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"What I experienced overseas was a doorway for me. It motivated me to look for other experiences somewhere else."
Current Country: 
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Country of Origin: 
Democratic Republic of the Congo

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"I always had the intention to go abroad to study. Like many young Congolese, I was full of ambition. I wanted to go experience another culture, so I decided to try living in a new country where the customs were different to those in my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In 2010 I went to study international relations in Brasília, the capital of Brazil.

"It was the first time in my life I was out of my own country and so far away from my family. In the beginning I was really surprised. The food was so new to me, and how people greeted each other, and even kiss, was totally different from what I see in my own country. It was a new language to learn and hear as well, full of new codes for expressing respect which were so unkown in my culture.

"After 5 years I returned to the DRC, but my country had totally changed. It took me a while to adjust to this coming back: from the transport system to the flow of people. It's another atmosphere and I am actually re-learning many things.

"One example that was surprising for me when I came back was how the DRC is a traditional country, where you won’t really see people kissing publicly although in Brazil, it was very common. When I first saw that in Brasilia, I thought “Oh my god! What is going on?”  Eventually I got used to it. I'd like to see this kind of openness in my country one day.

"What I experienced overseas was a doorway for me. It motivated me to look for other experiences somewhere else. One day I want to work for the United Nations, because it gives people opportunities to make cultural exchanges and discover the world. My ambition is to continue moving and migrating, traveling throughout the world and meeting other cultures, meeting other people. I think this is how we can always enrich ourselves, and have extraordinary experiences."

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