First "internship", International Week and Black Friday! (November/ December)

Hellooo!

So,
as some of you know, I applied and got accepted to a program called “CUNY
Service Corps” which is a program that connect students with governmental
and some non-profit organizations (after a series of interviews), and we get to work with the
organization for two semesters.

I
was placed at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York! My first day there was Nov
17th. As soon as I arrived to the bank, I couldn’t contain my happiness! And as
soon as I walked in, I saw the other 3 students selected and I felt much more
relaxed. They were dressed up on their suits and it was so cute to see my
friends getting ready for the real world experience! On the first day, we set
up our computers, met our supervisors and we had a lunch-meeting with some of
them. One of the employees gave us a nice presentation about the history and
the role of the Fed in the United States.

After
that, each of us headed to our own departments and spent the rest of the day
talking and understanding better what it would our roles at the bank.

In
my department, Digital Communications, we do a whole bunch of cool stuff, such
as videos, info-graphs, animations, video editions, etc. I loved meeting my
”co-workers” (can I call them like that? 🙂 ) and they were all very receptive .

Since
I will only be going there twice a week, for my second day , I was asked to
present some of my artwork for the team, so I combined graphic design, jewelry
design, paintings, websites I created, etc in a PowerPoint and presented to
them in our lunch-meeting.

—————————————————————————————————————-
INTERNATIONAL
WEEK

I
also participated in one of the activities of my college’s international week.
The international week is basically a week where other countries and cultures
are exposed to Americans. I was happy to be a part of the speech day and I gave
a PowerPoint presentation about my country and I talked a little bit why I
moved to the U.S.

As
I start to spread my journey to other people, I am happy to announce I am
(trying) to produce a documentary about immigrants in the U.S.A. I got a camera
on black Friday and I can’t wait to start filming all the amazing stories I’ve
heard =) (I just need more time :(( )

————————————————————————————————————————–
THANKSGIVING
+ BLACK FRIDAY

Thanksgiving
is ”an annual national holiday marked by religious observances and a
traditional meal including turkey. The holiday commemorates a harvest festival
celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621, and is held in the US on the fourth
Thursday in November. ”

For
Thanksgiving, I didn’t plan anything specific, so I tried to go to Applebees
with my boyfriend but everything was closed 😦 so we ended up at some random
Mexican restaurant and our meal was HUGE! omg Mexicans know how to eat! haha

On
Black Friday I got my new camera online on target (NIKON L330) for a super nice
deal! $170.00 (camera + memory card + batteries + case) the regular price is
usually $289.00 just for the camera!!

———————————————————————————————————————

DECEMBER

December
is a crazy month. That is when finals are approaching and students are
everywhere on campus. It is funny to see how many people go to the library in
desperation lol. I am glad I got really good grades this semester, it will be
easier to get a scholarship or future internships!

On
December 19th, after all my finals I traveled to my home country for 1 month
(Brazil) and I brought my boyfriend with me! Next post I will talk about our
Brazilian trip and I will post a bunch of cool pics and videos 🙂

———————————————————————————————————————-

Have a great week

Li
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My classes and classmates

Hello everyone,

Today I will talk a little bit about my experience in college and the classes I am taking.

This semester I am taking 4 classes: Physics, Speech, Computer Information Systems and Spanish.

Physics – My physics class is probably one of the hardest classes. We meet twice a week; one day is our lecture and the following day is our lab class. On every lab class we have to hand out 2 or 3 papers will all data and calculations from the experiments from that day. Working in groups was easier in my home country, people are very open and talk a lot! In America, I don’t experience the same. For my lab class, we are divided in 6 groups of 5-6 people each since day one. My group is made by me, 3 chinese girls and 1 indian/1 bengali guys. Since the very beginning these girls treat me really poorly, they always try to leave me out of the experiments or do everything by themselves and leave afterwards. I am 110% sure the fact I am white is the ONLY reason they treat me like that. I’ve never treated them poorly and I always try my best to participate as much as I can. Many times I tried to talk to them and NONE of them would even look at my face. I don’t know what is wrong with those girls.

Speech– My speech class is very laid back, but just like any other class, being on time is crucial if you want to get an “A”. Since English is not my first language, speech can be tricky! I am glad that besides our speeches, we have written exams  🙂 My classmates are awesome in this class. I think that is because we are all international students. My college offers two speech classes, the regular one; for Americans, and Speech 102 for non native speakers. I feel comfortable in this class and I think my pronunciation has improved a lot over the past 2 months.

