I am Daniel, from a relatively small city in Brazil called Belem. It is in Para, the far north of the country, near the Atlantic Ocean. I have learned (and as an exchange student I am not alone) that being an exchange student is not the easiest experience in the world. Missing family and friends is challenging, but after you arrive and begin to adapt, the experience itself seems to overcome your homesickness. I was pleased to come to Minneapolis, also in the far north of the USA, where I finally got to see some real winter and snow. This weather doesn�t exist for me in Brazil; as we are located very close to the equator.
I had a few problems adapting, as many exchange students do. I am a very easy-going person and try to make the best of everything. Language was not a big problem for me. I already spoke quite fluent English before I arrived here, and it has only improved. There are people who help us a lot with our adjustment with visits and conversations and are always available to help a student in need. One person once lived in Brazil; a good thing because she understands how differently things work in Brazil.
I am near the end of my school year here now, and it has been incredibly good. I am sure it will be wonderful until the day I leave. In the future, I really want to come back; perhaps college or just live here for a time. Coming to the United States was my dad�s idea, and although I had dreamed about it, I didn�t consider it much at the time. My father talked to a friend of mine who came to the United States. Dad became more interested. One day he turned to me and said, "Daniel, you are going to the U.S. next year," and I said, "Fine." At that point, I thought this year here would be just another normal year, but after I arrived my life changed so very much. I have met so many people, and visited so many new places, like the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and Chicago and Taylor�s Falls. Now I am very thankful to my dad who encouraged me to do it and made it possible. My mom was not quite as enthusiastic, as I am the oldest son, but she supported and encouraged me a lot.
I miss them, but I am having a great time here. I will be staying until the middle of July and enjoying each new and different experience; school days, Homecoming, Prom, Spring sports, 4th of July, meeting new friends, sharing my culture with others, learning a new one, and growing with this wonderful opportunity.
I am living with a great and interesting host family in Minnesota. And I love everything here.