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ELC - English Language Center Boston
Student Spotlight: Gilmara Botelho May 25th, 2016

Gilmara is from Minas Gerais, Brazil.  She started attending ELC earlier this month and will be staying through July. Back home in Brazil, she worked as a journalist, traveling all over the country.  This is her second time in the United States, her first time being in 2013 when she was taking English courses at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania.

When Gilmara is not studying at ELC, she likes to visit the museums and parks around Boston.  She loves to cook and eat.  Her speciality is pasta dishes, specifically carbonara, and her favorite food to eat is feijoada, which is a famous Brazilian stew consisting of beans, beef, and pork. We had a chance to sit down with Gilmara and talk about life!

Why did you choose to come to Boston?

I wanted to prepare to take the TOEFL test so that I can apply to get my master’s degree at Harvard.  I already have a master’s in Communications from a school at home in Brazil, so I am thinking of getting my master’s here in literature or journalism.

In terms of your experience at ELC in particular and Boston in general, what do you feel most proud of?

I am proud of how much I have learned for the TOEFL test.  I have learned a lot about Boston.  The atmosphere is not too fancy but not too casual.  It is very cool. I really enjoy the museums and parks.

What teacher at ELC made the most impact on you and why?

My two teachers are Dave and Michelle.  Michelle is very kind.  Dave is very good at making sure you remember what he taught and he is strict, which I like.

What is your favorite English word?

Massachusetts is my favorite word because once you can say Massachusetts you are able to speak English really well.

What are some of the most important lessons you learned in life? How did you learn them?

The most important lessons I have learned are how to interact with different people and how to respect boundaries, which I have learned a lot when I was a reporter, but I also am reminded of it now as a foreign student.

You were a journalist at home in Brazil.  Can you tell me a little bit about that?

I started working as a TV reporter in 2004 covering sports.  After that I began covering economics and more general reports. I have been a reporter for 12 years. Being a reporter is an everyday learning experience.  You are constantly meeting new and different people. I met at least three new people a day and I was always traveling. I have learned not to judge people. I interviewed a range of people, from some of the poorest citizens to the president of Brazil. The lifestyle is very busy and my phone always had to be on so, I decided to take a break a few months ago to refresh myself and try something new.

Check out some of Gilmara’s reporting here!

Gilmara Botelho Photo