Almost Midnight: Exchange Student Reflects on Year at LMU

After a year as an exchange student at Loyola Marymount University, Lucas Gomes Almeida is proud to say he is a Lion. The Brazil native even wrote a song about his experience, and was named the Student of the Month by the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program.

The Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP) is-it is a short term exchange program which fully funded Brazilian students to study all over the world for a one year term. Since its inception five years ago, LMU has hosted 15 students through the BSMP program.

Brazil Scientific Mobility Program: Share a story about how you made the most of your campus and all it has to offer. Did you participate in activities, events, sports, clubs/organizations, etc? How did it benefit your experience as a student?

Living in the United States has been a dream for me. I have always imagined how amazing it would be to experience another culture, to meet new people. It was pretty hard to believe it when I received the confirmation I was going to study abroad for one whole year. My feelings were mixed; I was super excited, but super afraid at the same time. Well, it happened! I came and all I can say is that it was surely one of the best experiences of my life!

The community is simply wonderful; it feels we are part of a big family. I am proud to say I am part of it! I am proud to say I am a LMU Lion!

Loyola Marymount University (LMU) is a place I can now call home. The environment, buildings, people—everything reinforces the welcoming atmosphere this place has to offer. The community is simply wonderful; it feels we are part of a big family. I am proud to say I am part of it! I am proud to say I am a LMU Lion!

An interesting aspect of studying here is the presence of a massive international community on campus and how amazing it is to be able to live among all those different cultures. My closest friends are all from different places in the world and that is awesome! The whole year was filled with activities and events aiming the students’ development and growth. Also, the amount of available clubs and organizations is huge. As a musician (along with being a Computer Science student), I was interested in finding groups related to music. How lucky I was to have the opportunity to get in to two of the most amazing groups I have ever joined: “On Another Note” (an a cappella group) and the church choir. This was an experience I will certainly take with me forever. The time I spent there made me grow not only as a musician, but also as a person. It also made me realize that we all are capable of much more than we think. Everyone is a valuable being and deserves to be encouraged! It was an honor to be a part of it!

Participating in the a cappella group was also an amazing experience. It helped me to get to know people I would not be able to meet otherwise. It brought a deeper level of immersion into the American culture and also a way to make really awesome friends. It also taught me how to better manage my time, as there were rehearsals, performances and, beyond that, school work.

Realizing that this experience is coming to an end makes me feel even more grateful for all the friends I made and all the goals I accomplished. I am not the same person that arrived here. I am going back to Brazil, but I am taking with me all the lessons I learned, all the memories I made and the new person I have become. I am already missing it all, but somehow I am sure that this is not the end!

Listen to “Almost Midnight”, a song written and performed by Lucas about his BSMP experience, and read the lyrics below:

It is almost midnight
These days had gone by so fast
And I got myself thinking
Thinking about how time flies
Everything’s about to change
I don’t know if I’m prepared
Days that will turn into memories,
People who are part of me
I will miss it all
Everything I’ll leave behind
But the love I feel
Will forever live
I will miss it all
Every moment, every day
But I am sure
This is not the end!
It is almost midnight
And I’m still here wide awake
Recalling all the special moments
All the love and peace they bring
Almost time to say goodbye
Bye to all the things I lived
But how to say goodbye to something
When you are not ready to leave?
Looks like the time has come
To go ahead and hit the road
I’m trying my best not to cry
But it’s a lot to leave behind
I’m taking memories with me
But part of my heart will stay here

This article was originally published by the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program.