Computer Information Systems– My computer information systems class is very interesting. We meet twice a week for 1h and 40min each section. The best thing about this class is that my professor only takes attendance at the end of the class. I don’t know if I’ve already shared that with you but I waking up early its a little crazy for me haha. The only reason I would ever wake up early is if I am getting paid for it. haha  I only take morning classes when every other class is full. In this class, I can arrive a little late, pick up things quickly and play with Microsoft programs. In this class I only have one friend, she is so nice and I am happy she joined my club (Fashion Club).

Spanish- My Spanish class is a fast paced one. I am glad I have some familiarity with the language, otherwise, I would be totally lost. We meet twice a week for 1h and 30min each section. Every class, my professor hands out AT LEAST 5 papers and she usually email us on weekends with more homework lol It is very crazy. My professor is a lovely lady and she always try to help us in any way she can. Other day, I asked her if she could write a recommendation letter for me ( I was thinking about becoming a Spanish tutor) and she told me she would be happy to help me with anything I needed. As I said, I can speak Spanish but the grammar is more complicated. Although in Portuguese we have the same grammatical rules, the way words are written in Spanish is very different. I am reading/listening to a lot of Spanish stuff and I am glad I am taking this class so I can improve my Spanish and learn new things at the same time. I have no friends in this class 😥 People in this class have a very low energy. My professor needs to try really hard to get them to answer anything she asks. IT IS SO frustrating to see how hard she tries! Sometimes the whole class is basically a conversation between the professor, 2 other students and I. It is very sad the way students treat professors in my college. They crack jokes, laugh in front of them and sometimes have no respect at all. Education is so important! I appreciate the way I was raised and the way my parents taught me I should treat older people, teachers or any person.

New York clubs and nightlife

Hello people!

I’ve been trying to write  about the differences between NYC and Brazilian nightclubs, but with my crazy weeks, it was very difficult to stop and dedicate some time to my blog :(  
Now, I have 2 hours between classes, so, here we go. 🙂

 I will start writing about the first club I’ve been to, exactly 4 years ago. One of the girls I met during my monthly meetings (thought the exchange program I came with) convinced me that nightclubs in NY were the best thing in this world and we needed to go as soon as possible!

 One day I finally decided to go to this club. The club it was calledWebster Hall and my experience was somewhat embarrassing, not to say comic.

As soon as we got there, there was a large line on the sidewalk and just by looking at it I was already angry! lol (Besides waking up early the second thing I hate the most is definitely lines) Buuuut, okay, I had to enjoy that moment. As soon as we walked towards the line, a security guy came to us and and asked for our Ids. (In the USA, you have to be 21 years and older to drink / Some clubs allow guests under 21 but put a different stamp on your hand, which means you can not drink)  

He then, after checking it, asked us to accompany him. At that moment I was confused. Why were we the only ones following him? And everyone else was still waiting on the line? Here in NYC, security guards and promoters choose who they let in. The rules are the same, you have to be extremely well dressed, wearing awesome make up and in 90% of cases, you also have to be skinny.  
What I found strange is that when I entered the club, there were a LOT of ugly people! (and later on, I found on this was not a top NYC club, and in reality it was a mix of hipsters, tourists and international students)

On the first floor, they were playing music from international DJs and easy recognizable songs. In the basement, they had an alternative rock band and on the second floor, they only played rap and hip hop.

When we arrived on the second floor and I couldn’t believe what I was staring at. I think I asked myself 500 times why everyone abroad has a sexualized image of Brazilians, when Americans have a dance called Grinding O.o

According to Wikipedia: Grinding, also known the juking, freak dancing or freaking (in the Caribbean, wining) is a type of close partner dance where two or more dancers rub or bump against each other Their bodies, Especially the dancer rubbing his or her buttocks against another dancer‘s crotch area

Yep !! People were rubbing against each others for hours and endless songs. I was so embarrassed to see that scene that I asked my friend to leave. She was very upset at me and said I was boring and she also said I should be more liberal for being ”Brazilian”.

I started trying to understand why so many people have this vision of Brazil. I came to the conclusion that the culture of funk and samba (sexy dances from Brazilian) come from very poor areas. Since poverty is huge in Brazil, we have enough number to ”export” this culture, even though I’ve never had direct contact with it !! It is logical that statistically speaking, people from others countries will create stereotypes and assume every Brazilian dances in a sexual manner (loves soccer, beaches and carnival lol).

