Friday, September 4, 2009

The Program

There are two programs that the school offers, one is a semester, 6 months at the PUCI, and the other is quarter long, (a bit over 3 months) and it is a language and culture program. So in this program that takes place in Salvador Bahia, Brazil, the courses are all about Brazilian Portuguese and culture; the culture course is called “Brazil and the Black Atlantic”.
And I went for that one. I really preferred this housing situation to the Rio program. In Rio it would be living in dorms or apartments or finding a place if you chose to do that instead. But in Bahia, we would be staying with familias Brasileiras. And of course focusing on the culture was very important.
Although it doesn’t cover any of my major requirements, I think it’s relevant to Cultural Psychology. But I did it for the experience, and because the 3.5 months were compatible with the quarter system over here so I wouldn’t be too side-tracked.

It fit well into my academic scheduling, which I had to do with my department and college counselor for the EAP application. But I just feel like I really really wanted to go to Brazil, I still really, really want to go to India too. May be on my last quarter. If possible, but who knows with all these cuts and fee hikes I can’t even be guaranteed to study at the UC at all. But it’s all good, I’m so grateful that I can have this opportunity. I got a good financial aid package and two scholarships, one need-based the other merit-based. So, although education shouldn’t be about getting good grades, and good grades aren’t necessarily correlated with intelligence, they really help if you’re in my situation, but I always wonder if I should focus my efforts more on something else other than getting As. I feel that I can be more productive and less selfish.
Oooh, I heard Portuguese finally. My first all day! Exciting. I feel like I’m getting closer. But of course convenience isn’t all of it; that was just what made me chose Brazil over India. And also because in this program they really facilitate involvement in the community; they have connections with local organizations and groups.
India was too long for me for now. I don’t know if I’m ready to go for 6 months, but like I was saying I am hoping to go and do fieldwork in India some day when I’m prepared with a more specific project than, ‘having to do with farmers in rural India’.

I know a few people who did two EAP trips. But after all this application process, visa, and all the other preparations, it’s not as easy as I once thought. Of course, it’s doable but it does take a lot of your attention for like a year or so. You’re constantly doing something for EAP for about a year. Not too much at a time, but still lots of deadlines to meet. Okay I’m going to get a sammmwich jk. Oh and I found an electrical outlet for FREEE!. I hope :/ anyway.

this is an aerial view of the coast of Salvador, Bahia (which means bay and now you see why) that I took as we were arriving.

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