Category: 2014/15 Fernanda O. (Brazil)

Well, here I am, in a new room full of books that I had never seen before.

The view that I have from my window has changed quite a lot, and when I go out of the room, I hear different voices talking in English to me, which are gradually getting familiar.

I got here on the 31st of August. It’s been two weeks now. But for me, as I’m getting used to the new life, it feels like as if I have been here for much more time.

The first week was one of the hardest of my life, I must confess.

I couldn’t find my way to any lessons at school, I didn’t know anyone’s name, and I couldn’t help thinking that I would never settle in, and that maybe travelling by my own was just not for me.

But then I started to talk to some people at school, manly during lessons, and make some friends… Also, this nice evening happen, in which I spent like one hour and a half talking to my host parents about life, music, cultures, languages…

And then I realised what a wonderful opportunity is this one that I’m having, because I have met so many different people already! I hardly ever really meet someone new in Brazil. Of course that eventually we get to know some people, but not in the same way that we are doing here.

About my experience in the host family: my host parents are just amazing. They are kind and they seem to enjoy talking to me every time. This is something that makes me feel a lot more comfortable at the house and it also helps me to improve my English.

Kent College, the school that I’m studying in, is a unique place, full of activities and lovely buildings. They offer a wide range of opportunities to improve our skills as well as complex discussions and interesting lessons, what is something that I really appreciate. I’m enjoying History and English Literature lessons so much and I honestly feel that I’m really learning some good stuff.

The fact that I’ve got only a few students in each of my lessons (like twelve or less) is something that impressed me because in Brazil we would have forty students in the same class. Also, the smart clothes we have to wear as uniform are completely different from the clothes that I wear to go to school, which are really casual as we haven’t got a uniform.

Making friends has been also an interesting experience (although it has not been that easy). I’ve made some friendship with people that do the same subjects as me (in the IB system), mainly to a Russian girl and a Kenyan boy. They are really friendly, and it is so nice when we realise our cultural differences, which are tremendous, and talk about them. We went to the city centre in Canterbury on the weekend and it was lovely to spend some time talking to them in the park.

I’ve also made some French, Italian, Spanish and even Romanian friends. It is interesting that international students tend to stick together while local students already have their own groups. I was expecting to talk more with English people, but the young ones seem to be the most difficult to be friends with.

I must say I’m chuffed to bits about being here, and I hope I keep learning so much with these amazing and different people.