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With its emerging economy and charismatic people, Brazil, the biggest country of South America, is a new destination to many studying abroad students. And in the middle of samba, soccer and school, here are some indispensable tips of what native Brazilians love and that you must do before leaving Brazil.

What to eat:

Let’s start with some iconic food native Brazilians love, and that you might love it too.

Brazilian cheese bread (pao de queijo) – this is definitely something to try. As soon as you get to a Brazilian airport, you will find a kiosk selling these delicious puffy cheese balls.

Pastel – Another thing Brazilians love and that you should do is go to a street fair to eat pastel, a fried pastry that can be filled with a variety of things, cheese, beef, ham, hearts of palm, etc.

Exotic fruits – Brazil has an extensive list of exotic fruits, and some of them are uniquely Brazilian. Since it’s a tropical country, it’s much easier to find those fruits there in many different ways: juices, ice cream, fruit bowls, sodas and even alcoholic beverages. Some of the fruits are: jabuticaba, pitanga, acai, carambola, pitomba, graviola and guarana.

acai_banana2(Photo via Nay)

Brigadeiro – a Brazilian chocolate truffle covered with chocolate sprinkles that you will probably fall in love with!

Feijoada – probably the most iconic Brazilian dish, feijoada may sound a little heavy for many people. The dish is a combination of black beans and pieces of pork that is served with rice, collard greens and farofa, a special kind of wheat.

What to drink:

Moving to beverages and drinks now, there are definitely two things you have to try: guarana and caipirinhas! The guarana is a classic Brazilian soda made from a fruit from Amazon. Sweet and energetic. Yum!

caipirinha(Photo via Velho Barreiro)

And finally caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink, is similar to a mojito. The traditional one is made with lime, sugar and cachaca (sugar cane rum). But there are also a lot of flavors like passion fruit, coconut and kiwi.  Just don’t have too many of them or you might end up with a headache!

What to do:

Brazil is known as the country of soccer, samba and Carnaval. And nothing is more classic than going to a stadium to see a soccer match. Even if you are not a huge soccer fan, it’s really interesting to see and feel the energy of a soccer game.

Brazil

s_b11_RTR31PAI(Photos via The Atlantic)

However, there are other things the locals enjoy, and that you should definitely do while you’re there. Brazilians love the beach, and they take advantage of its natural beauty in many different ways. If you’re staying in a city like Rio, you should definitely enjoy the beach as much as you can: play beach volleyball, go for a run or walk on the beach boardwalk, watch the sunset or simply hang with friends at a beach kiosk at night.

Brazil also has a lot of cultural programs. If you are staying in the country’s biggest cities like Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, you will find great museums and  libraries, like the Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil, in Rio.  There are also multiple street and boardwalk fairs that have a huge amount of arts and crafts for sale. These fairs usually sell unique things at a very affordable price.

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s_b17_43818087(Photos via The Atlantic)

Another classic thing to do in Rio is go visit Christ, the Redeemer for a breathtaking view of the city and take a trip on a cable car from the Sugar Loaf, where you will see the entire city, including the favelas, which are the poor areas of the city.

Ready for an exotic semester?


Featured photo via The Atlantic