A highlight of my time in Brazil was going to the Teatro Municipal to see the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. Going was a spontaneous decision, because we managed to find tickets on the day of for R$10 (less than 3 USD). The theater was a work of art itself, and the music was fantastic. Plus, the conductor dove into a passionate, impromptu speech about the importance of funding the arts and political activism.
I learned about Brazilian activism across a wide range of fields including health, conservation, and indigenous peoples’ rights. Many of the NGOs we spoke to embodied comprehensive approaches to solving problems in their communities and led formidable grassroots campaigns. I will strive to integrate these principles into my studies as a Public Policy major, including my thesis. This experience has also furthered my desire to work with community-level organizations on issues of health access after graduation.
To anyone who is considering studying abroad: I would highly recommend that you try to attain some level of fluency in your target country’s language(s). It allows you to be more perceptive of the world around you and to engage with people outside of the classroom.
Class of 2020, Public Policy Studies