Category: 2014/15 Fernanda O. (Brazil)

My host parents and I. I miss them a lot.

When I stepped into my room, I felt like the whole world had just crashed down. I couldn’t help crying for over an hour. In fact I still cry a lot, as it is really painful to get used to the idea that everyone is back at Kent College while I am here. My first week back in Brazil was absolutely busy: all my friends and family wanted to see me again. I was happy to meet them, and for being so welcomed, but I was still feeling out of place.

I’ve been told a few times that I am now different from what I used to be; that I am more mature, more ‘grown-up’. I guess we don’t realize how much we’ve changed until we get back home and we notice that everything is fairly the same, apart from one thing: the way we perceive the world around us.

Amongst all the things I’ve learnt during my programme, one of the most important things was how to measure the importance I give to some events, and some things people tell me. To better explain: when you face the fact that there are so many unique and amazing people in the world that you would never even think of getting to know, you realize that it is not worthwhile to suffer that much if someone doesn’t like you, or if you haven’t got an ideal group of friends. I’ve learnt that I should never be hopeless about my future, because life is, as I said in my first post in the blog, full of surprises.

My perception of life was so narrow before I went to the UK, not only because there I was able to experience a more independent and pro-active life-style but also because I realized that there is still so much for me to learn in my life, so many places for me to go, so many wonderful people that I haven’t met yet. At my school in Britain, I would have long conversations with my friends and sometimes arguments about our different cultural perspectives towards things like marriage, woman rights, religion and ethics, and we ended up learning a lot from each other. In this programme you learn how enriching it is to experience cultural diversity.

I also learn what freedom means in the UK: freedom means being able to use the public transport all the time, to walk at the streets alone without being afraid, to catch a train and go to a nearby city on your own and get to know the local history, to find yourself surrounded by strangers and still be able to smile and to introduce yourself.

I really miss my life there, my friends, Kent College and my family. But in a certain way I feel I still have them with as I’ve been talking to them via Skype, Facebook and I’ve even received a letter from one of my friends. The perks of living in the age of technology, I guess.

But even though I miss them, I should better be happy and not sad: happy for having had this incredible opportunity to build the most special friendships and to experience so many new and interesting things. Honestly, I feel most grateful for everything I lived there, for all the support I had, for how lucky I was to stay with such a wonderful family.

I intend to return to the UK, to study abroad again, as soon as it is possible, and I shall never forget how broad and full of unique places and people the world is. I know that it is still be weird for me to meet everyone when I am back at my school in Brazil, to get used to our educational system again, to our social life, to the unsafety of São Paulo. But, as my British friend, quoting Charles Dickens, said when I left: “The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.”

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