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Student from Suzano, São Paulo, is the next Soul student heading to South Africa

"Soul Bilíngue taught me I can overcome my fears and make my dreams come true," says Bianca Mendes

Bianca Mendes, Soul Bilíngue ambassador

The dream of studying abroad arrived for the former Soul Bilíngue student Bianca Mendes. This Thursday (17), she is going on her first international experience in Cape Town, South Africa. She ranked among the best students in the second semester of the 2019 program and earned the four-week scholarship to Good Hope Studies.

Daughter of Rosana Batista, Bianca was born and raised in Suzano, a city in the metropolitan area of São Paulo. She lives in Poá, in the same region of the state, with her mother and stepfather, Adão Batista. As for many low-income people in Brazil, Bianca's foreign exchange was a distant dream.

"Before Soul Bilíngue, studying abroad was a long-term project. I couldn't imagine myself at 20 years old doing it in a place as incredible as Cape Town," says Bianca.

Among several difficulties and achievements faced by Bianca, the biggest challenge was to overcome the standards expected for low-income youth.

"It's difficult to hear from people close to me, I wouldn't make it, but Soul proved to me I'm capable of if I wanted it. Today I am years away from being the best version of myself, but I am very proud of my achievements and the great things that are coming," says Bianca.

The former student of the organization has dedicated herself to English since she was 12 years old and said that enjoying the language made it easier for her to learn. And joining Soul Bilíngue took her out of her comfort zone. In addition, it opened doors to new opportunities. The first opportunity came right after the program.

"After finishing the semester, Ecolab hired me to work with amazing people there, and I'm sure the opportunity came because of the personal development that Soul Bilíngue brought me. My participation at Soul taught me I could easily overcome my fears and make my dreams come true," says Bianca.

Preparing the last details for the trip, Bianca talks about how the exchange program will be essential for her professional and personal development. For her, traveling alone in a different country, speaking another language, and living unique experiences will change her life completely.

"I work in the food sector, so understanding and speaking advanced English will help me. Besides that, I feel recharged every time my dreams come true to face bigger and bigger challenges."

Bianca is a student of Agricultural Engineering at Escola Superior de Agricultura "Luiz de Queiroz" (Esalq), a unit of the University of São Paulo (USP), in Piracicaba, São Paulo.

One of Bianca's plans is to take advantage of every opportunity to speak English. She hopes to visit many spots in Cape Town and enjoy a complete immersion in the English language.

"I want to live as many experiences as possible outside the class and improve my English skills. I also hope to go sightseeing in the city, go to the beaches and eat the local food," says Bianca.

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