Angel Villalobos-Rivera

Abdelnor is enjoying her time in the U.S.

Meet Maria Eduarda Barbosa Abdelnor from Brazil

Get to know Maria Eduarda Barbosa Abdelnor, an exchange student from Brazil. She discusses what she misses and is looking forward to in the U.S.

Welcome to “Walk in their shoes”, a column where we showcase our foreign exchange students and their homes throughout the year.

Maria Eduarda Barbosa Abdelnor (‘24) is an MHS exchange student from Pará, Brazil.

While attending school in the U.S., Abdelnor has enjoyed meeting new friends.

She said something that took some time to get used to was “having just one subject in a classroom.”

She continued, “The fact that I need to change [classrooms] every period surprised me a lot.” She said that in Brazil they have 9 classes per day and classes are shorter: one class is one hour long. 

For Abdelnor, after being in America for almost a year, the most difficult thing to do is interacting with people. “You can feel that there is a cultural barrier between you and the other person, and that can be really uncomfortable. Even trying to [make] friends was really hard,” she shared.

“I tried to get into every club or class that I could when I had the opportunity, like film club, choir, and art club,” she added. This has been helpful for her.

Abdelnor also feels that routines here are very different; for example, the time people eat their meals is different compared to Brazil. She said, “Everyone here [doesn’t have] a time designated [for] lunch or dinner — they just eat whenever.”

She also misses her favorite meal, ‘Pato no tucupi’. “It’s a meal with thin indigenous soup and duck meat and Jambu leaves —  it’s a very regional food from Pará.”

Abdelnor said she misses home life, her friends and family, which made her transition hard at the beginning of moving to Colorado. 

Abdelnor enjoys watercoloring, reading, drawing, singing, and going to the pool. She goes swimming nearly every week in Brazil because it’s warm almost all year, even in winter: “[it’s] basically always summer over there”.

Abdelnor said that something she wished she knew before moving was “to be more open minded and try everything”.

“Part of staying in another country for one year is to meet different people with different ways of thinking and various ways to relate and approach people,” she said.

Abdelnor said that she wanted to be a foreign exchange student because her father was a foreign student when he was in high school. It’s a tradition in her family.

Abdelnor said, “I really like Colorado. When I discovered that I was coming here, I began researching [the state]. I really started liking it.” She said if she couldn’t have come to Colorado, she would’ve loved to go to Washington.

Abdelnor wants to go to college in Brazil and study to become an architect. 

She also said she would love to study abroad in Italy. She believes Italian architecture is one of the best in the world.

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