American college students are not as mature as their Brazilian counterparts because they have so little direct contact with the problems of their society, according to several of the Brazilian students now completing a two-week stay at Harvard.
Adilson Dallari explained that Brazilian students are more likely to be concerned with the social and political problems of their country, since conditions are not as good as in the U.S.
He added that because of their small numbers, students in Brazil are considered an "elite" group. This makes them particularly conscious of the role they will play in their government, he said.
The 100 students have been living in Lowell House and hearing lectures by Harvard professors on American society and on aspects of Brazilian economic development. They are visiting the U.S. under a program sponsored by the Inter-American University Foundation.
Almost all the students thought the part of the program dealing with America was very good. They were particularly impressed with the liberal orientation at Harvard.
Many thought the second half of the program was inadequate, however. "It is just as impossible for an American with a necessarily limited view of Brazil to give viable solutions for problems there as it would be for a Brazilian to suggest solutions for such a difficult problem as civil rights" Dallari said.