author avatar

Sophie Auvin

Sophie Auvin is passionate about language. She is involved in women and immigrant rights. Her goals for the year are to become bilingual, be more independent, try something new and crazy, and improve her soccer skills. Communicating with someone in their native language that is not her own is what inspires her.


College Decision Day 2.0

April 18, 2019

I hit the refresh button willing the status update to appear early. It was Friday, February 8th and Hamilton College EDII decisions were coming out at 8:00 pm EST. I hit the refresh button again just as the clock changed to 11:00 pm Brasilia time and the blue “view update” link appeared. Breathing in and...

Read More

Learning How to Let Go

April 4, 2019

I decide to take the long bus ride home rather than the direct one. I tell myself it’s so I can do some reading, but I end up falling asleep. I wake up halfway through the ride to the sunlight beating down on my face through the open window. As old samba songs play through...

Read More

A List of Firsts:

March 21, 2019

-First time in a Portuguese-speaking country -First time living with a host family -First time living near the ocean and mountains -First time living on an island -First time with a sister -First time trying: farofa, pastels, chimarrão, acai, brigadeiros, goiaba, yucca, etc. -First time going to a club and dancing to funk -First time...

Read More

Saying Goodbye

March 21, 2019

I thought I’d be ready to leave when April rolled around. I thought I’d be excited to come home, to leave Brazil, to start a new chapter. But, I am not ready nor excited. I feel like a toddler who’s about to throw a tantrum and scream “Give me one more month! Just give me...

Read More

Voce Fala Portugues?

March 21, 2019

One of my least favorite questions when I first arrived in Brazil was “você fala português?” or “do you speak portuguese?”. At the beginning, I used to resent the question knowing full well my answer was only a half-truth. Saying “yes” meant ignoring the fact I would get to a point in the conversation where...

Read More

Saturday, December 29th: A Midnight Swim

January 2, 2019

I turn around slightly and shouted “Vamos?” into the night only to see two figures charging ahead into the waves. I pick my feet up and run towards the murky waters mentally preparing myself for the shock of ice cold water. My feet fumbling over the pocketed sand, I rush into the ocean and was...

Read More


December 18, 2018

Middles:   I have a theory all middles are the same. All the nowheres filled with flat fields and sparse trees. Where roads cut through rocks still bearing the marks of the earth. With grazing cows and muddy rivers. The spaces between are carbon copies of each other. Driving in the nowhere, I can be...

Read More

An Introspective into Impacto Vivo

December 7, 2018

Thursday, December 6th marked my last day at Impacto Vivo, a local organization providing an after-school program to low-income kids. In this moment I am incredibly conflicted about the project closing and being forced to seek out new opportunities. While I never would have left the organization on my own, part of me is relieved...

Read More

Discovering Brazil

November 28, 2018

This Saturday will mark not only the start of summer here in Brazil but also my first three months in-country. It is weird to think about how just under 90 days ago, I arrived in Florianopolis knowing nothing about Brazilian language or culture. So, to celebrate all that I have learned and all that is...

Read More


October 29, 2018

At first, I was at a loss for what to write about for this month’s blog. So many things had happened, yet there was always one idea I came back to. This idea, however, was riddled with challenges that accompany writing about issues from the perspective of an outsider in a country I call home...

Read More


September 25, 2018

Let’s talk about comparisons. I have spent a majority of my life entangled in this never-ending cycle of “he’s smarter than me”, “she’s faster than me”, “they’ll go to a better school than me”, and any other he/she/they is please fill in the blank here than me. It’s funny because everyone says not to compare...

Read More

What to Pack for a Year in Brazil

August 8, 2018

How exactly does one fit their entire life into a 58L backpack? Out of all the questions I have about my upcoming bridge year in Brazil, this one feels the most daunting. So, below I have listed what I think are the essentials for 8 months in beautiful Brazil. 1.Sunscreen: A must for any pale...

Read More