UMass Dartmouth and the Camões Institute for Cooperation and Language of Portugal have renewed a fellowship agreement.

The three year agreement was signed Thursday at the Dartmouth campus, and allows the Camões Institute to offer three teaching fellowships in the UMass Deparmtent of Portuguese Graduate program.

Program Director, Victor Mendes, says the continuation is vitally important. "If we don't find ways of being aware of each other between Massachusetts and Portugal, this relationship will die," says Mendes.

Portugal's Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs, Teresa Ribeiro, tells WBSM News the program has helped Portuguese-American students learn more about their own heritage. "Once they started to dominate this, in a way, and to study and better understand what this heritage means it is a cause for enrichment," said Secretary Ribeiro.

UMass Dartmouth and the Camões Institute will match funding to support the three year continuation of the program.