As all good things come to an end, so does my journey in CIEE as R.A. These last 6 months have been amazing, I had so many good experiences and I met so many interesting students and their life stories that I feel I fulfilled my duty as a good Brazilian R.A.
When I first applied for the role, I thought this would be the kind of role that would be just a professional experience, but apart from all the learnings that I had professionally, this experience was way more than just a job. It felt like family. I was here to make sure that everything was okay in the accommodation, but also here to support the students emotionally helping them to adapt to a different culture, paternally giving the wisest advices in life, and mostly of all friendly partying, visiting and seeing the best spots in town.
In the first day that I met the students, I was deeply concerned if they would like me or not, even though I’m a very charismatic person, I knew that my “brazilianness” sometimes can be too extra for Americans and Europeans, but everything worked in the best way possible. Even the shy students opened themselves to Brazilian diversity and had a good time enjoying this “Culture Caldron” called Rio de Janeiro.
Some of them found their true selves by adopting this “Brazilian way of life”, this life style of looking to the different not with otherness, but with the notion of uniqueness in its own singularities. Everyone is different and that doesn’t make them better or worse, but unique, just like us in our inner selves.
Some other students learned how to love themselves and to accept their flaws, because in Rio it doesn’t matter what you do or where you come from, you can always fit in and you can always find people who will love you just the way you are.
Some learned more about themselves, their tastes, their patterns behaviours, their rough tempers, their passions. As a big city, Rio is quite challenging sometimes, but it never stops, except when it rains a lot (LOL), but apart from that, there is always something interesting to do.
And apart from this few examples, a thing that all students learned was to adapt. They adapted very well in Rio, all of them with no exception. As a former exchange student, myself who has been in the UK, I can say that going to a country of a different culture is the best thing one can do to learn how to be more human, more patient and more respectful towards the different. As I said, Rio can be quite challenging sometimes, but with the right guidance you can seize the best of the experience.
And well, I’m not going to say that this experience is “perfect”, because perfection is too overrated and impossible to achieve. No matter the place, you will always find problems, that’s normal, it’s life. And in the end, what really matter is not the problem itself but how you deal with it.
Honestly, the feeling that I have right now is gratitude towards this amazing people I met.
Thanks for the first night out and all the good drinks. (Block 1)
Thanks for all the hikes and the funniest pictures. (Block 1)
Thanks for all the nights at Lapa. (Block 2)
Thanks for striking the best poses at the paradisiac beaches. And sorry for my pronunciation. LOL (Block 3)
Thanks for dancing with me in the best clubs. (Block 2 + Visiting CIEE students)
Thanks for the beach days and the breath-taking sunsets that deserve the best round of applause. (Block 3)
Thanks for teaching me more about your culture and for loving my country. And also thanks for this amazing last night. (Block 3)
Well, finally great thanks to all CIEE staff and all the students for being my family in these last 6 months. I am going to miss you guys a lot.
Hope I can see you again in the future and wish a lot of success in life.