My first experience living in a foreign country by Heloisa Dourado

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I have an aunt who has been living in the United States since she was eighteen years old and she used to invite me to stay with her many times. One day I decided to go. Staying with her and her family was one of the greatest experiences in my life. Besides learning a new language, I made new friends and I really got into the culture of a great and beautiful country.

When I arrived there, I got very excited. First, I was excited because it was my first time in a foreign country, and second because I was going to live something really new in my life. On the other hand, learning English wasn’t an easy process because my aunt used to speak just Portuguese with me; I used to take English classes just twice a week and all the students were foreign too. My experience of learning English in a regular course was limited to this little experience and a short period taking English as a Second Language at the local College. Thus, from that period until de end of the time there, I learned the language with the people from the city and the new friends I had met.

Besides the experience of studying a new language, making new friends was the best aspect of living abroad. I had a girlfriend who lived in a beautiful city by the Pacific Ocean and I used to spend every weekend with her. We used to go out often and in one of these times I met my first American boyfriend. He was handsome and very kind and we had a great time together. He took me to many interesting places and showed me the authentic American way of life by introducing me to his family, his friends and his culture. Moreover, going out constantly and talking to him helped me to improve the skills with the language and mainly to be familiar with the American people and their habits and customs.

Another great experience I had was working as a babysitter. Once I read in the newspaper an advertisement looking for a foreign girl to take care of two children. At first I got really scared with the big responsibility of taking care of two children, but I decided to live this new adventure. The family’s house was in a very nice place by the ocean and the children were very cute and curious about my “weird accent”. In spite of the fact that this new experience wasn’t easy due to my lack of practice at that time, everything went well and the whole situation was very meaningful to my life.

During the time I was living in a foreign country, I realized that living abroad does more for you than just being bilingual; it enables you to live new relationships and to learn about the real culture of a country. I never returned to the United States again, but I will never forget this memorable experience in my life.

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4 thoughts on “My first experience living in a foreign country by Heloisa Dourado

  1. Hi Heloisa,

    As I was srolling down this blog looking at the titiles of the post, I had to stop and read your essay because of the topic. You see, living abroad is an item on my life to-do list that has been unticked for a long time. I really would like to live abroad someday, and not because I think it will be better than living in Brazil, but simply because it will be different.

    Your experience sounds amazing, especially when you started hanging out with natives more often.

    How long did you stay there? Would you like to go back to the US for tourism? And, based on this first experience living abroad, would you like to live abroad again, but in another country?

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Ronaldo Lima Jr

    • Hi Ronaldo!
      First of all, thanks for your comments on my essay. Living abroad was really a wonderful experience! I lived in California for one year and as I sad in my text I have not come back to USA yet. Meeting the people who I had met there and being in the same places where I had being before would be a great satisfaction and when I have another chance to go back it will be for tourism. Besides USA, I lived in Italy for one year also and if I had the opportunity to spend time learning a new language and being in contact with a different culture again I wouldn’t think twice to grab this opportunity. Who knows…
      all the best,
      Heloisa

  2. Hi Ronaldo!
    First of all, thanks for your comments on my essay. Living abroad was really a wonderful experience! I lived in California for one year and as I sad in my text I didn’t come back to USA yet. Meeting the people who I had met there and being in the same places where I had being before would be a great satisfaction, thus the next time I go there it will be for tourism. Besides USA, I lived in Italy for one year also and If I have another opportunity to spend a time learning the language and being in contact with the culture of a people I will grab the opportunity. Who knows…
    All the best,
    Heloisa

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