Tudo bem! This is the phrase to know if you are going to Brasil (yes I am spelling Brazil with an “s”). Tudo bem encompasses all of my excitement for going to Brasil because it means all of the necessary phrases one first learns in a foreign language. Tudo bem is Brasilian Portuguese to say, “hello, how are you?”; a way to respond, “I am well, and you?”; and a way to say “it’s all good.” The fact that Brasil has one phrase for all of those key colloquialisms makes me that much more excited to not just study abroad in Brasil for a year, but share my experiences with my fellow Badgers, friends, and family.
I am happy to report that I am a Study Abroad Correspondent. In other words, I have the opportunity to share with the world my experiences. For instance, I will have many awkward encounters transitioning to the Brasilian form of tudo bem, or rather, greeting one another that involves a kiss on the cheek as opposed to the classic American handshake. What does this mean? This means I am in for a number of awkward, or “quirky” experiences. Whether that be through greeting someone, or my inability to follow a conversation, it does not matter. The fact is, I am excited to live these experiences, and share them with you. Hopefully, you feel encouraged to study abroad as well.
Some good news about my study abroad program, is that it is in Belo-Horizonte, Minas Gerais at the state university, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais-we’ll call it UFMG for short. Minas Gerais is a Southeastern state in Brasil really well known for…DAIRY! What’s more is that there is a farmer’s market every Sunday and…Belo-Horizonte is famous for its cheese bread. In other words, I am going to a Brasilian Madison Wisconsin. So, basically, I will be meeting Brazilian Badgers, which I have to say is the beauty behind foreign languages.
Another beauty of knowing a foreign language is that they give us the opportunity to meet and love more people, which helps to share not just any love, but Badger love! I mean, sure, I could have studied abroad in a Spanish speaking country, or I could have learned French or German. But, honestly, we can’t ignore Brasilians. Too often we associate Brasil with Spain and Spanish. I must confront this challenge by sharing my experience with you, so that you no longer synonymize Brasil with Spanish speaking countries. Granted, there are some similarities, but also many differences.
It has been about eight years since I have wanted to study abroad, and now that it is finally about to happen, I feel very fortunate to share my experiences as a Study Abroad Correspondent! No matter what challenges I will face in the coming year, it will be Tudo bem!