The program of Portuguese & Luso-Brasilian Studies is pleased to announce that Christian Araujo has been awarded the inaugural Portuguese Gives You Wings award, sponsored by Azores Airlines.

This award aims at recognizing academic excellence in an Elementary Portuguese language class (POR1000).

Christian Araujo, winner of the Portuguese Gives You Wings award.

Christian excelled in Portuguese 1000 earning a final grade of A+.  He will receive a free trip to the beautiful region of the Azores, Portugal, courtesy of Azores Airlines.


Christian is currently completing a degree in Political Science and he is also a Global Ambassador for York International.  His love for the Portuguese language started while on an exchange in Australia.  There he met Brazilian colleagues and became interested in both the language and culture.  As a native speaker of Spanish, Christian knows that learning Portuguese will give him access to the entire Latin American continent as well as Europe and several immigrant communities and global destinations.  For him, learning a second or a third language is not an asset, but a necessity, adding substantial value to both his personal and professional life.


Learning Portuguese at York was for Christian more than simply attending another class, it was a quasi-immersion experience.  He felt exposed not only to the fundamentals of the language, but to the culture itself.  Reflecting back on his experience, he offered the following comments:


“Learning Portuguese at York is not limited to what's written on a textbook.  I                       learnt it through a set of real interactions - such as chatting with a pen-pal in                                    Brazil, participating in oral activities in every single class, and discussing                                interesting topics in the "Hora de falar Português" - that were carefully                              designed by the program of Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian Studies.  Professor                                     Inês Cardoso also played a key role in my experience. With her enthusiasm,                                dedication, professionalism, and love for the language, my colleagues and I                                 were able to learn Portuguese in a pleasant and stimulating environment.”


Christian will experience life in the Azores, an archipelago widely recognized by UNESCO and National Geographic, among other agencies, for its natural beauty, ecological and sustainable development and known for its açorianidade, a term coined by 20th century Azorean intellectual Vitorino Nemésio, that stands for the particular identity of its inhabitants.  The Azores islands are also well-known as one of the hypotheses for the location of the lost continent of Atlantis.


This award is representative of the overall program efforts to provide students from first to last year with significant and meaningful opportunities to engage with the language. It offers a privileged space designed to stimulate not only language interaction, but also the sense of belonging to a wider, global community while valuing cultural difference and the richness of a language within its regional variations.


Azores Airlines is a conglomerate dedicated to the aviation industry. Founded in 1941, the head office is located in Ponta Delgada, in the island of São Miguel, Azores. With representation in several countries, it boasts over eighty destinations, with international, national and island routes. Azores Airlines’ principles, based on values such as quality, professionalism, punctuality and hospitality, also feature the company’s commitment to collaborative initiatives, such as this award, as well as any others destined to promote the Portuguese language. Azores Airlines in Canada is also a valued community partner of the program’s advanced experiential education course: “Language in Context: Portuguese in the Greater Toronto Area”.


The award ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 7 at 2:30pm at the First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre, 60 Caledonia Rd, in Toronto.


Boa Viagem, Christian!  Live your education!