Sandra Marques Reis

When we leave the comfort of our home to face the challenges of living abroad, we grow. Sometimes it is really frustrating when you think that you are saying the words correctly, but the other person doesn’t understand you. Either because we say the wrong word or because of our accent. However, it is really rewarding when the person understands us, especially in restaurants. In the beginning, when we don’t know how to order, usually the waiter decides what we should eat, but when we increase our vocabulary, it is possible even to argue if the food is spicy or not. The list of challenges is really big: to live far from our family and friends, make new friends, adapt to the city, the traffic, the food, the weather, the measurements like miles, feet, Fahrenheit, ounces, inches, pounds! I’m really lucky because I’m from Latin America and that is why I really admire the efforts of the people from Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, or Saudi Arabia who have to learn a new alphabet as well. I believe that only all of us are winners. For me, I can say that all the efforts that I made at TIEP four hours a day were worth it! So, I’m thankful for all the teachers, all the TIEP staff, and all classmates because during this period I learned every day.