Erich Trieschman, Florianópolis, Brazil
I would have to pinch myself some days while out on the water to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Just 40 minutes away by bus was the entire life I had built for myself in Brazil. There was the professor who was helping me do research on the 2014 World Cup, the dance studio where I found my feet and rhythm to go out on weekends, and my Brazilian host family who treated me as their own from day one. Middlebury Schools Abroad pushed me to dive right in to Brazilian culture and federal university classes, and through the Language Pledge, I was challenged to accomplish this all in Portuguese! Oh, and did I mention that I was able to surf three days a week?