It's hard trying to forget about Brazil! I had an AMAZING time down there. If you're thinking in going down there, prepare yourself to eat coffee and bread for breakfast, rice and beans everyday, and eating pizza with silverware. Drinking lots of Guaraná and having some açaí. Oh yeah and churrasco of course!
Brazil is honestly a beautiful country with so much culture and most people don't realize that unless they spend a good amount of time there. From the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, to the hills of Belo Horizonte to the German colonized towns in Santa Catarina, Brazil is filled with so much diversity and attractions.
Brazilians are also some of the nicest people you'll ever meet in your life! They're really open and touchy so get used to giving hugs and kisses when you greet people. Brazilians love to go out in a big group of friends and have a good time.
Also, you're not the only one so you'll meet lots of kids from all over the world! For example in my town I was the only american and there were 2 girls from Thailand, a German, and a boy from Greenland. Since you meet in the capital of your state for orientations you'll meet all the kids in your state. I was able to meet more Germans, Italians, and boy from Austria and another boy from Turkey.
School in Brazil is also great since its shorter than school days here in Texas. You'll be in a classroom with about 20-30 kids and the teacher will show up at your classroom. Usually school is from around 7:30 to about 12:30 and most if not all schools offer a little 25-30 minute interval.
Coming to Brazil was perhaps one of the best decisions I made in my teenage years. Being able to have that experience of studying abroad and learning Portuguese, has opened so many doors for me now that I am heading off to college. Being away from home made me realize how we take lots of things for granted and I also learned how we should also take advantage of our time. I wish I would've had more Guaraná, açaí, and pizza de frango com catupiry (pizza with chicken and catupiry; a special Brazilian cheese.)
If anyone is thinking in going down there, I totally recommend it. If you make the best of it, you'll have perhaps the best year of your teenage life. If I could, I would do my exchange all over again since it was that fun.
Venha pro Brasil! Come to Brazil!