Maria is from Brazil and has been studying at ELC in our Intensive 30 program for 12 weeks. She is known at ELC for being a friendly face, always ready to greet new students and join an activity! We’ve been lucky to have Maria study with us and will miss her delicious Brazilian food and desserts at our monthly potlucks!
Where were you born and raised? Give us a mental picture of the place(s).
I was born in Minas, which is a state in Brazil. My city is a small town, but it’s still bigger than Boston. It’s a pretty poor town so we don’t have trains or good busses and planes. There are many people, but no traffic, so it’s very calm compared to Boston.
What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?
I like to watch movies at the cinema, hang out with friends and go to parties. Here in Boston, I can’t do the things I do in Brazil like go out to bars because I am only 18. It’s okay though, because I have other things to do here in Boston. I spend time with my family and do the activities here at the school, so I always have something to do.
What is your profession? What do you like about it?
I am a student and yes, I love it! It’s so good because I can learn all the time and I don’t really have any obligations. It’s really fun for me to learn and spend my time studying. I don’t really want to start work. If I could, I would keep studying my whole life. It’s so cool!
Tell us about your family, do you have kids? Siblings? Pets? Do they live close to you?
I live with my mom and my step father. I have two brothers, one is 21 years old and the other is 27. The oldest one, he doesn’t live with us, he lives in another city. He has a child, so I am an auntie. I really miss my nephew, he is 4 years old. He’s so cute, he keeps asking where I am! I had a poodle when I was 8, but he died and I don’t want another because that was sad.
Why did you choose to study English in Boston? Did you consider other options?
I came to Boston because I have family around here, in Framingham. I have uncles and cousins so it was easier for me to move here. I really like Boston! I only knew things that my family had told me about this city before I came here to study. I had never been to Boston before this.
What are all the ways that Boston is different than your city/town?
So many ways! Like I said, the public transportation here is so good! You can go around the whole city in 1 hour. Boston is also very clean compared to my city, which is great! Overall, it’s just so different!
What were you most surprised to learn about the US or Boston? Did you experience any culture shock?
I think the food was the biggest shock. How they eat here, everything is so big! I can never eat everything I get. Half the time I have to take food home or throw it away. You love big portions here in the United States.
What do you miss most about your country?
I think I miss the beach the most! I always go to the beach on the weekend back home. There are beaches here, but it’s too cold for me here to go to the beach. Maybe next time I will come in the summer!
What are your top three favorite places in Boston?
The observatory at the Prudential Tower, I really like it there because you get a really beautiful view of the whole city. I did a Boston Harbor cruise with my family. It was so nice, I really liked it. There was jazz music and we got to see all parts of Boston from the water. It was such a good experience. Lastly, I really like Trinity Church in Copley. It is so beautiful and I am Catholic so it was so interesting for me to see such a beautiful church here.
Where have you found the best food from your country in Boston?
I haven’t really found Brazilian food in Boston, but where I live in Framingham, there are many Brazilian restaurants so I feel like I’m at home. There’s also one coffee shop here, Ogawa, that has Brazilian coffee. The coffee is from my state, Minas, and it’s so cool you can see my state name on the bag when you buy it. It’s the small things that make a difference!
Favorite moment in class at ELC:
My favorite moment was my first day because I was so excited and everything was new for me. Everyone, the teachers, my classes, I was so happy with everything. I am still so happy, but my first day was my favorite because it was so exciting.
Favorite activity at ELC:
Potluck is my favorite activity, for sure! I want to bring my food because I want other people to know Brazilian food. I love trying all the other food that my friends bring. It’s so good to know and try other foods and get to know other cultures.
What are some tips you have for people who want to learn English?
Don’t be shy is the most important thing. My first few weeks here I didn’t talk to people and I didn’t eat at restaurants because I was too shy to order. The thing is, they don’t know us, so who cares. If we try and mess up, it’s okay because we don’t know them and we can just try again.
What are your plans after ELC?
When I go home I want to continue improving my English because I don’t want to stop being able to use it. I will go to another English school part-time when I go home. Next year, I will start college so I am taking this year to think about it so I can make my decision because it’s a very important decision. I am thinking about either conservation or medicine, but I also have other ideas in my mind, that’s why I need to take this break to think about it.