The Kay Days Goes to Rio de Janeiro!

In Announcements, Blog, Storytelling by Kay15 Comments


By mark goble from Calgary, Canada. (Rio De Janeiro) via Wikimedia Commons

For the past few months, I’ve been going back and forth, debating and bargaining and arguing with myself and mulling over how I wanted to tell you guys the VERY BIG NEWS that I’m about to tell you. And I realized that while I want to announce it in the biggest, baddest, most epic way possible, there is really no way to explain or show how excited or thrilled I am. As I tore open the ExpressMail envelope I received last week only to find my passport with a new, shiny visa inside, it really sunk in that I am going to be studying abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for six months, starting this July!

The question I always, always get is Why Rio? Well, you see, Rio is a city of growing influence in the world, hosting World Youth Day this year, the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Crazy, right? And if you’re wondering what a carioca is, it basically describes anyone (or anything) pertaining to the cidade de Rio de Janeiro (the city of Rio de Janeiro). While I’m there, I am going to be living with a host family, taking intensive Portuguese classes, studying at a university, and soaking in the warmth, energy, and beauty of Brazil. And, of course, I’ll be blogging the whole way through.

While my experience with Brazil is nonexistent and my Portuguese is fairly (read: extremely) subpar, I wanted to challenge myself by studying abroad in a place completely unlike my own home. I wanted to be far away from familiarity, from friends, from routine. And thus, when I was narrowing down my options, I chose a place that has always really fascinated me, and yet not one that I automatically thought of when I was first considering different programs. Not only am I excited to take courses at a university there, but also to meet and befriend as many people as I can. And, of course, Snapdragon will be there to accompany me on all of my many adventures. I’m hoping to take a few side trips as well to other places like Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, Cuzco (Peru), and Patagonia (Argentina).

Not too familiar with Brazil or Rio? Well friends, get excited because you’re going to get to know Rio pretty darn well, right from the comfort of your own computer screen. As Snapdragon and I tackle Rio, we’ll be posting about all the things we see, the food we eat, and the people we meet. Studying abroad is such a unique experience, and I am amazed and excited for this wonderful opportunity. If there’s anything you all would like to see from us, whether it’s advice on Rio or more stories, please let me know! We are excited to have you along on the journey, and we’ll do our best to keep you updated on all of our shenanigans.

Have you ever been to Rio de Janeiro? Do you have advice for things I should do? Or do you simply have some words of encouragement for Snapdragon? Leave a comment!

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    1. Obviously my morning coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, I mean I can’t wait to READ your blogs! Oh dear.

      1. Author

        Thanks a ton, Naomi! I’m pretty excited about it. Now, time to work on that Portuguese…

  1. Super excited to follow along. I really regret not doing a semester abroad while I was in college. Glad you found somewhere so awesome to spend some time.

    1. Author

      Thank you Jim! I hear that a lot, actually, but I’ll save that sentiment for another post 😛 If you decide to take an on-a-whim trip to South America anytime soon, let me know.

  2. Sounds great Kay! Studying abroad at uni was one of the best choices I ever made 🙂 I’ll be passing through Rio early September, will have to hit you up for a Portuguese lesson and a bit of sightseeing!

    1. Author

      So exciting, Flora! Não consigo esperar. Hopefully meu portugues will be tip-top by then! And of course I’ll show you around to all of my favorite spots.

      And if I’m over in Ecuador this fall, I’ll definitely have to let you know! 🙂

      1. Sadly I’m leaving Ecuador for good in a couple of weeks – heading through Colombia, Brasil then a couple months in Bolivia before I work out where to go next. But I’ll keep up to speed with where else in the continent you’re heading 🙂

        1. Author

          Oh how sad! 🙁 Enjoy your last few weeks there. I’ll definitely let you know where I’ll be traveling, and let me know when you’re planning on dropping by Rio 😀

      2. Hi, could I ask a question.
        I have been learning Brazilian Portuguese for 3 years. could you tell the difference between…
        pedir…and purguntar. to ask..
        My email address is
        muito obrigado.

    1. Author

      Thanks Andrea! I’ll let you know if I head over to São Paulo – I might ask to meet some of your friends!

  3. Congratulations on getting your visa and for being brave and awesome! I can’t wait to hear all about Rio. I’m so excited for you.

    1. Author

      Thank you, Michelle! Your support means the world to me. I’m excited to see what happens, and I’m glad to know you’ll be along for the ride too!

  4. This is great Kay! We are very fortunate to have you here in Rio 🙂

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