Taylor Behling

 Brazil

Hometown: Longwood, Florida
School: Lake Mary
Sponsor District : District 6980
Sponsor Club: Seminole County South, Florida
Host District: 4420
Host Club: The Rotary Club of São Paulo Parque do Ibirapuera


My Bio


Hi, my name is Taylor Behling. I am 17 years old and a senior at Lake Mary High School in Florida. I have lived in Florida for about 10 years now. My family has 4 people. Me, My sister, My mother, and My father. We moved to Florida from Michiganwhere we lived in a very small town, there was only one stoplight in the town. I really loved the way everyone there was so willing to help others, no matter what they were doing. I have spoken English my entire life and I started learning Spanish my freshman year of high school. Now i can speak spanish at about a 2nd grade level and I can’t wait to learn Portuguese. I really enjoy spending time with my family and friends in my free time. We do anything from just watching a movie on the couch to going ice skating. My hobbies would include drawing and singing. My whole family likes to sing and my sister an I got really into drawing because it is a good way to express yourself. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have been given. I have wanted to travel and meet new people for a long time and I can’t even begin to describe how amazing this program is. I can’t wait to meet new people and share my new experiences with. I am beyond excited and can’t wait to start this amazing experience in Brazil.

My host family

My host family

the beautiful sunset in Brazil

the beautiful sunset in Brazil

exchange students from district 4420

exchange students from district 4420

Me riding a horse

Me riding a horse

Exploring Avenida Paulista with the exchange students

Exploring Avenida Paulista with the exchange students

pool party at Praia Grande

pool party at Praia Grande

Seven Year Old's Birthday Party

Seven Year Old's Birthday Party

Seven Year Old's Birthday Party

Seven Year Old's Birthday Party

Boa Vista Palace

Boa Vista Palace

Journals: Taylor-Brazil 2017-2018

  • Taylor, Outbound to Brazil

    Click HERE to read more about Taylor and all her blogs

    I am 4 months into my exchange and I still have moments where I find myself asking if I should really be doing this. I still talk to some of my friends in Florida and they are all in college and starting their lives. I always think that when I get back, I will just be starting. And I know I am doing something amazing and I wouldn’t change it for anything because I honestly love it here. Everyone here is so nice and so open. Even if you just meet someone they are willing to have a full conversation with you. Last weekend all the exchange students got together at Itanhaém beach. It was the first time I got to go to the beach since I have been here, and it was amazing. We had the privilege to visit a spot where an infamous priest used to go to write poems. It was a rock that looked like a bed because it was so smooth. It even had a rock on top of it that protected you from the sun. We walked around the city all morning and we had a Brazilian barbeque for lunch. I honestly think that everyone here knows how to cook. On the way home I even got to see some beautiful little waterfalls. For the family that made the barbeque, I went to their house and made tacos for them. My grandmother sent me taco seasoning a little while back and it made for an awesome dinner. It’s so crazy to me to think that less than a year ago I was told I was going to be doing this and now I am. It all happened so fast that even now I’m just like this is crazy. The new outbounds are getting selected already. I am still in shock that this is my life now. I cannot even imagine what I would be doing right now if I was not here. I have also begun to miss my family. Here they do not celebrate thanksgiving, so they have already begun to set up for Christmas. I am beginning to miss the things my family does for Christmas. Like when we go pick out a tree or bake Christmas cookies together. Here, they have a fake tree and they even have some Disney ornaments. They also have this little town on the TV stand. It’s all cute and different. We even went out to buy a stocking for me to put up next to their stockings. I am very excited to see what other traditions they have here. My host mother told me that they open one present the night before Christmas and then they open the rest on Christmas. Also, here Christmas is in summer here, so we are going to be spending Christmas at the beach and we will spend new years there too. It’s a little strange that its going to be hot enough to go to the beach at Christmas.

  • Taylor, Outbound to Brazil

    Click HERE to read more about Taylor and all her blogs

    It has almost been three months and I have officially hit normal. Normal is the usual, average, or typical state or condition. My normal is pretty much the same as it was in Florida. I go to school and then home every day. After school I don’t have a whole lot to do. Sometimes I go to the mall down the street and it is so much fun. Sometimes over the weekend my host family travels to different areas. One weekend we went to Campos do Jordão. I got to ride a horse and see the boa vista palace. This palace is where the governor of São Paulo spends his summers. The palace was so beautiful and had so many ornate details. On another weekend, I was able to explore Avenida Paulista with the other exchange students before going to watch IT. I have never had so much fun. We saw dancers on the street. So, we joined them. I have no idea what kind of dance we did but it was so fun. After the dancing we continued to walk down the street and look at all the different things that the vendors where selling. Some of these things were homemade and so precious. The strangest thing I have ever seen was when I went to a seven-year old’s birthday party. The parties here are more extravagant than some sweet sixteen parties I’ve been to. The party had waiters walking around all night with different types of food, the music was so loud and there were so many people. They had their entire family at this party. Every single member of their family was present at the party. The sweet buffet was humungous. They had a cake, cookies, cake pops, brigadeiro, etc. The building that was rented had actual carnival rides for the kids to ride and the party went until 12 at night. I don’t know about you guys but the parties I used to go to, at least for a seven-year-old, never went that late. Usually by around nine o’clock the parents are saying good bye to the party guests. Life here is so different than life in the USA. Earlier this month, I got to attend a very fun weekend in Praia Grande with the interact students in Praia Grande and the exchange students around me. We got to play some fun games in the pool, listen to some great music, and even a paint water balloon fight. The exchange students also got to win an award for being the most lively and happy people there. Finally, I made hamburgers and fries for my host family. I had never actually made a hamburger before and I called my dad to ask him how you make a hamburger. I also made chocolate chip cookies for my host family. We didn’t have allot of the ingredients, but the cookies still turned out amazing. My family said that they loved both dishes and can’t wait for me to make them again.

  • Taylor, Outbound to Brazil

    Click HERE to read more about Taylor and all her blogs

    I have been in Brazil for 26 days and it still feels like a dream. When I got off the plane I was greeted by my host mother and host sister holding a banner and flowers for me. I was immediately taken to the outbound orientation for my district. I was asked to speak in front of the parents in Portuguese. I was completely terrified. I took a breath and recited the introduction I had rehearsed. “oi meu nome e Taylor. Eu sou dos Estados Unidos.” Everyone Cheered and I was taken to the room with the outbound students. I was asked to talk to the students in English and explain what the process to be an exchange student is like in America. After that we came home and I was finally able to sleep. When I first started school, I was so nervous I could hardly remember how to walk. Looking back, I didn’t have anything to worry about. Everyone in the class came up to me and told me that if I ever needed anything, I could ask any of them for help . School is still a little hard for me because I don’t know the language very well yet, but I am understanding about 30% of what the teachers say. I still try to take notes and participate because that’s the only way to get better. The first weekend I spent in Brazil, I spent at an amazing house on a lake. I got to try water skiing. I found out it is so much harder than I originally thought. I got to try paddle boarding too. It was so much fun and so peaceful. I had my first orientation last weekend. It was so cool to meet all the other exchange students. I found two other girls from the USA and a girl from Germany who only lives 20 minutes from where I am staying.

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