scholarships in Portuguese can be found at portuguese.dlll.laps.yorku.ca/students/program-awards.

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