Columbus Day! What is it?

Columbus Day or Day of Hispanic Heritage is an international holiday that celebrates the arrival of Christopher Columbus to America on 12 October 1492, which is also dedicated this day Our Lady of the Pillar, patroness of Hispanidad. The date is celebrated in all countries of Spanish language and also in the Latin America, where there are large concentrations of Hispanics. The name and own celebrations of this date, however, vary in each of these diverse countries.  

This is a lithograph  showing Christopher Columbus as he departs for
his voyage to the New World. Queen Isabella, his benefactor, is
shown in Royal dress, seen him off at the docks. Columbus’s ships
can be seen in the background. This is truly a dramatic, historic
illustration of this important event.

In Latin America countries, the Hispanic Heritage Day is celebrated on October 12, because this is historically accepted as the start date of ties between Spain and America. In the United States, however, Columbus Day is a movable holiday, celebrated on the second Monday of October and also dedicated to the influence of the Italian culture.


Old cartoon I found to be interesting:

Undervalued abroad- A path full of ups and downs.

Moving to another country is a difficult decision itself. Starting again, meeting new people and feeling extremely lonely during the adaptation period is as natural as it is challenging. When I decided to move to the United States, I didn’t imagine the extent of my decision! I don’t come from a rich family, but never anything was ever lacking at my home. I was born and raised in a middle-class Brazilian family and attended a private catholic school my entire life. I had nannies, babysitters, extracurricular classes (such as ballet, tennis, private English school, private tutors for math, physics, science, etc). I also picked a major I loved and I ended up studying Architecture for two years at a private college. That’s when everything changed… I was following the same path as 99.9% of my friends (as expected of any Brazilian middle class individual, things were predictable, therefore, boring -for me. ) I was going to get an internship, maybe a partner, open an architecture office and that is it. I wanted more.

My city in Brazil. Maceio-Alagoas

 The college I was attending in Brazil

I knew that waiting for my graduation would delay my idea of study abroad. I always wanted to live the American high school dream, experience something new, meet new friends, but the time has passed by so fast. My dream of attending high school was already in the past, I missed the chance and now it was time of decision making again! I felt deep in my heart I had to live abroad for at least a few months. I planned the trip for almost a year! I always had in mind that English would be essential for any career that I wanted to pursue. So, I decided to learn it and come back with full fluency. That way, it would be easier to get a job in another state or at a multinational company.

I have never imagined my decision would make me suffer in so many ways and forms. I came to the U.S in 2010 to live with a host family and learn English. On the first months living with the family, suffered from homesickness, I was experiencing loneliness in a country that I wasn’t familiar with. I was living with a middle-class American family at a suburban city in New Jersey whose quality of life and habits were very different than what I was used to. The culture shock was immediate. As soon as I arrived at my house, I was introduced to my car, a red Honda accord (that in the future would become my best friend.)  

The city I lived for my first year in the U.S it was called Chatham and it was located in New Jersey.

Main street

 

The only Gazebo and park in the city haha

 Over the weeks, I learned a few things such as

1- The distance in relationships (in that case of parents and children).
2- The amount of junk food kids eat (and crazy meal schedules).  
3- Everything about the city I was living was extremely clean.
4- Americans were very punctual. 
5- Driving on the red light gives you a ticket (in Brazil, we usually don’t stop on red lights after 6pm because it can be very dangerous! Robbers target drivers at night).

Although I didn’t necessarily agree with a lot of my host family behaviors, I was living an amazing experience. With the monthly meetings (organized by the exchange travel agency I came) I met other girls, which some of them, later on became best friends and others, friends of convenience.

Since my work schedule was flexible (2:30 pm to 7:30 pm) I had every morning and evenings free.
In the morning, I chose Drew University to start my English classes. (a decision that couldn’t have been better, besides being a wonderful college, my teacher was a sweetheart ) through my English classes, I met other exchange students. I loved spending mornings learning English  and sharing experiences with people from all over the world.



