Bom dia a todos!!
As I walked out of Old Main on Friday of last week, after my last class for the day, it was really surreal to think that it was the last time I would be walking on campus until March. I know that I am going to miss my friends and family, but I feel that studying abroad in Brazil is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I think that it is going to be an amazing experience that will help me learn not only about a new culture, but also about myself.
Throughout the past five weeks of winter term, I have been taking three classes, all of which pertain to Brazil…including History, Art, and Political Science. After taking these classes along with the Brazil seminar (where we have been learning Portuguese and learning how to samba!) I am excited to experience a very lively and colorful culture, which can be seen by looking at the people, the environment, the food, and the arts.
As excited as I am, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I am also very nervous and a tad bit paranoid because while we have learned about the beauty of Brazil and its people, we have also learned about pick-pocketing, violence, danger from the sun, and not being able to drink the water.
All of this information has been a bit overwhelming for me over the past few weeks, so I have decided to take the approach of: prepare for the worst and hope for the best. As one of our guest speakers told us in the seminar, it’s really all about common sense, and what’s really nice about going with about 40 other students and 4 professors is that we have already formed a kind of family….we have already talked about how we are all going to look after one another and I feel like I already share a bond with all of these people, a lot of whom I have met for the first time in my classes for Brazil.
Anyways, it is going to a be a growing experience for me step out of the ‘Augie Bubble’ and since I am going to be a visitor in a new country, I am going to do my best to fully embrace the culture: I will attempt to speak Portuguese (yikes!!), avoid handshakes and go straight for the hug and kiss on the cheek (as is custom in Brazil), do the samba (no matter how foolish I look), and while I will be taking as many pictures as I possibly can, I will be sure to NOT simply hide behind my camera.