Rio de Janeiro
Blogger: Kyle Beasley
And we're back.....well, not exactly...
Instead of settling back into the dorms for another semester at Oxy, I'm actually in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil studying abroad this semester. Having come to Rio with no prior Portuguese skills, I was definitely worried about communicating and simply understanding everything that would going on around me. I'm very grateful that Cariocas (Rio de Janeiro Natives) are so incredibly friendly and extremely helpful. I am doing a homestay, where I am living with a great family in the Copacabana neighborhood of the city. My host mom and dad are extremely patient with me and are always willing to help me with my acquisition of the language.
Even though I've only been here for about 4 weeks now, I am already having a lot of fun. Of course I've done all of the tourist things like going to see Christ the Redeemer and hanging out on the famous, Ipanema Beach, but my favorite part of study abroad so far is simply being in a new place and experiencing a new culture. It's very easy to get comfortable in a routine and to take certain things for granted. Having the opportunity to study abroad allows one to not only experience the lifestyle and customs of people from a background different from your own, but also the chance to learn about yourself. Over the course of the next 5 months, that is my primary goal.
While I am sure to spending a lot of the time on the beach and sipping Caipirhinas in the picturesque city of Rio, I will also be taking classes at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro. So far, I have been in an intensive Portuguese language course designed to build/develop basic Portuguese skills, but after the semester starts in about 2 weeks. I will be taking courses on Brazilian history and culture, subjects quite different from my urban and environmental policy curriculum at Oxy.
It definitely feels kind of weird being away from campus, I am really grateful for this opportunity. I'm sure I will have much more to talk about as I am only 1 month into my 6 month study abroad journey, especially since Carnival and the World Cup are rapidly approaching. (From what I've been hearing from my host family and a few of the others, I am going to be in for a wild time) I can't wait to see what the rest of my experience has in store for me.
Until next time...