Building were my classes were held. I loved every single detail about Drew.
One of the buildings


 Some Brazilian girls I met came from very poor backgrounds. Sometimes when I tried to communicate with them, it was complicated because their written Portuguese and communication skills were confusing. Some girls in my class were obsessed about American men and the idea of getting married and staying here forever. Some just wanted to learn English and return to their country of origin and start college. Others girls wanted to go to college here (my case). Meeting those people and hearing their life’s stories and their goals in the United States, it was definitely very interesting. Each person carried a background and in our comfort zones we never get to meet people from other upbringings.

Self-confidence X Support


Living abroad is not easy. We are constantly learning new things about ourselves. Having family support (even if it is over the phone) can be a powerful tool. But, more important than that, is finding balance and knowing your own VALUE. I can’t even count how many times people looked down on me for the fact I am Brazilian. Unfortunately social issues in Brazil has brought an incredible number of illegal immigrants to the United States. Those are the same immigrants that make people create the Brazilian ”stereotype”. Being strong therefore is not an option but a path we all need to take when living away from home. When you are a part of a sub-minority, you have to be assertive and not let anyone bring you down.  

Switching visas- from J1 to F1.

During my exchange year (living and working for a host family) I took classes both in New Jersey and in New York City. Twice a week I would attend my ESL class at Drew University, once a week I would attend my french class at a local church and every Saturday I would come to New York for my jewelry design classes at Studio Jewelers(my therapy!)

I took advantage of my first year to explore schools and opportunities. I guess around my 8th month in the United States, I decided to switch my j1 visa to f1 and attend college over here. Since we all need to take the TOEFL test in order to get accepted to any college, I made my student visa application through an English school in New York called ALCC.

Entrance of ALCC on 36th street.

For 4 months, I took the train 5 days a week from NJ to NY for my classes. At ALCC, I took writing, speaking, listening and TOEFL prep. classes. Right after 4 months, I took the TOEFL test and scored 92. I was ready to apply for colleges. Since I was still living in New Jersey, I decided to apply to a community college there. 


I started my classes at Raritan Valley C.C but unfortunately the staff was very unfriendly. They obligated all International Students to take endless English classes (that sometimes it would take up to 2 years). That meant we were paying tuition fees for English classes regardless of our TOEFL scores or time lived in the U.S. (of course, it was a college in the middle of nowhere, they needed money) Watching the time passing by while taking a 4 hours commute (yep, 4 hours! 2 trains + light rail + bus = 8 hours commuting every day) made me feel completely miserable. I’ve never felt so frustrated in my whole life. I could barely taste a class related to my major. I was studying English all over again, leaving home at 4 am and coming back at 10-11pm. 


That is when I decided to move to New York and attend college over here. I applied for 4 CUNY colleges: Baruch, City College, Hunter and Borough of Manhattan Community College. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend Baruch, City or Hunter because as a transfer international student, you have to have English 101 and Math. Since all my classes in 1 year and 6 months at Raritan were only ESL, I wasn’t able to transfer to a 4 year college. 


I moved to NY on April and started attending BMCC in the fall of 2013. As soon as I got here, I had to take some CUNY assessment tests (to see if I needed any remedial classes). I passed all tests and no remedial classes were needed. I was finally going to register for my first real English and math class! I could not contain my happiness. During my first semester, I was happy but a little bit lost. It was during my second semester that I started to get more involved on campus. I applied for of a leadership program called B.O.L.T (Building Outstanding Leaders of Tomorrow) and this program changed everything.

BMCC- Fiterman Hall
I am the blond one on the left 🙂

  Through the B.O.L.T program, I met a lot of leaders on and outside campus. I got to understand how the student activities office operated and all opportunities the college had to offer. After meeting Kimberly Chu, a lovely person responsible for the CUNY CORPS PROGRAM, (Opportunities for
students, faculty, and staff at
the University to work on projects that improve the city’s short and
long-term civic, economic and environmental sustainability), I applied for the program.

After
endless interviews with organizers and companies, I was hired by an
awesome and by far (at least for me) the best organization. I will be
working for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on their mobile development team. They only had 4 spots
for 4 different departments and my best friend, also made it too. My college population is of 24000 students and only 108 were in
the program ( less than 1% of the students, to be exact 0.4%). Yes, I am happy and proud of my journey =).


Now, in my third semester at BMCC I will start working on my first real job pretty soon, I am also part of the P.L.U.S program and I am the vice president of the college’s Fashion and Beauty Club.

