Kristen Tuttle, Belo Horizonte

Macalester College

I chose to spend my semester in Belo Horizonte because I wanted to live in a city that was both vibrant and intimate. That’s exactly what I got, and I couldn’t be happier for it. Belo Horizonte has been a wonderful home for the past four months, with so much to do that I’ve accepted the fact that I won’t be able to do everything I want to do in one semester. At the same time, the city has a distinctly personal feel to it. I’d be hard-pressed to find people more welcoming than Belo Horizonte’s residents, the “mineiros,” who throughout the semester have eagerly invited me into their homes, stuffed me full of delicious food, and even taken me to soccer games. My host family in particular has been a huge part of my experience. We really hit it off, and I’m confident that the relationship I’ve built with the family will only continue to grow, even after I return to the US. 

In Belo Horizonte, I’ve had the opportunity to experience the famous hospitality of its residents while also studying at a renowned Brazilian university. I’ve loved getting to know the students in my classes, and even just walking around the beautiful campus. Middlebury’s program also connected me with an internship opportunity teaching English to fifth grade students, and it’s proved to be a valuable complement to my university classes. The internship has allowed me to familiarize myself with an entirely different part of the city, and I’ve learned even more about Belo Horizonte and Brazil in general as a result. 

Studying abroad in Belo Horizonte has had a hugely positive impact on my understanding of Brazil, and on my Portuguese language learning— I can’t imagine having spent my semester anywhere else!