Berkeley College Honors Student from Brazil Embraces Opportunities to Learn, Grow, and Achieve

Friday, November 10, 2023
Contact: Kelly Depsee
Senior Director, Communications and External Relations

Baganha Berkeley

Photo Caption:
Isabela Baganha of São Paulo, Brazil, is one of nearly 300 international students at Berkeley College, representing 57 countries. Baganha is an Honors scholar, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications.

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Isabela Baganha came from São Paulo, Brazil, as a senior in high school. Now a first-year student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications at Berkeley College, Baganha is flourishing as an Honors scholar, a community volunteer, and a digital marketing intern. 

Baganha is one of nearly 300 international students at Berkeley College, representing 57 countries. 

From November 13 to 17, 2023, colleges and universities across the United States will celebrate International Education Week (IEW), a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. This year’s theme, “International Education is the Future,” promotes the programs that prepare global leaders to study, learn, and exchange enriching experiences. The week culminates with International Students Day on Friday, November 17. 

“International students add a unique perspective to the classroom and campus environment,” said Nori Jaffer, EdD, Vice President, International Division, Berkeley College. “International Education Week was established to acknowledge and celebrate our international students’ contributions to campus life.” 

Baganha was recently recognized at the 2023 Honors Scholars Research Symposium for Best Social Justice Paper. Her research was titled, “Universal Health Care in the U.S.: Breaking Barriers for a Healthy Future for All.” 

“When I think of Isabela, I’m struck by her positive and personable attitude, as well as her persistence and strong drive to learn,” said Michael Frew, Professor, English, Berkeley College Division of General Education. “Out of all of my fine students from last year’s Honors cohort, Isabela, I feel, grew the most as a writer and thinker. Witnessing her dramatic growth was very satisfying and heartening.” 

Baganha also was named Community Service MVP, volunteering 90 hours of service in a few short months, working with children at a local church and helping residents register to vote. 

“Community service is important because it is a way to give back to the community you love,” said Baganha, now a resident of Astoria in Queens, NY. “Even if your intention is to just help, you always end up learning something valuable in the service.” 

Baganha also works as a student aide at Berkeley College’s New York City campus, and holds a digital marketing internship with HeadCount, a nonprofit that promotes democracy through music and entertainment. 

Her advice to other international students is to speak up and get involved in order to build a supportive community. 

“One of the biggest challenges is that I constantly miss my family,” she said. “But Berkeley always makes me feel at home.” 

She added: “Ask when you have a question and never stay quiet. Most of the opportunities I have had came about because I asked if I could help someone.” 

Baganha International Berkeley

Photo Caption: Berkeley College student Isabela Baganha promotes voter registration as a digital marketing intern with HeadCount, a nonprofit that promotes democracy through music and entertainment. 

International Education Week at Berkeley College

Click here to see what International Education Week activities are being organized for Berkeley College students.

About Berkeley College 

Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College also offers Continuing Education programs to enhance career credentials. 

Berkeley College has campuses in New York City and in Newark, Woodbridge, and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 3,600 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for 10 consecutive years. Berkeley College was also ranked among the Best Regional Colleges/Universities in the North in the 2023-2024 edition of the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges survey. The website address is