Category: 2014/15 Fernanda O. (Brazil)


“My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’ ” – Forrest Gump

My name is Fernanda Dias and I’m going on the High Schools International Study Abroad programme this year.

Many people have asked me about the reason why I decided to enrol on a Study Abroad programme. It is clear for me that by meeting new people and making new friends you can learn a lot about different cultures as well as open your mind to new ways of living, and to new ideas.

I’m Brazilian and I live in a city called São Paulo. Brazil is an amazing country. There is a great variety of cultures between its regions and you can find a unique biodiversity in the whole country. Generally our international appearance tends not to show even a bit of what we Brazilians are really like. For example, the best thing we have is not Carnival, and most of the population have never been to Rio de Janeiro.

I’ve been to England twice already, and I think it is the best place for me to go: I love the English culture and its history. I will be attending a school called Kent College, which is located in Canterbury. I selected this location mainly because of the school, as I’ve been told it is a really good school. Also, there are many activities that I like in Kent College, such as theatre and dance. Moreover, Canterbury seems to be a lovely city, from the XII century, something I will certainly appreciate.

I guess that one of the interesting things about being an exchange student is that you have no idea about what to expect. Well, at least in my case I don’t. That kind of makes me feel a little bit scary, of the unknown, but at the same time it makes me feel really excited to go.

I’ve recently talked to my Host Family and that made me feel a lot more excited about travelling. I called them by the phone and just listening to their voices already made me feel so happy: they sound so nice and kind. Another thing that I loved to know by talking to them was that they are really into music and play different instruments. As I’m passionate to music and I sing and play the guitar I couldn’t help not taking this as a lovely and lucky coincidence.

I can’t wait to go, and I’ve just realized that I’ll be there in less than two weeks… However, the penny hasn’t dropped yet. I don’t know why, but every time I think about going to England, I still feel it will take a long time, like a year, until I go.

I guess the strongest fear I have is of not making friends, considering that I’ll be leaving my friends for a long time. This week it was my birthday, so I made a picnic with them to celebrate and I ended up having a kind of a “good-bye party”. I must confess that, on that day, I felt somewhat afraid about travelling. But I guess it is just natural to feel like that.

I hope I will have a great time in the High Schools International Study Abroad programme and I’m sure I will learn a lot this term!