There are no smooth rides when we do the ”right thing”


Doing the right thing sometimes can be very depressing. As I previously talked over here, living on a student visa is really, REALLY  hard. We have so many limitations! We are not allowed to work outside campus (unless is approved by USCIS)… As soon as we graduate we have to find a sponsor, etc, etc. Sometimes I also feel sad when someone ask me why I don’t attend college x or z when for International Students,most of the times, financials are the biggest reason for going to a less known college. It is very difficult for outsiders to understand the struggles we face and many of them don’t believe in our capacities. That is why we need to stand up for our beliefs and keep walking no matter what! The journey can be long but at the end we will say with relief: I MADE IT! 





iPhone 6 fever and 3 reasons you should not buy it

 Buying the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus does not make you a more intelligent person, but, I trust that the Intelligence is an ability that allows you to analyze the reasons (why not to buy an Iphone6) logically.
 

1. No innovation at all

Today, there are a lot of developers having great ideas, and trying to carry them out. The iPhone, iPad, iOS and the App Store have many options for developers to create great applications! But the fact that it is a closed system prevents these smartphones improve. Many of the functions are now copies of the Android, from the menu that appears when you slide the notification bar, widgets until now may be included in that menu, not to mention the Quick Settings menu that appears when you slide from the bottom of the screens. Another copy, cheap in this case, it does not allow to add more options such as Sharing WiFi network, the WiFi to activate this menu area.

Can we expect changes in the future? Simply no. Apple copied the improvements coming to Android, but users will have nothing to say.

2. Price

Most users do not have the facility to pay 706 dollars for the basic version of the unlocked iPhone 6. In addition, this smartphone no price drops. Which means that while a Samsung, HTC or Sony will cost 100 euros for two months and 200 euros for six months, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will still cost the same to the launch of a new iPhone.
 
3. iPhone 6 is no longer the best in the market

When Apple launched a smartphone before, that was the best on the market. The iPhone 4 was when it was launched, but today it is no longer true. The iPhone 6 has an 8 megapixel camera. Yes, it is true that it is capable of recording at 240 frames per second, but 8MP is almost a joke when compared to the 12 megapixels are the flagships with worse cameras on the market, such as Motorola Moto X in 2014, 16 megapixel arriving at the Samsung Galaxy S5, or 20.7 megapixel Sony Xperia Z3. And what about the screen? If a manufacturer of high-level Android smartphones launches a smartphone with a 4.7 inch screen with resolution of the iPhone 6, you criticize a lot, just as has happened with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. The resolution of the iPhone 6 does not become Full HD, and iPhone 6 Plus, with a 5.5-inch screen, Full HD is only when all smartphones currently a similar size already in Quad HD, as the LG G2. You see, in a single paragraph we have discussed a few smartphones with better features than the iPhone 6 But then, even that screen that counts, that bright you see on the Apple website, is the same one that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 . The last screen of Samsung, the Galaxy S5, was considered the best mobile display market.

Research first and buy next!

XoXo,

Li 

Starting a club on campus and making new friends

Hi friends!

Good news, I decided to post every two weeks on my blog 🙂 So, if you are interested in following an international student’s life, you can subscribe to my blog on the bottom right of the page (so u get email notifications) or you can simply come back here for every two weeks from now.

This semester I took a new challenge. One day my friend texted me asking if I had interest in being the Vice-President for the new club she was creating ”Fashion and Beauty Club”. I always wanted to be part of a club and even though I am a little busy this semester, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to meet new friends while I gain experience and develop my communication skills.
This semester I am taking 14 credits, I am on a volunteering program called P.L.U.S (Partners lending universal support) and I am also working for the CUNY Service Corps. With so many things going on I thought being in a club would take too much of my time…. but fortunately, club meetings are on Wednesdays from 2 to 4 pm and I happen to be free at this time! So I took the challenge. Let’s see how it is going to be =)

To open a club, at least in my college, we need:

1 President
1 Vice President
1 Secretary
1 Treasurer
15 students
1 faculty mentor
Write a club consitution

All executives officers need to be full-time students and have a minimum gpa of 2.5 or 3.0 ( I can’t remember exactly)

We also have to pick up an application inside the student’s activities office and we have to hand it back before the deadline.

Kauna, the club president, designed some flyers last minute, which looked really awesome btw and we handed out a few days before the club application deadline. In only two days on campus, we already had 26 students signed up! We were so happy!!! 🙂

Today, we had the club fair on campus. The club fair is a day when all students have an opportunity to promote their clubs! It was nice, we brought iPads and I designed some name badges. Two of our club members gave a little speech (Henry and Jodi)

Kauna, Jodi, me, Ezinma and Henry
Our name badges! 🙂
Henry and Jodi promoting our club!

