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GeoVisions Blog

Participant Stories

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone in Brazil With GeoVisions

Posted by Jeena Joy | Aug 16, 2016 8:18:13 PM

This summer I had the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and tutor English to a family in Brazil! I am currently getting my Masters in TESOL, so I wanted to experience what teaching English abroad was like. GeoVisions made the process very easy and helped me with all of the paperwork. By May, I had a family waiting for me to arrive in July! When I was placed with my host family, I was so nervous to talk to them but so excited at the same time. My family was just as nervous and excited to meet me too, and knowing how excited they were, made me even more excited! I couldn’t wait to meet them and experience Brazil for an entire month!

When I finally arrived, my host family was anxiously waiting for me at the airport, and we embraced one another as if we had known each other our entire lives.

During my program I was living in a small city in Brazil called Sao Francisco do Sul. The city only has about 40,000 people, and by the end of my time spent there almost everyone knew who I was. The first few days in Brazil took some getting used to; I was learning the city, how to get around on my own and experiencing a different culture. But by the end of the first week, I knew the city so well and was making friends everywhere! One time, I was going to the supermarket to get some bread for my family, and random people were waving and shouting “Hi Jeena!” to me, it made me feel famous!

I had an amazing opportunity to teach my family English, but also work at some of the local schools and speak English there as well! I also learned a little bit of Portuguese by interacting with so many locals and putting myself out there in the community.

I think that is one of the most important things about traveling, you shouldn’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things!

Jeena in BrazilI did this by eating new food, becoming friends with strangers, and attending local events. I can honestly say that because of this opportunity, I have genuine friends and a family in Brazil that I deeply care about and talk to every day.

Of course, teaching English was amazing and traveling all over Brazil during the Olympic Games was cool to see, but the most life changing experiences occurred with my family in Sao Francisco do Sul. When I stepped out of my comfort zone and embraced the Brazilian culture, I learned just how welcoming, humble and loving the people are, not to mention beautiful. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity, and to have met the most amazing people that have impacted and changed my life in only a months time. They will forever be my family, and I just feel so lucky to have had this experience!

Written by Jeena Joy

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