Teo Vichinheski Nenes

Photo of Teo Vichinheski Nenes
Class of 2025
Major: Psychology & Sociology

Teo Vichinheski Nenes, a rising sophomore from Brazil, has never lived anywhere for longer than seven years. Majoring in psychology and sociology, he came to Walsh University looking forward to living in the United States and making new friends at Walsh.  Growing up, Teo’s parents were both educators who held jobs throughout the world including China, Egypt and Indonesia.   

“There were times I wished we could just stay in one place,” he said. “I changed schools a lot.  I’ve lived in different countries. I speak a bunch of languages.  I still, like anyone else, experience culture shock. But I found it easy to make friends at Walsh.  There’s a community here.  There’s a sense that you’re not alone, and if you want to meet new people, it’s not that hard.” 

Teo moved to China when he was five years old.  As a kindergartner, he learned to speak Mandarin.  Then, in third grade, he attended an international school where he perfected his English.  Seven years later, his family moved to Malaysia when his dad became a school principal.  After that, he went to school in Egypt and then finished high school in Indonesia.  Though he longed for stability, starting over in new places has challenged him to make the most of it and, without realizing it, has shown him that he is capable of fitting in anywhere.  He hopes to encourage other international students to embrace the change and meet new people on campus. 

“I’d like to see more interaction between our international students and American students. Normally, they stick with people who speak the same language,” he said.  “I made a point to meet Asian students on campus. Normally, you wouldn’t think a kid from Brazil would be able to share similar childhood experiences with Asian students, but we knew similar things about the area and shared some jokes.” 

One of the reasons he chose Walsh University was for the Blouin Scholars Program. This four-year program is designed to foster change-makers in the community and develop leaders in service to others.  It is a learning community of students who have a passion for making the world a better place. Blouin Scholars take classes with a cohort of similarly dedicated students. 

“Our topic is human trafficking and human exploitation,” he said. “It’s something I don’t have a lot of experience with but something we’ve been learning for the past year.  I definitely want to learn more about it and think of ways to solve it.” 

Teo is exploring sleep psychology as a possible career path.  He plans to continue his education and get his doctorate degree. 

“I’m still undecided, but I definitely want to do something to help people, whether it’s clinical or research,” he said. 

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