Why should we start a club while we are in college? 

People create clubs for all kinds of reasons. If you have an
interest in something, is a great opportunity to meet people who think like you. You may also be
looking for something to put on a grad school application or a resume. You may just want to make some new friends and have a good time.
Nothing wrong with any of that! Think about all the reasons people have
for joining, and try to offer a little something to meet all those
needs. A survey or a discussion about what people want out of this
organization might be a good place to start. 
Hopefully you guys are inspired to open your own clubs!
If you have any questions, you can email me on my contact page

XoXo,

Li.

 

Classes are back and my weeks, crazier than ever.

                    
Well, this week was crazier than usual for me. I went to college, dropped a class  as soon as I saw the new professor (who happened to be my previous professor for another class and I hated her haha), I handed our new college club paperwork to the girl who is the club president, I volunteer at a book bazaar (it was cool!) and I was happy to see that my Physics teacher seems to be an awesome person! ( I am not a big Physics fan!) haha

                     View from college. It always put a smile on my face when I leave night classes 🙂

I think most of you know my boyfriend is Asian. This week I met an Asian guy at college and when we were chatting, I asked him if he was born in NY. He told me that he was born in Korea but that a year after, he moved to Canada. I was like -ok, so you are Asian/Canadian right? and he was like – I’m Canadian.  I still don’t understand why so many Asian-Americans or Asian- Canadians don’t feel pride in their heritage. When I told him my boyfriend was Asian, he seemed surprised and asked me: So… you are into Asian guys, han? I was like… well.. if all Asian guys are like my boyfriend then yes, I am into them! haha he asked me if I only dated Asians and I told him my boyfriend was my first Asian boyfriend and I’ve loved him because who he was! I love smart guys, and if the personality fits with mine, boom! that is it.
This week I also got caught off guard on the way. First, I heard that my cousin’s grandpa (which I also consider a grandpa for me) it was at the E.R .Also, my bf may be moving to Brooklyn and it sucks. Not that I hate Brooklyn, to be honest I don’t even know how it is over there, I’ve only been there a couple times (Prospect Park and two other places I forgot the name) what really sucks is that I live all the way up in Manhattan and the trip will be extremely exhausting. I guess we will have to take turns visiting each other… but I am not really happy with that ldr situation.
Changing topics, I am really excited because today it was the official launch of the Cuny Service Corps Program (Service Corps creates opportunities for students, faculty, and staff at
the University to work on projects that improve the city’s short and
long-term civic, economic and environmental sustainability) after endless interviews with the organizers and companies, I was hired by an awesome and by far (at least for me) the best organization. I will be working for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. They only had 4 spots for 4 different departments and my best friend, also made it too.  The ceremony was great, all 6 colleges were there (Around 800 students in total). My college population is of 24000 students and only 108 were in the program ( less than 1% of the students, to be exact 0.4%). I feel so proud, so happy. Sometimes the student visa sucks but these little things make my day. I feel energetic to keep fighting for my ideals and my career!

                                               My beautiful friends Sabrina and Ina and I

                                                                          My badge
 

Ina and I

(I’m the blond on the back 🙂 )

                                              Leaving the ceremony! So many people ^^

I can’t wait to have a girly day tomorrow (GNL – gym,nails,laundry lol) and maybe smoke some hookah or drink a little bit of Champagne, maybe a little more… and wine… and beer. That is it 🙂
See you next week. XoXo :*

Li

Dating in the U.S ( Differences between North American and South American relationships)

 Hi friends :]

Today I will be talking about a topic that soo many friends asked me about: dating in the U.S and the major differences (comparing to the South American culture). Here it is a list I made with some aspects that differ in our cultures:

1- Going out on dates

In the U.S as soon as we meet someone we like, we can be invited to go out on ”dates” which usually begins with romantic stuff, such as a dinner in a nice restaurant followed by a movie session,etc.( I particularly love the ”dates” phase, it is a nice period to get to know each other while respecting their spaces) But, in the US, sometimes people date more than one person at a time. Also, Americans like bringing fake dates do weddings or events. (Brazilians would never do that hahah)

In Brazil, we usually date people in our friends circle, that means that this person is not a total stranger (even if you are not that close with that person). The going out is much more casual, with friends around and if we like each other, the guy needs to ask if you want to be his girlfriend (and that usually happens quickly).

