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Andre Assumpcao is a global grad from São Paulo, Brazil. He is a third year doctoral student in Public Policy and his research area is political economy of development, with a particular focus on corruption, governance, and electoral systems.

1. What made you choose UNC/NC when deciding on a program/place to study?

I applied to UNC because of the quality of faculty in my department and because of the lifestyle in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. The Department of Public Policy is on the rise nationally and I felt like I could grow professionally along with faculty and fellow graduate students. I really made up my mind about coming, however, when I visited Chapel Hill in the spring of my admission and confirmed that this was a great place to live.

2. What is the most different thing you’ve seen or experienced since being here in comparison to your home country?

I really like how people are generally very polite and respectful here. We are never short of “excuse me” and “thank you”.

3. What is something you wish you had known before moving here?

I guess there is not anything in particular I wish I had known before coming here, but I have to say I am still shocked by how much stuff you only find out when we are actually living here. From grocery shopping to doing your taxes, nothing beats tips from local folks on how to go about getting something done.

  1. Where is a place in your home country that every tourist should visit and why?

Rio de Janeiro, hands down. I do not think I have travelled enough to make a judgement on the most beautiful places on Earth, but I have heard from friends that Rio and Cape Town are the only places in the world with mountains and the beach by each other.

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