Além de gerenciar o Programa IAESTE, a ABIPE também coordena diversos outros programas para estudantes estrangeiros interessados em vir ao Brasil para Trabalhos Voluntários, Estágio, Aulas de Português, Atividades culturais e High School no Brasil. estes programas são conduzidos em parceria com lojas CI espalhadas por todo o Brazil.
Veja abaixo o relato da estudante Meredith Mayo, dos EUA, que realizou um ano acadêmico de High School em Presidente Prudente, no Colégio Átomo.
Meredith Mayo, estudante dos USA
High School em Presidente Prudente, São Paulo- 1 ano (2010)
"Hello, my name is Meredith Mayo from Comfort, TX, USA and I spent one year in the beautiful country, Brazil as an exchange student.When I first got here I was more that lost. Everything was so new to me, with the language, customs, and being away from home in general. Here I was, a small town girl coming to live with a family I have never met and was expected to adapt and be apart of customs and tradtions that was very different from what im used to. Although very scary at times I think the one big thing that helped me was that I kept my head wide oped. Sometimes, it would have been easier to stick to my "American way" and tell them that what they´re doing is wrong or just "not what we do," like eating a big lunch instead of dinner, or having maids and cooks to help out around the house, but in reality, its not wrong, just different. You must be able to let go of some of your old ways of thinking and always be excepting to the new ones that will be presented to you. That way, you will really become apart of the culture, and not just a tourist on the outside.
Throughout my exchange, I have met some amazing people that will always be in my life. The relationships that you make are life long and all the things that lessons that you learn, mold you into a better person. This challenged me in ways I could not have imagined becaus of the things I had to over come. I saw myself in the core, and learned a lot about who I am. I not only became a lot more independent, but I now speak in another language, (and with that learned a whole new way of thinking) and have friends from all over the world, and thats just the begining.
One thing I could not stress enough is that you must not be shy. If you are going to a country with a different language than your own, know that you will say funny things and there will probably be a lot of laughing, but know that they are not laughing at you. Learn to laugh at yourself and the language process will be a lot easier. You will probably become frustrated and tired ar times but always be patient and never stop trying and before you know it, youll have people mistaking you as a true commoner.
In many ways, going on exchange is hard to explain. You will grow so much with all of your adventures that no one but you will truly understand. It can be frustrating, with everything from learning a new language, gaining weight, and not being understood but all of this is well worth it. You will make amazing friends, (and family) have an amazing experience, do things you never thought you would do, and probably have the time of your life.
There will be times of heart ace, happiness, and everything in between but you must always keep in mind that this is your one year for this amazing adventure and the time goes by very fast, so go out, try new things, talk to new people, and really become one with the culture to get everything you can out if this once in a life time experience. This really has blessed my life in more ways than i can count and i hope it does to you as well.
Good luck with your travels,
your half brazilian friend, Meredith <3"