“Tudo bem” is a standard greeting here in Brazil. It means “Is everything good?” In the couple of weeks since I landed in Brazil, for the second time, everything is good. I was lucky enough to see Brazil for the first time during a Texas A&M lead travel abroad and I instantly fell in love with the people, the culture, and the scenery in Brazil. I knew before boarding that flight back home to Texas that I would be back.
Traveling abroad and studying abroad for an exchange program have been completely different experiences for me. Finding housing, learning transportation, and adapting to a new “normal” are a unique part of this experience. Due to choosing a university that does not have on-campus living, finding housing was perhaps the most stressful part of my exchange. Being open and engaging with other students from around the world made the difference and I was easily able to find a place that I felt really was a home. My new “normal” involves taking the subway to class four days a week to a classroom where teachers ask you about your weekend and how you are doing before they will start the lesson. Brazil is a very open country, and everyone you meet is instantly a friend. It reminds me of the hospitality of Texas. Even with the language barrier, many are patient as I try to speak Portuguese and often help me learn. Another new “normal” for me is weekend adventures with friends to beaches, restaurants, and other cities close by. We have also planned trips to surrounding countries and are able to stay with friends we have met along the way.
While I miss hearing “Howdy,” life here in Brazil “tudo bem!”