Student Spotlight: Julyanna D’Avila

Julyanna D’Avila

Julyanna D’Avila
Major: Transfer

Julyanna D’Avila earned a degree in Nutrition and a master’s in Sports Nutrition in her native Brazil. But she and her husband decided to move to the U.S. for several reasons.

“First of all, I wanted to learn English and improve my language skills, and the opportunity to study outside my country makes it faster and more complete,” she said. “English is not just a difference on the résumé. Fluency in the language has become a requirement for anyone who aspires to grow professionally in several areas in Brazil. Second, I would like to do another master’s degree and do this abroad. Third, my husband and I decided to invest some time outside Brazil because of problems with violence, corruption and poor quality of life that we experienced there. Studying in the U.S. is always a good investment.”

After moving to Chicago, D’Avila began taking English classes downtown. Then several professors suggested that she look into community colleges, so she researched local schools online and discovered College of DuPage. She then asked several people about the school and heard many positive opinions about the quality of education.

D’Avila started at COD by taking ESL classes, knowing she needed to do so before taking academic classes. She then finished her general education requirements, something that’s not part of the curriculum in Brazil.

“COD offers a variety of classes at different hours and locations. I usually took classes at Main Campus and at the Naperville Center, closer to my house,” she said.

She also worked two part-time jobs on campus – in Conference and Event Services and at the Library.

“These were wonderful experiences, where I could improve my English, learn new skills and, most important, make new friends,” she said. “I suggest this for all international students.”

While finishing at COD, D’Avila began taking classes at Dominican University, where she is also a dietetic intern. Once she completes her internship hours, she will sit for the registered dietician exam and then begin working, which she is eager to do.

“I’ve always been interested in helping people to stay healthy and happy with their bodies,” she said. “With my American degree and master’s, I am very interested to work in the children’s nutrition education field, providing interactive nutrition tools to teach children and parents and promote health. I also would like to work as a food health inspector at the supermarket and restaurants. There’s a difference between Brazilian and American food and health laws and I’m pretty confident with my experience and knowledge I will help my future clients to exceed expectations. 

“Whether I’m working here in the U.S. or in Brazil, it will be wonderful for my career to hold degrees in both countries.”

She would even enjoy becoming an adjunct at College of DuPage.

“I’d love to work in a place where I was treated with respect, where my previous experiences were valued, and where I was so well integrated,” she said.

D’Avila highly recommends College of DuPage for many reasons – the professors, excellent facilities, safety and comfort of campus, and most importantly the quality of education.

“I also suggest to the others international students to work as a volunteer. COD provides a list of institutions where you can find good opportunities to spend quality hours, creating a network, and also improving your English. If you're in doubt about your next classes, talk to your teachers too. They're helpful and they always advised and redirected me.”

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