Study Abroad Testimonials

Sophie Adelman, Intersession to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sophie Adelman, Intersession to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Class of: 2018

Sophie Adelman, Intersession to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Five weeks of tropical weather, eating tapioca, and listening to music in the streets was enough to convince me that Brazil is the best place on Earth. All thanks to Flavia and the Hopkins Portuguese Program, I got to embark on a journey of Portuguese learning, through classes and field trips in Salvador, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro. I’m really glad to have been able to take part in Hopkins’ growing Portuguese programming, and to anyone who’s thought about going one of the Hopkins trips even once, I’ll say that you’ll always remember your time in Brazil.

Milena Berhane, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Milena Berhane, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Class of: 2019

Milena Berhane, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Having the opportunity to travel to Salvador, Brazil was an eye-opening and unforgettable experience. Before the trip, I was anxious about the language-barrier, living with a family I knew nothing about, and managing to make my way around the city. But, I was also very excited to experience the stereotypical images I had seen and known about Brazil: sunny skies, beautiful beaches, and energetic people.

When first arriving in Salvador, Brazil, I was captured by the diversity of the population as we passed by a myriad of individuals having many different skin shades and hair textures. I had never seen anything like it, and it was quite overwhelming—in the best way possible. Multiple sounds enveloped the city; sounds of drumming and music, people talking and laughing, cars in the streets, etc. The people of Salvador were extremely kind, and the majority of people I encountered were understanding when they knew I could not speak Portuguese. Walking throughout the city and learning about Brazil’s rich culture explained the varied diversity and lifestyle of the Brazilian people. During the trip, we also visited many historical sites that began to unfold the multiple layers of Salvador’s history, from the years of the slave trade to the present day issues both Salvador and Brazil face with race, education, etc.

Staying with a host family was one of the most eye-opening experiences of the trip. The family was extremely kind, and I learned how customs and lifestyles differ in Brazil compared to the U.S. Residing with a host family also allowed me to practice any Portuguese I was learning, and even learn useful words and phrases that I needed for tasks like ordering at a restaurant or giving directions.

Overall, traveling to Salvador, Brazil was an amazing exposure to Brazilian culture, Brazilian people, and the Portuguese language. I have never experienced such culture shock in my life, but I am glad and extremely grateful that I was a part of the first group from Hopkins to travel to Salvador. This intersession trip was one of the most memorable voyages I have ever been on, and I hope that I will be able to revisit the wonderful city of Salvador someday in the near future.

Milena Berhane, Intersession to Cape Verde

Milena Berhane, Intersession to Cape Verde

Class of: 2019

Milena Berhane, Intersession to Cape Verde

I am beyond satisfied with the service learning trip to Cape Verde. I learned more about the culture, society, and history about Cape Verde than I expected to. The service learning was an amazing aspect of the trip, and through service learning, I was able to learn more about the challenges people in Cape Verde face, and how childhood development affects the future of the children in the country.  Being able to travel to Fogo was also an amazing experience, and allowed me to see how islands so close to each other can still be so different geographically, population-wise, and more. Traveling to Fogo also gave me another lens to look at Cape Verde through as a country and truly understand the diversity of the nation.

Lucy Delgado, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Lucy Delgado, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Class of: 2017

Lucy Delgado, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Salvador is a place that stays with you long after leaving. Its vibrant culture from the music to the food is what draws you in, but then the engaging Brazilian kindness and openness makes you feel at home. I wish I had known about Salvador sooner and it was one of the best decisions to go abroad there for intersession. What I learned in those three short weeks keeps coming up in conversations inside and outside of the classroom.

Tere’ssa Fleming, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Tere’ssa Fleming, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Class of: 2023

Tere’ssa Fleming, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

My time in Salvador is something that is still continuing to shape and inspire me months after I have left Brazil. Dr. Azeredo- Cerqueira worked tirelessly to help immerse us into the culture of Salvador. Salvador is a vibrant, exciting, and honest city that is full of sunshine. The curriculum challenged us to think outside of our typical western education, while being able to leave the classroom witness what we were just learning about. This style of learning has stuck with me and helped me excel in my courses at Homewood. My favorite parts of my trip to Salvador was watching the sunset with the Salvadorian community whether from the beach, a mountain, or our school classroom and clapping at the beautiful day in Brazil that we just lived. I can’t wait until I can go back to Salvador!

