I have been living in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, for one month on a Dialogue of Civiliza- tions program. Here, I am learning about Brazil’s emerging economy, its history and the many cultures that make the country what it is today.
During the week, we have lectures and site visits all around Salvador that build upon what we have learned and put it into perspective. In particular, we met with the former president of Brazil’s granddaughter, Alejandra Kubitschek. She discussed how far Brazil has come, how the construction of the capital city, Brasilia, changed everything and the fears of modern day Brazilians. With their economy growing and changing so quickly, for example, many fear severe inflation. We also participated in service learning at The Bagunçaço Foundation, a youth center for children.
My perspective on how foreign countries operate has changed drastically. Culture is part of business, and I will bring this understanding into my studies. I am studying organiza- tional communications at Northeastern, so being able to see first-hand how a country is rebuilding itself, and how it handles crises is incredible. I am looking forward to contin- uing learning Portuguese in the fall and getting back to a Portuguese speaking country. Working abroad is a goal of mine, and the Brazil Dialogue has left me with many con- tacts and a new appreciation of the world.