Nouni Nasser

 Brazil

Hometown: Lake Mary, Florida
School: Lake Mary
Sponsor District : District 6980
Sponsor Club: Lake Mary, Florida
Host District: 4500
Host Club: The Rotary Club of João Pessoa Norte


My Bio


Oi, meu nome é Nourhan Nasser. I live in Lake Mary, Florida and I'm going to be an exchange student in Brazil. I moved to the United States about four years ago from a tiny country called Lebanon. I am the youngest of three children and currently live with my mother and sister. My father and brother live back in Lebanon where my family is. I am a very extroverted and loud person and I enjoy hanging out with my friends in my spare time. I am very involved in school academics and extracurricular activities. I am a four year varsity waterpolo player and swimmer and a member of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Art Appreciation, and the Biology and Medicine Club. I also currently have two part time jobs; working at Chikfila and my family's pizzeria. I have always been interested in learning about different cultures and languages because I am bicultural and have always wanted to expand my horizons. By learning a new language I will be able to experience a completely different way of life and become exposed to a different perspective of the world and Brazilian culture. I am going into this program with only what I have learned online and from other people but I can't wait to actually experience everything firsthand. I am so thankful to Rotary for allowing me to embark on this once in a lifetime experience and life journey.

The exchange student in my city (1 German, 1 Slovakian, 2 Finnish, 1 Taiwanese).

The exchange student in my city (1 German, 1 Slovakian, 2 Finnish, 1 Taiwanese).

Some of the exchange students in my Norbrex district during our orientation weekend in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

Some of the exchange students in my Norbrex district during our orientation weekend in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

Meeting my host family at the Recife airport.

Meeting my host family at the Recife airport.

A very common looking dish. We almost have rice and beans with chicken or beef for lunch everyday.

A very common looking dish. We almost have rice and beans with chicken or beef for lunch everyday.

Inbound orientation meeting at Maragogi.

Inbound orientation meeting at Maragogi.

Some of the kids on my swim team took me on my first beach day in my city.

Some of the kids on my swim team took me on my first beach day in my city.

A college field trip to Instituto Ricardo Brennand.

A college field trip to Instituto Ricardo Brennand.

One of the manyyy beaches surrounding my city. They are all so unique and breathtaking.

One of the manyyy beaches surrounding my city. They are all so unique and breathtaking.

Journals: Nouni-Brazil Blog 2017-18

  • Nouni, Outbound to Brazil

    Click HERE to read more about Nouni and all her blogs

    100 DAYS

    I can not believe how fast this exchange is passing by and how fast I'm learning my host language. Within 100 days of living in Brazil I have achieved a level of fluency that allows me to smoothly communicate and understand what is going on around me. Exchange truly brings out the true version of yourself because you get the chance to start with a blank slate with whatever version of yourself you choose to be. I have had crazy and adventurous days that will always be imprinted in my memories and bring a smile to my face but I have also had many normal days that have made my exchange what it is. Moments like sitting in the kitchen with my host mom and having a conversation about my day or car rides with my Brazilian best friend that always end up with us eating Acai or the sing alongs after family lunches at grandmas house that bring the entire family together. These are moments that have molded me into a different person, into a happier person, into a Brazilian by heart.

    A part of exchange is making mistakes and bursting into laughter days or months later after remembering what you've done. At first I was afraid to speak my host language in fear of messing up and being made fun of but after I started communicating with people, no matter how wrong my grammar was, I started to make stronger connections with people and they genuinely wanted to help me learn their language. Very common exchange student things is mixing up similar sounding words. This one time after practice my teammates and I decided to get some Acai and as I was ordering mine I asked for "leite em pau" instead of "leite em po". "Pau" is the Portuguese word for penis, so you can see where that went. Another time I tried asking my guy friend for a ride home which is "carona" but I asked if he could give me a "carinho" which is "affection" in Portuguese. Of course at the moment I was confused and my face turned red but these are all memorable moments I will always remember and laugh at.

    I full heartedly believe that your exchange is what you make it out to be. Starting with how close you get with your host family, to how hard you try to speak your host language, to the extracurricular activities you participate in. The fact that my host mom knows exactly what I'm thinking without me saying anything shows how close we have gotten in the past 100 days. The mere thought of leaving my first host family brings tears to my eyes. You can live in the same city as another exchange student, with the same family, go to the same school and still have a completely different exchange. I am lucky enough to have made many Brazilian friends from various background that have all taught me various different aspects of Brazilian life. I look forward to seeing where this exchange takes me.

  • Nouni, Outbound to Brazil

    Click HERE to read more about Nouni and all her blogs

    I truly believe that you can never be sad when around a Brazilian. Today symbolizes my two months in this under appreciated country that I have grown to love. My exchange started off bumpy, seeing that I left my home city at 8pm on a Monday and got to my host city at 2am on a Wednesday. I had some trouble with my luggage and ended up losing my connection and having to take a taxi to another airport where I lost that connection as well and had to book another flight to a different city because they didn't have anymore flights to my city that day which was another 7 hours wait. In addition to all this barely anyone understood yet spoke English and I couldn't contact my host family because I had an American line. Despite the emotional turmoil I appreciate everything that happened to me because I learned how to deal with an extremely stressful situation.

    It's been two months living in the northeast of Brazil in a small city called Joao Pessoa but I feel like I've lived here and known these people my entire life. I was welcomed with open arms wherever I went and greeted with friendly kisses and warm hugs from strangers that soon became my friends and family. I would have never imagined to be welcomed so lovingly and taken into someone's home so easily. At first I hated the thought of going to college where not a single person spoke English but despite the language barrier, I found all my classmates coming to my aid without me even asking for help. I'm not going to lie, not understanding the language of the country you're living in is extremely difficult and frustrating especially when you can't communicate with the people around you. I was very hesitant to speak Portuguese my first month because I had my host sister living with us and she translated for me and was my voice. However, she left for exchange to Poland at the end of my first month and it was heartbreaking because I never thought I'd get close to someone so fast. However it was also beneficial to my language acquisition because i was forced to have to speak and understand everything. I will full heartedly tell you that your exchange is what you make it and how fast you master your host language is solely up to you. You can find people who speak English in your city but you can also choose to practice your host language despite how much more difficult it is.

    I later joined a neighborhood swimming team at a place called "Villa Olímpica" where only one person and I mean one person spoke English. She is a past exchange student who went to Ohio and I am so grateful for her because sometimes you need an aid to explain the people, culture, and surroundings of your host country. Excluding her no one else on my team speaks English and my practices are completely in Portuguese which was EXTREMELY confusing at first. I expected to solely learn a language but I have fallen in love with Brazilian people and their culture and I have learned so much from the people I have meant from around the world. I have listened and learned to love German rap, watched Korean soap operas, learned a Finnish cultural dance, and most importantly started to love Brazilian music despite the fact that I hated it before my exchange.

    If you're reading this and you're thinking of doing exchange do it because it is a once in a lifetime experience to live a completely different life. If you end up going to Brazil you will be loved unconditionally, invited to random people's birthday parties (there are so many), eat the best food, and learn how to dance to any music.

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