It is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Julia from Brazil
Hello everybody! My name is Julia, and I am an Educatius foreign exchange student, 2015/2016! I’m from Brazil, I’m 19 years old, and for the next months I will be your educatius blogger. My mission is tell you everything about my experience in America, help and inspire you for the best experience in your life! I came to US 4 months ago. I live in Erie, Pennsylvania, with an amazing host family! I also am a high school student at Erie First Christian Academy, and this is my senior year.

First of all I want to tell you how I came here. I finish my high school in Brazil on 2013. The next step would be college, but the truth is that I was completely lost! I had no idea about which career I should follow. I spent the entire year of 2014 studying for college tests, but I wasn’t happy. I have always dreamed of an exchange year in the US, but I never felt ready before. But in 2014 I started to think more about this and I realize that it was the time to follow my dreams and leave my fears behind.

I did a lot of research, as an 18-year-old girl with a completed high school degree, many agencies didn’t accept me, but I found Educatius, and here I’m now, living my dream! So, If you are thinking about an exchange year, don’t be afraid, go ahead, and also, never stop believing in your dreams! If I did it, you can do it too!

But let me tell you about my life here!

It’s December, “the most wonderful time of the year”, and the reason of it is Christmas!!! I love Christmas! I was really excited about having my first American Christmas. We celebrate Christmas in Brazil, but different countries have different traditions. The main difference is the weather: it’s winter in the U.S. now, but summer in Brazil! Another difference is that in America the Christmas carols and movies are something really important! And everybody loves them! You will notice the spirit on the streets, all the houses are decorated with lights. And also, you may see snow!

For the 24th, I baked Christmas cookies with my host mom and host sister! We went to a church service. Everyone in the church got a candle, and at certain point they lit up all of the candles! It was magical! After the service, we had a family dinner at home. I had 3 host siblings, but only one, my sister, lives here. My brothers live in other states for college. One of my brothers was already here, and the other one came after we had dinner that evening.

Finally the December 25th came! It was Christmas morning! One of my brothers was sleeping, but we were too excited opening the presents, so we woke him up, singing and clapping hands! It was fun! Haha! We started to open the stockings! I never had one before, that’s not common in my country, so I was pretty excited! When everybody was done we had breakfast, a special one! We ate cinnamon rools! When we finished it was time for the presents!! The Christmas tree was full! I never saw that many presents in my whole life! I got a lot of presents! And my family like the presents that I got for each one of them. It took me a long time to open all the presents, and it was really fun! Even our dog, Della, got some! She was so happy! For the rest of the day we went to the movies, It was a classical American Christmas movie. And then we went to a Chinese restaurant. That’s a Christmas tradition in my host family, every year on Christmas evening they have Chinese food. When we were going back home, some church bells was playing a beautiful song, it was wonderful! That was my American Christmas! More than presents I had a great time with my host family, and I felt so loved by them!

And if you ask me if I miss my Brazilian family I would say yes, I miss my family, but I have some many people that I love here! That’s my family too! I’m very lucky that I have two amazing families and my heart is half Brazilian and half American!

I hope you have a happy new year, because in January I will come back with a lot of news!

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