On the flight here, I got pretty nervous about making new friends. Would the locals be able to speak English with me? If they could, would they like me? What about the other exchange students, would we become friends? Would I spend all of my time alone?
Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Brazilians are very open and inclusive, and quite a few of my classmates speak English fluently. It seems like at least a few of my friends are always together, and the invitation is open to anyone who is looking for something to do. When I first arrived, I spoke mainly English with my friends. They wanted to practice and I could not understand their Portuguese. Now it has been six months and I can not remember the last time I spoke English with classmates.
I get along well with the other exchange students in São Luís too. Right now there are five of us and I am one of two Americans. We get together a few times a week and we see each other every day in school. I'm halfway through my program and I can definitely say that making friends in Brazil has been easy. If you are going to go on an exchange trip and are worried about making friends, don't be. I know I will miss all of my new friends terribly when I go back, but I am certainly glad to have them now.