Living abroad is a challenge. The unknown might be scary, exciting or both simultaneously. The culture, the routine, the food, the environment and much more. All of this is pretty different. Leaving everything behind can be the hardest thing you can possibly do and it doesn’t really matter for how long you’ll be living overseas, knowing that you won’t have your best friend’s hug when your going through a hard time, your mom to give you advice, or even your favourite comfort meal is terrifying. However, we can do it. Check out 5 casperian girls who survived life abroad and now have great stories to tell us:
- Carolina Santini
Carolina Santini lived for 5 months in Belgium to study International Law. From all the countries available, this one was the most interesting and different from Brazil. Even though, Carolina said the adaptation wasn’t hard. Living in a small town was definitely the only big difficulty, considering that she used to live in a hectic city, where you could find anything at any time.
Santini missed her family, friends and the food, although it was all worthy thanks to all the great friends she made and the trips and experiences she went through. The young lady said that coming back to her home country was “bittersweet”, at the same time that she wanted to see her friends and family, leaving behind another life and friends was extremely tough as well. Restarting life in Brazil was frustrating since she got used to the security, and walking home alone at 2 AM was no longer an option.
- Izabel Gimenez
Also looking for a non-english speaking country, Izabel Gimenez lived in Germany for a year and a half. Since childhood, she dreamed about living in another country with another family and culture. Her cousins are from Switzerland and German speakers, what by the way is an interesting language, according to her. And that’s why she ended up there. Gimenez considers herself as an intense person, who loves hugs and kisses as well as was hard to understand why German people aren’t like that. She used to say that they live in a bubble which is really complicated to get in. Nevertheless, once your in, they’re pretty loving and carring.
Therefore, the thing that she missed the most was the affective contact and the emotional bond that Brazilians have. After her period living a life with almost no obligations, the return was tough due to as soon as she got back home, Izabel faced an important issue: choosing a career and getting into an university.
- Maê Montagno
Montreal, in Canada, was the place that Maê Montagno called home for 3 months. After getting accepted in the university, she was feeling confused and going through a hard time, when the opportunity to live abroad popped up, she barely couldn’t say no. Montreal is a vivid city, with a lot of cultural, art and fashion events, that’s what led her there. The place was almost perfect, at first she had a difficult time dealing with the weather. It was really cold, and coming from a tropical country, Maê wasn’t used to wearing multiple layers of clothes.
However, everything felt natural, like she belonged with there. Unfortunately, when she got back home, her responsibilities and insecurities came along and it got harder having a routine and losing her autonomy and independence.
- Sofia Pilagallo
Sofia Pilagallo used to picture herself living in an American movie, living the “high school experience”. That’s why she decided to live for 10 months in California. As for the adaptation, she was so focused on living the fullest and enjoying every second, that it made everything easier and lighter. Sofia only had one big conflict when she basically got kicked out of her first host family’s house.
As she was quickly adjusted to a brand new home, there she made great friends. The best thing that happened was her new friendships and her relationship with her host mom and host brother. They still talk and even visit each other. She took a while to get used to her normal routine when she got back to Brazil, and Pilagallo was so immersed into the American culture that she had trouble adapting with speaking Portuguese again.
- Natalia Bastos (aka me)
Last but not least, I may tell my own experience abroad. I’m Natalia Bastos and I lived for a year in Mexico. I wanted a Spanish speaking country and a different culture too. I always dreamed about living abroad and making an exchange was, with its highs and lows, a dream coming true. The hardest part for me was having to deal with the conservative mindset that most of the people, mainly the men, have. It was really hard listening to sexist and racist comments and opinions and not being able to do much about it. What I missed the most while living there was my family, friends and my dog.
I had some really tough times and not having them there with me made everything even harder. But only because of those hard times I met one of my best friends and that’s the best thing that happened to me in Mexico. Coming back home was weird as when I finally got used to everything I had to go away. Having to leave people that I’ll probably never see again is frustrating, but everything was worthy at least.