Brazilian and non-Brazilian students have an opportunity to learn, support and celebrate Brazilian culture by joining the Brazilian Student Organization (BOSSA).
Gabriel Goularte, president of BOSSA and senior in mechanical engineering, said the organization has helped more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students since it was created in 2017.
In four years, the organization has been able to connect more than 100 members, including Brazilians and non-Brazilians. The organization is known for its cultural events, bake sales and participation in many Iowa State events. According to Goularte, the main goal of the organization is to give support to Brazilian students and scholars as well as to promote and celebrate Brazilian culture.
“BOSSA has helped me since my freshman year," Goularte said. "I came to a new country without knowing anything or anyone, and finding the organization really gave me a light. I met all of my best friends there, and three years later, I decided to become president to help others as much as I was helped."
He added that becoming the president of the organization was a great opportunity to get out of his comfort zone and his closed group of friends and allowed him to get to know a lot of Brazilians that he had never even met before.
Due to COVID-19, BOSSA is not meeting in person this semester. However, according to Goularte, they still meet online every two weeks and are available to help anyone that needs help, especially during these challenging times.
Goularte explained that in order to keep a relationship with the members of BOSSA engaged with the organization, they have hosted various COVID-19-safe events.
“We’ve been doing outdoor activities following the protocols, and recently, we started playing volleyball as a bonding activity,” Goularte said.
Goularte said he isn’t sure what BOSSA will look like next semester as they are not certain of the future due to the ongoing pandemic, but he said that since next semester is going to be fully in person, the club is planning on returning with their regular activities as much as possible.
Goularte also said BOSSA is still working to recruit new members to join the organization. He said BOSSA works to help Brazilian students at Iowa State, but still, many students are unaware that the organization exists.
Goularte urges people to reach out with any questions they may have about BOSSA and that the organization is welcoming new members, regardless of nationality, with open arms.