Ryder Hine, Florianópolis 

College of Charleston

Florianópolis, Brazil, is an international city situated on an island off the south-eastern coast of South America. Especially apparent in the Trinidade district, enveloping the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), there exists a melting pot of Brazilians and exchange students emerging from all corners of the country and the world. Excluding the myriad different Portuguese accents presented by the exchange students, there is also a vast range of accents inside of Brazil—varying drastically from region to region and even city to city. Throughout my stay in Florianópolis, I have been told that even Brazilians have difficulty understanding some of the various accents represented inside their own country. Not only is there an immense diversity in the language in Trinidade, if not also in the physical appearance and the personality of the people. Keeping this in mind, on which aspects does one base their newly forming cultural identity?

My experience in Brazil has made me more versatile to change, more willing to understand new ideas and more open to meeting new people. The forming of my Brazilian cultural identity has been one of my greatest challenges, and greatest curiosities, while living and studying through Middlebury in Florianópolis.