My (first) exchange program.

Hi, guys! How are you? Hope everything is fine wherever you are.

So, last year I lived for three months in Toronto and today I’m going to explain how that happened in my life. I’ve always wanted to live abroad, have different experiences for a while (or for my whole life, who knows?) and back in 2015 I was on the computer and my friend sent me a link to access a government page on Facebook, I think. At that time, I didn’t pay attention to what was that, until when she told me it was about an exchange program: all for free, 3 months studying a language you could choose (English, Spanish or French), a real immersion in a different culture. So I decided to apply. First I read the rules: age, school life, good grades on the national examination of high school, you had to be studying at a public institute. Everything was ok, I applied.

But, it turned out that my grade on the national examination wasn’t enough to put me on the list of people who got approved. Yeah, it sucks. So, I didn’t have any more reasons to keep paying attention on the selecting process. My friend was approved, so of course I was happy for her. And thanks God she was approved. Sometimes I say that she saved my life twice: once when she told me about the program and the second time when she told me that, somehow, another list with classified people was published and I had good grade enough to be there. So I tried to solve the problem, tried to figure out what happened and why I wasn’t on that list, and we find out that it was a miscommunication problem. They tried to reach me and somehow they couldn’t. But luckily I had (I have) this friend who was aware of my grade and of the selecting process.

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Marechal Cunha Machado International Airport, São Luis – Maranhão, Brazil.

So, first things first. We had an amazing preparation course here in Brazil for our exchange: 3 months of classes 3 times per week, and by the end of the preparation course, we had to take a test to select only half of the students to go abroad. I’m going to be honest here, as I said on the other text: even though I had amazing teachers, I thought I wouldn’t be approved. But I did!!

And then we had to go to the second step: documents. Country of destination (we could go to US -Boston- or Canada, -Vancouver or Toronto), passport, insurance, accommodation, school. They tried to keep us aware of everything (but sometimes it was kinda difficult). We had loooots of meetings to be prepared for cultural shocks, weather differences, daily differences, you know? (I have a lot to write about the contrast of those two countries: Brazil and Canada).

 

But then, the time has come. We were on our on. We had to handle with all kinds of people, different accents – I must add, and it was a mess. But I completely felt in love with it.

So, that’s all for now. Hope to see you soon!

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