Tulsa, Oklahoma 2021-09-16 03:12:48 –
I decided to study abroad in the summer before my 4th year of college. The short reason I decided to do this was because I knew that I would never have the opportunity to do this again in my life. Oh, and I chose Brazil, a country that has never experienced the main spoken language, Portuguese. When I got off the plane in Florianopolis after a 13-hour transit, I was completely impressed by the beauty around me. The mountains were on all sides, and the sea kissing the sky filled all the gaps in the horizon. The first few days were completely blurry. For those who are wondering if culture shock is real, that’s right. The night I arrived, I met all the other students in the program and had an all-day orientation for the next two days. After that, it was delivered to my host family with my roommate. So I started to adapt to Brazilian culture. I was very scared for the first few days, but that’s perfectly normal. But when I pushed my fear back and started taking some risks every day, something incredible happened. I have begun to grow in this new social structure that I have never experienced elsewhere.
I made sure that I had some adventure every day. Whether it’s a small one fishing in the river in the backyard of my homestay or a big one hiking over the mountains of Floripa to a secret beach, I’ve always tried to push myself. I also tried to use the little Portuguese I was learning every day and had great success (at least in my eyes). Three weeks later, I was able to discuss basic things about myself, such as what I was studying and how long I stayed in Brazil. I also participated in a cultural exchange event with Brazilians to practice Portuguese. When I said I was learning Portuguese for less than a month, their jaws fell! No, it’s not because I have a unique talent for language learning (huh), but because I made a devoted effort to be “more” while I was in Brazil.
Another interaction I want to convey to people is what I did with a traditional Brazilian barber. While I was there, I became pretty hairy, and I was in desperate need of a haircut. But I wasn’t sure if I could explain the haircut I wanted without mohawk hairstyles. My program director in Floripa helped me make an appointment, gave the barber some words to tell me what I wanted, and wished me good luck. I came in very hesitantly, and all the while rehearsing the sentences I spliced together before I came in. When my barber came downstairs to bring me, he greeted me and told me he was actually learning English! For more than an hour, I spoke only Portuguese and he agreed to speak English. While he was cutting my hair, we talked about music, movies, and how he wants to visit the United States to drive Route 66 and complete English. I loved it every minute, and I got a really nice haircut on top of everything else!
I know how lucky and wonderful this sounds, but it’s not uncommon. Many of the other students in my program had this kind of experience. It is no exaggeration to say that it is common in other places. The Brazilians we met were so excited that they were trying to learn about their culture and language, so they were patient with us and helped us with the Portuguese we know, He took us to their favorite place. island. Needless to say, we all fell in love with Floripa Island.
When I was in A, America, I easily thought that English was the language we all had to speak and my culture was the same as everyone else around me. This meant that I was hesitant to reach outside my social circle. It has been anything from baseball buddies to other Texas people throughout my life. Now that I’m an outsider in a completely different place, I can see things from a whole new perspective. Now, when I go back and look around the campus, I see a group of international students from a whole new perspective. All they want to know about their culture is hesitate, but they find that they don’t know what to do. I have new patience and respect for the people I meet in the world. Moreover, I have been endowed with the ability to embrace the cultural traditions of others rather than forcing myself.
University of Tulsa ’17
Florianopolis, Brazil Summer 2016
Breaking Barriers in Brazil – The University of Tulsa Source link Breaking Barriers in Brazil – The University of Tulsa