Grace Kim, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Grace Kim, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Class of: 2020

Grace Kim, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Studying abroad in Brazil during my junior year Intersession was an unforgettable experience. At first, I was nervous to be going to a whole new country where I didn’t know the language and was going to stay with a host family. However, everyone was nice and welcoming, even if I couldn’t understand or speak Portuguese, and learning small phrases in Portuguese class helped. I was amazed by how diverse yet unified Brazilian culture was and enjoyed getting the opportunity to learn more about capoeira and graffiti and to eat new foods such as acai and maracuja. I definitely grew to be more culturally aware and stepped out of my comfort zone during this immersive program. I now want to go back to Brazil in the near future!

Junyao Li, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Junyao Li, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Class of: 2020

Junyao Li, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

My spring break trip to Brazil is one of my fondest Hopkins memories. Instead of gaining a second-hand knowledge from textbook and reading, I was able to learn about their music, their dance, their food by experiencing them myself. The class was organized around public health, culture and politics, and it is taught by local professors who are experts in the field. Never would I thought that I would learn about the public health issues and Brazilians’ creative ways of solving these issues by talking directly with nurses and social workers. It was also beyond fortunate to learn about Brazilian graffiti from one of the graffiti artists himself. Aside from classes, there was also a great amount of free time structured into the trip, and I was able to explore and experience Brazil on my own. Be it learning to make Brazilian cheese bread with my host mother or going to local coffee shops, I was able to make this learning exp erience my own. All of these amazing experiences could not have happened without mentioning professor Flavia. She did a great job, as she always does, selecting the participants, who helped elevate my learning experience. Flavia is always looking for feedbacks and she tries to make things better. You will not be disappointed from anything she dedicated herself into, including this trip. In addition, she is also approachable and flexible, the virtues that are beyond treasures for a trip like this.

Have you been ever stressed out by the massive amount of homework and exams from Hopkins? Have you ever thought about how your college experience would’ve been different have you gone to a different school? Have you ever felt like you wanted to create a special college memory that is more than Brody and MSE? LOOK NO FURTHER! This is the perfect opportunity for you to learn and to have fun! From sunshine and beaches to caipirinha and picanha, from candomblé and capoeira to samba and soccer, this is the trip where you can have it all, do it all! Sign up now for a life-long memory!

Allie McManus, Summer Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte

Allie McManus, Summer Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte

Class of: 2018

Allie McManus, Summer Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte

Traveling to Brazil this past summer was an incredible and unforgettable experience. My Portuguese language skills improved tremendously, I learned so much about Brazilian history and culture, and got to witness the Olympics preparations firsthand. I would go again just for the pão de queijo and suco de maracujá!

Max Morris, Intersession to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Max Morris, Intersession to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Class of: 2018

Max Morris, Intersession to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

It was my first time doing study abroad and traveling alone internationally, and Rio was an amazing first experience. The natural beauty of the city, warmth of Brazilians, and the Carnaval preparations were so different from anything that I had seen here in the U.S. I learned so much about myself and adapting to different cultural norms from my experience, and felt more “present” and “in the moment” than ever before although I was only there for a month. Today, a year after my trip, I still feel that a piece of myself is in Rio and I would encourage anyone to take the opportunity to visit.

Ashraf Nawari, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Ashraf Nawari, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Class of: 2023

Ashraf Nawari, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

I would say the time spent in Brazil was really an eye-opening experience. I loved learning about the different cultural aspects that we got to experience every day in Salvador. I had no knowledge on many things related to Brazil before the trip and after having spent some time there it already feels like another home. A big thanks to Professor Flavia and everyone at ICR Brasil for putting together the experience for us!

Alex Sadler, Summer to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Alex Sadler, Summer to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Class of: 2017

Alex Sadler, Summer to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

After sophomore year I got the chance to spend my summer studying abroad in Rio! After a month of an intensive Hopkins led program I was able to practice my Portuguese skills by working as a nonprofit consultant in a Brazilian favela. I loved every aspect of my Rio experience, be it drinking mate limão on the beach in Ipanema or playing duck duck goose with kids in the favela where I worked!

Alice White, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Alice White, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

Class of: 2017

Alice White, Intersession to Salvador, Brazil

My time in Salvador can best be captured by the imagery of: laughter, music, drums, sunshine, smiles, and warmth. The JHU program led by Dr. Azeredo-Cerqueira did a beautiful job of immersing us in Bahiana culture through the homestay program and the careful selection of which regional art, music, food, dance, and religion was included. The curriculum cohesively presented a picture of the African diaspora and moreover was a blissful experience.