Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

My time in Brazil was eye-opening. I immersed myself in a beautiful culture that was so different than anything I had previously experienced, and I gained more from it than I would have ever imagined.

Within my first few weeks I made friends with people from all over the world—many of whom I still talk to on a day-to-day basis. Over the course of the semester, through taking all my classes in Portuguese as well as surrounding myself with locals, I became fluent in Portuguese.

Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell

Rio de Janeiro is a vibrant city full of life and culture, and it happens to have a breathtakingly gorgeous landscape with hills, lakes and the ocean surrounding the city. My core group of friends and I traveled on a very regular basis. Whether it was a weekend trip to a local island or flying across the country to spend some time in the Amazon rainforest, we definitely made the best out of those six months. After my program ended I met with other UCEAP students as we explored Patagonia as well as the recently rediscovered Incan cities in the Andes Mountains of Peru.

Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell

Go in with an extremely open mind and be prepared to be in an environment that is unlike what you are accustomed to. The way people treat each other is very different, and if you are accepting and can adapt to the culture, it is quite a beautiful thing to experience.

Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell

The hardest part of my experience was not being able to speak the language when I got there. It is very uncomfortable to not be able to communicate with someone—especially being in their country. I strived hard to learn the language and finally became fluent by the last few months of my program.

Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell

My advice for anyone going to Brazil is to travel to as many different parts of the country that you can! Brazil is HUGE and it has an incredible amount to offer—from a booming nightlife and major cities to dense jungles and majestic deserts.

Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell

All of my best memories from being abroad came from the pure desire for exploration. Whether it was going to a new part of the city that we hadn’t seen, exploring lost cities from Incan civilizations, or showing up to an indigenous community in the depths of the Amazon with the hopes of being welcomed by the chief of the tribe, I had incredible moments putting myself in new situations I had never experienced before.

Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell

Whether it is Brazil, Peru, Chile, England or anywhere else in the world—you have an incredible opportunity at your fingertips to study abroad with UCEAP. Do it!

Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell
Brazil study abroad - photo story by Daniel Connell

DANIEL CONNELL

Study Abroad Program: Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Countries Visited: Brazil, Chile, Peru
Home University: UC Santa Barbara
Year: Junior (Graduating Spring 2017)

Daniel Connell is an avid backpacker who loves to explore remote parts of the world that are seldom traveled to. He is a third-year Financial Mathematics and Statistics major with a passion for connecting with people around the world and developing friendships through traveling. When he is not climbing mountains or sleeping under the stars, Daniel enjoys refining his culinary talents with regional influences from around the world. His travels were guided by his desire to develop fluency in Portuguese as well as to immerse himself in cultures and environments far different from what he had already known.