2- Girls/Boys night out

In the U.S, guys and woman in relationships go out with friends and co-workers (this includes clubbing, bars, strip clubs, trips, etc.) The first time my boyfriend went to a strip club with his guy friends, I couldn’t believe I wasn’t extremely angry about it. I felt a mix of weirdness, a little bit of jealously and acceptance of his culture.

In Brazil if you are in a relationship there is a rule between the lines that states that you can go out, but usually during the day and with friends of the same sex, if you go out at night, you have to let you partner know where are you going and with who. For example: If a woman is dating a man and he goes to a bbq party full of girls and he doesn’t let her know, 100% they will get to in a huge argument or even break up (especially if there is any girl she doesn’t like) .

3- Hanging out with friends of the opposite sex alone

In the U.S is common. People are much more independent and they feel they don’t need to let anyone know what they are doing. Americans love freedom and privacy. Co-workers have lunch together, old friends meet and random times and go out together.

In Brazil, it is like the night out; unless your partner knows and approves it, you should not do it if you don’t want to argue with your partner. In Brazil going out alone w a friend of the opposite sex, it is seen as extremely disrespectful.

4- Messaging/ Calling

In the U.S is not ok call more than once a day or send many texts at different times. If you do that, your partner will think you have nothing else to do and that you are extremely needy -and crazy haha.

In Brazil, couples need to update each other about what they are doing during the day. They usually call each other every day too. If you don’t text your partner for 1 or 2 days, they will pretty much think you don’t want to be with them anymore.

5- Expressing emotions

In the U.S people are much more colder. They don’t express emotions easily because they would be seen as weak. When I was living with an American family, my host mom would travel for a month, come back home and not even hug my host dad. It was sad. Also, their gifts were usually stuff for the house, like on Christmas when my host dad gifted my host mom a fire escape ladder- like that ones you can attach to the window ( I am not even joking) and a cool home phone. hahahah

In Brazil, we are very passionate. It doesn’t matter if it is to show affection or to argue, we go all the way. We can cry, scream, but we need to make our voices heard. We love showing off our affection in front of others haha Valentines day, Easter, birthdays, Christmas require a whole bunch of gifts (it always include clothing and/or beauty item and lots of chocolates) Brazilians put chocolates in almost every gift and cute handwritten cards. We love to impress our partners and organize surprises!

6- Finances

In the U.S couples are expected to share bills. They also don’t have a common bank account and they usually do pre-nups (maybe because the divorces rates here are incredibly high? ^^ )

In Brazil the woman can work, but it is not likely she will pay anything in house. IF she is working, she will usually use this money to take care of herself, go to spas, meet her girlfriends or make surprises for her partner. In Brazil, guys love to take care of their woman and they hate when they are way too independent.

7- Making plans

In the U.S, you can’t talk too much about what your plans for the relationship are. Here, you kind of just live the day. If you talk too much about kids, getting married or living together, they will think you are insane and want to take things to seriously before the ”right” time.

In Brazil, people always make plans, they dream so much! Even if nothing will actually happen, they will still be talking about buying a house together, traveling the world, having kids or become billionaires! haha there is no ”right” and ”wrong” they just talk what they feel like and their partner usually approves or thinks it is funny.
 
8- General rules of behavior

In the U.S, leaving your partner’s life alone is rule number one. They all love privacy

In Brazil, people love being dramatic and argue about lack of attention or jealously.

9- Gender roles

In the U.S, women are very aggressive and more masculine (at least in New York) . They are usually bossy, especially when they have a high paying job. Men are laid-back but very selfish. If they are in a relationship, that doesn’t mean he will give the world to you (unless you are married, with kids)

In Brazil, women are girly and raised to be a good girlfriend, wife or mother. Women are expected to cook and make sure their man is happy. Selfish people are very rare in Brazil, when you are in a relationship, everything that is yours, it is also belong to your partner.

10- Celebrating things

In the U.S people don’t really celebrate unless there is a big reason for it. I only see Americans celebrating 4th of July, Birthdays and Thanksgiving (some families celebrate Christmas too) and that is pretty much it.

