Welcome to Genesee Community College’s Study Abroad Blog! This blog features students, staff and faculty as they document their travels around the globe. From to Australia to Ireland, this blog highlights the world of international opportunities awaiting Genesee students!

Meet our Bloggers!

Charissa Farnsworth

Studying in: Brazil

•  I’m from Medina, NY
•  Going into college I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do. I didn’t want to spend a fortune paying for college, but I also knew that I needed to take the next step in preparing for my future. GCC made it easy for me. Staying local and commuting helped it stay affordable while I took classes and figured out what I wanted to spend my life doing.
• I’m currently in the General Studies  degree program; this allows me to take all of GCC’s photography courses, and complete some general course work before I attend a four-year school photography school.
• I plan on going to a four-year photography school after I graduate GCC.
• My dream job would be working as a freelance travel photographer, and working on fine arts photography on the side.
• In Brazil, I will be learning Portuguese. Hopefully, I’ll pick it up quickly!
• I hope to gain a better understanding of different people, cultures, and life-styles. I’ll be married to my camera the entire trip, and as a photography student, I hope to be able to get some amazing photos. I like the idea of making friends all over the world. I’ll be living with a host family and meeting lots of new people, and I’m sure I’ll make many new friends. I’m really just planning to dive in and get lost in another world. I hope to grow a lot as a individual, I think this trip will encourage that and force me out of my comfort zone a little bit.
• I think the fact that I don’t speak the language will be the hardest part of the trip. Being able to communicate with other people is what helps build relationships, so it will be difficult in the beginning with no understanding of the language at all to try and break down those barriers. I’m a little nervous about  feeling isolated. Not being able to talk with someone from home, might cause me to get a little homesick. I understand that’s part of the journey and learning experience though, and between the new friends I’m sure to make in Brazil, and the fact that I can communicate over the internet with folks back home I know I’ll be fine. I think what will be the most rewarding aspect of my trip, will be at the end, when I’ve been studying Portuguese for almost a month and I can have a simple conversation with my host family. I want to be able to express my gratitude for allowing me to stay with them in their own language. I think that would be really amazing. I think with this trip, what I’m most striving for is personal growth. I want to expand my mind and open my life up to new people and new things; I want to push myself further than I thought I could, and walk away from the experience with a new way of looking at things.  I appreciate having this opportunity so much, and I don’t intend to waste a moment of it!


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