High School Holland studente Giovanna zou het zo weer doen

Braziliaanse Giovanna over haar laatste periode

Het High School Holland avontuur van Giovanna zit er inmiddels op. Lees hier wat Giovanna tijdens haar laatste van haar high school uitwisseling heeft meegemaakt. 

Cozy and peaceful atmosphere with Christmas

The last month of my High School Holland experience was a mix of emotions, just like all the other months. But the difference is that I knew it was all about to change. Now I am back in Brazil, it has been 3 weeks since I arrived. In Holland, there was Christmas, which was super nice with the whole family together and New Year, which was completely different than what I am used to. To begin with, Christmas was better than what I expected. You always hear how Dutch people are always too busy with work to have a family. But on this day, there were even relatives that lived in other countries and came home only to see their beloved ones. The atmosphere was cozy and peaceful, just how this day should be. And of course, there was a lot of food! Even I helped a little bit with my coffee Brazilian dessert, which did not really work, but everyone was nice enough to try it and pretend it was good. This is another thing that surprised me, I thought Dutch people could never be anything but honest!

Playing with fireworks with my host sister

Not long after it was New Year’s Eve. I did not spend it the way I planned, but it was still very nice with my host family. We ate a lot of oliebollen, a delicious Dutch traditional sweet. The truth is I ate ONLY oliebollen the whole day, this cannot be good for me. Then we watched the fireworks coming from all around the house, and me and my host sister were brave enough to go outside and play with those little fiery things. I was especially brave because I was wearing only one pair of pants and no sweater, just a jacket, the one I insist it’s only a “vest” because it does not look too protective. You see, in Brazil, the seasons are opposite. We spend New Year’s Eve either on the beach or near the swimming pool. Definitely outside! But even though my despise for cold weather, I have to admit it was pretty fun.

From wearing three pants to getting used to the weather

Oh yes, the end of my exchange it was turning colder and colder. But I was only wearing fewer pieces of clothing through the months. In the beginning, I did the astonishing act of using three pants at a time and surviving with this look for the entire day. What did I have in mind? I will never know. In fact, the thing is that you get used to the weather faster than you think. So for all the Brazilians out there coming to the Netherlands: you are going to be fine!

Honoring my two promises

After that, I had only a few days left so I saved it for the goodbyes. It is of course, always hard to say those words to people who are so important to you. So I made sure I would always say it with two promises: you will always have a place to stay in Brazil and I will come back to see you again. I am honoring those words and plan to come back this year to see my dear host family.

Incorporating Dutch habits in Brazil

Nobody ever tells you exactly what happens after you come back to your country. What I am talking about is re-adaptation. Is this even a thing? YES! When you have lived in a different culture for so long you incorporate its peculiar habits. When I was back in Brazil I still had the urge to eat at 5 pm and was coming on time for every event. I was always the first to arrive and I had to wait very long for anybody to ever arrive. But I am keeping up with the Brazilian ways again and it is all right. And coming back to all Brazilian food is what keeps me going. It is like trying everything for the first time again, it has that special taste.

It changed me for the best

Of course, I miss all the great things about Holland, like that wonderful butter. So it is very important to keep in touch with everything and everyone from that distant culture that once was my daily life. Do not forget to practice that so confusing but funny language, and to send lovely things like cards and messages for the special people. For me, I would have done it all again and again. The High School Holland program changed me, for the best.

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