In Brazil, we love, LOVEEE to party! We celebrate every month of dating, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Saint John’s (typical in the Northeast Area), Christmas, Carnival, Summer time (even though it is always summer in Brazil- December and January are the months we party the most. New Years parties can last up to 2 days and it is craaazy but so awesome!) We love organizing churrascos (bbq) for friends and random parties.

Understanding Dysfunctional Relationships

Hiii friends 🙂

While walking in the NYC streets yesterday, I was meditating over dysfunctional relationships.
Analyzing some family relationships, acquaintances and listening to some friends stories, I came to a conclusion. Relationships that started two or more decades ago are more likely to be a failed institution. I made a list with the most common causes for failed relationships and hopefully you all enjoy it and leave a comment at the end! 

 
 

1- MARRIAGES WITH NO DATING PERIOD

In the past, people used to meet each other and get married right away. Another problem it was with long term relationships, they never really got to ”know” each other. Nobody was allowed to travel or sleep with their bfs/gfs. How Do you know you want to spend your life with someone if you barely know this person? Dating is almost a vital phase needed in life, therefore, we should live these moments to the fullest! The dating period provides the opportunity for two people to meet, find out if there are an emotional, spiritual or mental affinity to give continuity to the relationship.



2- PEOPLE WHO NEVER KNEW WHO THEY WERE AND WHAT THEY REALLY WANTED

While today women have career and ambitions, in the past it wasn’t quite like that. Most marriages were arranged and others were quick and based on money/power. In addition, woman were so submissive to the point they wouldn’t even create goals for their lives (besides kids, cooking and having a husband).

3- STAYING TOGETHER BECAUSE OF CHILDREN, FINANCES OR EMOTIONAL DEPENDENCE

If you are reading this and you hit this stage, I am sorry to inform you:  this is not (and it will never be) a healthy relationship. If you stay with someone because you have kids with that person, that is the most ridiculous excuse you can have. Why? While for you is convenient suffering and believing you are doing something great for the kids by staying with your partner; on the other hand; your kids will suffer and create traumas over your unstable relationship.

How about couples that only stay with each other because they can’t be financially stable? I can’t recall a time where I had to be dependent on men. I always try my best to share expenses (equally) and if I can’t pay at that moment, I will pay the next time and so on. I think some people get so comfortable to the point they stop fighting for their own things and live on other people’s effort. This is not only miserable but it also a huge indicator of a character that only depreciates overtime.

The last -and probably the saddest reason to stay with another person – EMOTIONAL DEPENDENCE . The organization of one’s life around the loved one to the point of making its existence inconceivable without the other is a form of addiction similar to drug addiction or alcohol, whose destructive nature requires treatment and prevention. Someone who needs approval, acceptance and recognition of others to deal with every single life situation, because they don’t believe in their own value, it is probably living in emotional dependence.

WHY WE ARE SO LUCKY TODAY?

1- FREEDOM

The social and moral changes during in the last years brought other types of unions beyond traditional religious and civil marriage between a man and a woman. Different experiences as divorces, remarriages, reorganized families, homosexual unions, differences in age and culture and beliefs characterize various types of relationships. This enables new experiences and learning new goals and relationships.

Nowadays people are looking for relationships that can express the desire to be with each other satisfactorily and want to be next to someone they feel good, while they have affinity with and with similar/ shared projects. Therefore, couples are less bound by family and freer than ever to develop different relationships from those that the tradition their parents probably lived. As each one has its own culture, with family rituals, beliefs, myths, rules and regulations, new unions imply greater negotiating when it comes to sharing a life together.

2- OH! WE ARE EQUAL

Although I am not a feminist (to be honest most of the things attached to this term are shallow and stupid, because like other movements, it is filled with hypocrisy) there are certain aspects of the changes from 10, 20 years ago to today I really enjoy. First of all, let me begin by saying that we do not need to compete to show equal rights. As humans we are equal, we share biological characteristics and possess similar morphological and physiological qualities. A way to communicate through language and use reason are also features that humanize us and make us equal. We can do anything we want! If you have a lot of free time to fight for whatever reason, be aware that the same time can be used to do something actually productive. There are tons of free libraries and online resources and one of the best quotes (pretty simple, but direct) I have seen it says:

“We are shaped by our thoughts, we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves” Buddha.



I think that is all for today, I am so sleepy now! 😛 hopefully you guys enjoyed reading my thoughts. Don’t ever forget to be want you want while you are alive and do what you love!


Liana