Olá a todos e todas,

I can’t believe I’ve been in Belo Horizonte for nigh on three months now! It feels like I’ve lived here forever, and also like I arrived last week.

My classes are funny in that they are so different to classes in Southampton. My language classes (Spanish and Portuguese) are easier and less varied than in Southampton, and Brazilian students have read a lot more Spanish literature than I have but they struggle with some quite simple grammar. It’s very odd. My Portuguese class has a mix of Chilean, German, French, Argentinian and Americans which is always fun. My timetable is also different because classes can start at 7.30 and the day ends at 22.30, luckily I don’t have 7.30 starts, but I do have a night class which is from 9pm to 10.30pm.

Posing with capybaras in Belo Horizonte
Posing with capybaras in Belo Horizonte

I’ve been dancing since I arrived at Southampton two years ago, and I wasn’t planning on giving it up so I tried different dance schools until I found ones I really liked. I’m continuing Salsa and belly dance, and I’ve taken up Forró (which is a Brazilian dance quite similar to Salsa), I plan on starting Samba next semester. Doing dance has made me feel more relaxed here, and ensured I met Brazilians that aren’t all students.

View of Belo Horizonte
View of Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte is a great place to be in because of the lack of European tourism. In Rio there are lots of foreigners and tourism, here there isn’t. There are a lot of exchange students though, which is great since they want to explore too. A lack of tourism doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to see. Belo Horizonte is a cool city, it has a lot of bars, a lovely central market, and it has the Serra (countryside) right on its doorstep.

The region that it’s the capital of, Minas Gerais is famous for its cachaça (sugarcane alcohol), dolce de leite (literally sweetened milk, very similar to dulce to leche which is the Spanish equivalent, it tastes a bit like caramel), cheese, good food, colonial towns and waterfalls. This makes it an amazing region to explore, it’s the size of France meaning it’s very varied, and Rio is a 7 hour bus journey away (I’ve already been twice!).

Apart from the occasional bout of homesickness I’m really loving living here. I can feel my Portuguese improve hugely which is really satisfying. I also love the heat here, it makes me so much happier than English drizzle, though it isn’t summer yet, who knows what that will be like!

Até mais, beijinhos!


Three month mark

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