July: My american life as a J1 Trainee is coming to an end

Summer is a season of adventure, and this year, my summer marks the end of the JI Trainee program cycle. This opportunity took me on a remarkable journey as a trainee at Hoos Davis Architecture in the United States. As a young Brazilian architect, this opportunity allows me to expand my architectural horizons and gain a fresh perspective on design and building techniques.

In this post, I will share my journey highlights, describe the most exciting cultural experience I’ve had during my visit to the USA, provide advice for others interested in similar programs, discuss the impact of this program on my future career and life goals, highlight surprising aspects of American culture, and delve into the most meaningful experience of my program.

Journey Highlights

During this experience, I was able to travel all over Florida and experience the variety that the state could provide.

North Florida is completely different from the South, cultural-wise. I had the opportunity to spend the Fourth of July in Jacksonville and feel all the southern hospitality from the North of Florida. Completely different from the South, in which South and Central American cultures are much more presented and influenced. The same is when we compare the east coast from the state with the west coast.

I have already embarked on a memorable trip to Tampa to visit some friends over there. Tampa reminded me of my hometown, Sao Paulo, with its vibrant atmosphere, diverse options for entertainment, and fascinating tourist attractions. One of my favorite memories from Tampa was attending the Saint Patrick Parade, which evoked the joy and energy reminiscent of the Brazilian carnival at the beginning of the year. The festive atmosphere, the lively truck parades, and the people dancing and celebrating together created a memorable experience.

Among all my adventures so far, the most exciting cultural experience was my visit to Washington DC. I had always been drawn to this city due to its historical significance and its role as the center of American governance. Exploring the historical landmarks and understanding how Americans interpret their history provided profound insights.

One particular highlight was my visit to Ford’s Theater, where Abraham Lincoln was shot. The guided tour immersed me in the context of that pivotal historical moment. Additionally, the museum in the house across the street offered detailed information about the events leading up to Lincoln’s assassination, providing a deeper understanding of this significant event in American history.

My advice

For those considering similar programs, my advice would be to be brave and seize the opportunity. Going beyond your comfort zone is where growth happens. The process may present challenges, such as navigating bureaucratic procedures or encountering unexpected setbacks like the one I faced right before coming to USA with COVID-19.

However, perseverance and determination pay off in the end. Be prepared to devote time and effort to organizing the necessary documents and appointments and remember to stay positive throughout the process. At the end of the day, the journey will be rewarding, and you will be grateful for taking the leap.

My lessons learned

Furthermore, participating in this program will have a significant impact on my future career and life goals. Working as a trainee at Hoos Davis Architecture in the USA exposes me to a different architectural environment, providing me with valuable insights into architectural practices, design concepts, and building techniques. This exposure will broaden my perspective and enhance my skills, enabling me to approach architecture from a bigger picture standpoint.

Moreover, the cross-cultural experience and international networking opportunities will expand my professional connections and open doors for future collaborations and projects. Overall, this program will shape my career trajectory and contribute to my growth as a versatile architect.

Regarding the adaptation to a new culture, American culture has offered me several surprises during my visit. One aspect that stood out to me was the strong sense of national pride and identity. The history and achievements of the United States are celebrated, and this pride is evident in the way Americans express their patriotism.

Additionally, the diversity of American culture, with each state having its unique characteristics and traditions, fascinated me. Despite being a unified nation, the US embraces and celebrates its regional differences, fostering a rich tapestry of cultural experiences.

Among the multitude of experiences, the most meaningful one during my program was my visit to the Capitol Building in Washington DC. The grandeur of the building and its intricate architectural details left me in awe. Exploring the Capitol’s interior, particularly the great room, allowed me to appreciate the significance of the American government system and its democratic values. Despite the time constraint in the National Statuary Hall, the overall visit was an unforgettable and enlightening experience.


Therefore, this journey has already been filled with remarkable experiences and cultural immersion. From attending festivals in Tampa to exploring historical landmarks in Washington DC, each moment has contributed to my personal and professional growth.

I encourage others to embrace opportunities for international experiences, as they provide invaluable insights and broaden horizons. This program will undoubtedly shape my future career in architecture, allowing me to approach design and construction with a newfound perspective. As I move on, I eagerly look forward to the adventures and discoveries that lie ahead.

Stephany Altruda


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