Meet Martin Copello, Sophomore in Electrical Engineering
August 22, 2012

“The Copellos have arrived!” That’s the welcome Martin Copello and his family received from the International Services staff at the University of South Florida when they set first foot on campus. “I immediately knew I had made the right decision. This is where I belonged.”

Martin Copello with Marnie Hauser, Director, Office of Orientation

An international student from Maracaibo, Venezuela, Martin Copello will begin his sophomore year this fall. Majoring in Electrical Engineering, Martin says his decision to come to USF fell far from his initial plan to study abroad. “I thought it would be a good experience to study in another country, but I wanted to go north, I wanted a change in weather.” However, on the recommendation of his high school academic advisor who had visited the campus, Martin took a chance and applied to USF. “It was a shot in the dark, but I hit the bull’s eye,” he said.

From the start, Martin and his family had a good feeling about USF. An only child, he says his family was worried about sending him away at such a young age and had a million questions for the International Services staff who responded to every email. Keeping his options open, Martin toyed with the idea of transferring to another university but says, after a year at USF “no way”.

Talking about being an undergraduate at an international university, his experience is similar to most international students. Initially overwhelmed by the new environment, the new faces and an unfamiliar American grading system, Martin says he coped by keeping an open mind. During the summer, he worked as an Orientation Team Leader helping guide this year’s new students transition to USF.

Having had an incredible experience living on campus in his first year, Martin wants to continue to live in the dorms. As for academics, he says so far every class he has taken has been taught by excellent faculty. “Most faculty are easily accessible, labs are well-equipped and you have all that you need when you need it.”

A member of the Biology Club, Real Men Read, Circle K Leadership Organization, University Film & Video Association and Engineers for a Sustainable World, he makes the most of USF’s extra-curricular clubs. “The great thing about USF is being able to balance academics with social life.”

Martin’s membership interests tie well into the future he has planned for himself. Inspired by his father who is also an Electric Engineer, he is now contemplating double majoring in economics. “I watched my dad progress from the field to administration. My ultimate goal is to own a company and be independent.” He envisions a company that produces clean energy sources like solar panels. “I want to be one of those people who take a stand to change the world. And I want to travel. Everywhere.”