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Dia 68 – Ethan Evans – 09 de Maio de 2015

August 21, 2015

Needless to say, the semester here at UnB is well underway. I would say that my favorite part about going to school here is meeting the people and developing relationships. I have noticed that the people in this city are typically more relaxed than what we are used to in the U.S. The students will always take the time to catch up with one another before class starts, even if that means showing up fifteen minutes late. Most of the professors have the same attitude. This makes for getting to know people better, but I think this kind of thing can be sometimes good and sometimes bad. For example, as far as I’m concerned, the friendliness is always welcome. There is something special about always letting a person know that you are happy to see them. There is never any ‘passing each other in the hallway and barely acknowledging each other business’ that seems to be more common in the U.S. However, the culture (at least within the music school) can sometimes be so community-based that it can impede individual practice/study. For example, my trombone professor, Alciomar Oliveira, gives spare office keys to all his students. (There are only three of us.) This situation is great because there are no practice rooms, but occasionally several students will come in and hang out and/or want to practice as well. This was a bit of a cultural adjustment for me.

I am really enjoying the relationship that has formed (and is forming) between the large group of foreign exchange students that Jake and I know. There is a mutual understanding of what it is like to live in a foreign country. (Many of them have even done separate exchanges before this one.) Ever since our camping trip to Chapada dos Veadeiros, they have really gotten me out of my box as far as really experiencing things. For that I am grateful to them.

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