Kunchana Anjalee Ranchagoda, 23, shares the story of her AIESEC internship to Brazil as an assistant English teacher. Here’s her story of how she embraced a new life with AIESEC while daring to be different to make a wholesome impact on society.
Hello Kunchana! We are in awe of your amazing AIESEC experience. First, shall we dive a bit into your new life?
Hello! I’ve been fortunate to undertake a teaching internship. I’m an assistant English teacher in a professional education institute in Porto Alegre, Brazil. It has been quite fascinating so far and exciting as well.
Interning abroad with AIESEC must have been a huge leap in your life. What has been your biggest motivation behind this?
My first AIESEC volunteering experience in Venice, Italy, became the very reason which motivated me to explore further the beauty of interning abroad. So with much delight, I set my heart on interning abroad after finishing my undergraduate studies. Moreover, my parents and also AIESEC in University of Peradeniya have always been a huge inspiration for me.
How exciting was the first day in a new country? Was it rough? Was it smooth?
My first day in Brazil was really nice. After arriving in the city early in the morning, I was warmly welcomed by my host family at the airport. I was so humbled by their warm, and loving welcome. After enjoying the fine breakfast, I had the luxury of a walk in the evening with my host mother, which undoubtedly made my first day in Brazil a great one.
Talking of food, what delicious food stories do you have to share with us?
A wide array of food items, including typical and unique delicacies, are available here. My favourites are Snoghonof (rice, creamy chicken and chips), chicken rice, xis salada polenta, garlic bread, desserts, pasta, pãn de queijo (cheese bread), pizza and mashed potatoes. Usually, the main meals here are rice, beans, and churrasqueria (barbecue).
That’s a lot of food! So my next question for you is, being far from home yet feeling like you are at home is a rare feeling to come by. Are there any moments of the day that bring you much solace and that ‘home’ feeling?
After finishing my work, my topmost concern is returning home to my host family as soon as possible. Evenings with them are all about singing, laughing, chatting and sipping coffee together. Such reunions are quite a lot relieving and delightful to live in.
That’s amazing, Kunchana! So, talking about your work, how would you describe your workplace?
I work at a professional education institute where teenagers learn English, ICT, digital marketing, digital media skills etc. This place is quite nice and professional as well. As the director and colleagues are quite friendly and supportive, I enjoy my work with much enthusiasm.
Embracing this new life must have been challenging but undoubtedly worthwhile. Finally Kunchana, how do you describe your experience of interning with AIESEC for someone willing to participate in future endeavors of this sort?
I couldn’t have realized my dream without the platform created by AIESEC with constant motivation and empowerment. Teaching is a mutual process that allows you to teach and learn from each other. While teaching these lovely teenagers, I’ve been educating myself as well. Our ultimate goal is to educate the community, and it should be started somewhere by someone. I’m glad I made a move by finally saying yes to my dream and passion. Thanks to AIESEC, this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Life begins the moment you step out of your comfort zone to explore how far you can fly, as evident by the story of Kunchana. Good moments, beautiful people and unforgettable memories will always accompany you, as long as you stay true to your life’s passion. One decision to do something you have never done before could begin a new chapter in your life! Life is too short to keep waiting; it’s time to start your own story!
You can too, write your own story like Kunchana.
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AIESEC in University of Peradeniya
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