By Jayette Bolinski | Illinois Watchdog
SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn is in Brazil this week, promoting Illinois tourism and a plan to bring Brazilian students to study at the state’s universities.
Quinn’s campaign fund is picking up the cost of the trip, although additional expenses could be incurred by the state. Accompanying Quinn on the trip are state Sen. Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago; officials from state colleges; and various executives from Illinois-based companies.
Quinn announced Tuesday an effort to bring more Brazilian college students to Illinois for one year to study science, technology, engineering and math in Brazil’s “Science Without Borders” program. His initiative includes scholarships and internships supplied by Illinois companies Motorola, Ingredion and Tate & Lyle.
“As one of the world’s largest economies, Brazil is an important partner for Illinois as we expand our relationships overseas and boost our global competitiveness,” Quinn said in a statement.
On Monday, Quinn urged Brazilians to visit Illinois and Chicago, saying, “Illinois offers Brazilians an authentic American experience.” He cited the Chicago lakefront, President Abraham Lincoln, the Mississippi River and historic Route 66.
Illinois had 56,000 Brazilian visitors in 2011, according to state figures.
Quinn also is meeting with various business leaders and industry groups in Brazil. He will be there for six days. His other overseas trips this year include Spain, Belgium and Canada.