Communication & Immersion

Students who seek maximum immersion should note that regular communication with home can significantly hinder your language progress and your adjustment to the new culture. If your goal is maximum immersion, you should prepare family and friends for the reality that you may be difficult to contact and that, even when possible, regular calling or e-mailing may interfere with your linguistic and cultural acquisition. If something has gone wrong, your family will learn about it immediately. Otherwise, you can remind them that no news is good news.

Another strategy to linguistic immersion is to avoid too much contact with other exchange students. Our three partner institutions host between 45-175 foreigners on their campuses. Most of them are first year Portuguese students and speak mostly in their native language, while acquiring basic notions of the target language. The International Offices often arrange activities to integrate exchange students from all programs, but we advise students to limit their interaction with other foreigners aside from these hosted activities by the university.  To better take advantage of the immersive experience, Middlebury students must seek to create a network among Brazilian people.