Mariana Fernandes, from Brazil, is studying English at ISAL – International School of Advanced English in Boston, Massachusetts.

Mariana Fernandes, from Brazil, is studying English at ISAL – International School of Advanced English in Boston, Massachusetts.

Why did you decide to study in the USA?

I decided to come to the United States not only to study and learn English, but also because I had friends who lived in Boston.

What do you like best about your program or university?

I like the school environment where I have to speak English all the time and where I don’t need to be afraid of making mistakes. I try to understand everybody and I don’t have to be translating what I want to say into Portuguese.

What do you miss most about home?

My friends and family.

How long have you been studying here? How has your English improved?  How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?

I’ve been studying here for seven months and it’s hard to believe how much my English has improved. I can now speak with people from other countries for hours. In my opinion, this is so important and I feel ready to attend an American university in the future.

What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?

I didn’t think that seven months would be enough for me to feel so confident in the English language. I’m surprised at my progress!

... your biggest disappointment?

My biggest disappointment? Sometimes I feel it’s difficult to speak with a native English speaker.

How have you handled:

... language differences?

I avoid spending too much time with Brazilians and I try to talk with different people as much as possible, such as supermarket and store cashiers, and people on the bus.

 ... finances?

I’m saving as much as possible to do some travelling when my program ends.

... adjusting to a different educational system?

I didn’t have any problems in getting adjusted to the educational system in the US. I think it’s similar to Brazil.

How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?

It’s being difficult. I think Americans are reserved. However, there are a lot of universities in Boston and you get to meet students from all over the world.

What are your career goals? How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?

Being in the United States will definitively help me achieve my dream of getting a master’s degree in my area, and I hope to become a university professor one day.

What is your advice to other students from your country who are considering a U.S. education?

Come and have fun! This has been one of the best moments of my life.


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