Luiz Carlos Galante, 60, from Sao Paulo (Brasil), retired, decided to travel the world and learn several languages for the next years. Check out the interview with a Brazilian doctor on world cup 2014.

What do you think about the World Cup in Brazil?

“The World Cup was a success for the government. A big stage of the ‘First World’.But Brazil is not the first world. Brazil is a developing country. My state, Sao Paulo, is in very good conditions, but the rest of Brazil just isn’t.”

…on the bus journey, from Windsor to Oxford, Luiz looked out of the window and said:

I like the landscape in England. It reminds me of Brazil. Here are a lot of trees. The road isn’t so good here, I think in France and Germany it’s better. Also in my state, the streets are better than the ones in the UK. The St Paulo state is like the size of Switzerland.

In the future I would like to establish a school for the poor people in Brazil. They shall live in the school. Food will be provided. Something like an orphanage. Teachers and nurses shall speak English, French, German and many other languages so the children can easily learn them.

A child’s brain is more capable of taking in new information than the one’s from adults. I will host 10 or 20 children. Five teachers will give lessons to the kids. The plan is, to teach them 5 or 6 languages in Brazil until they turn 7 years old. After this they will go to primary school, or secondary school. Maybe they can go to England. If they speak French, they can go to France or Canada.

One day I will die. Therefore I want to create a foundation with my money. There are a lot of children, even in my city, they don’t have anything to eat and who live on the street. Their parents are not in a good economic situation, they don’t have work, so they smuggle drugs. Parents are killers, smugglers and traffickers. I would like to pick up those children and put them into better living conditions, in a closed, secure space and provide education, food and health. The Government should be doing things like that but they simply don’t. That’s why I would like to build this school.

Kids are hanging out at traffic lights, are stopping cars and beg people for money. The police comes along and chases them away. One week afterwards they will be back at the same spot. Authorities don’t send those kids to school. Terrible. The goes by and tomorrow exactly these children will be killers and smugglers. The Government doesn’t see these issues.

The Government gives money to the poor people, so they don’t have to work. I think they should rather provide job opportunities for them and not just the money. But Brazilians don’t like to work.

It is really hard to learn English in my country because the teachers are Brazilians, and they have strong accents. Over here in England the teachers know the language better. They are British and that’s their core language, so the education you get is so much better.

The best way to study a language is to watch movies or musicals and listen to the radio. That’s what I do at least and that’s what works for me.

Why did you decide to study English in the UK?

I have studied all my life. When you are a doctor you need to study a lot. And when I stopped working, I was just lost. I asked myself: ‘What will I do in the future? I don’t work. What will I do?’ I continued reading medical journals… but then I stopped. I wanted to start a new life.

I decided to study languages because my neurons need to work. My brain needs to stay occupied, I need to do something. A lot of information is very good for my brain so it keeps working. I don’t want to get Alzheimer in the future.

So, I went to an English school in Brazil and my teacher advised me to go to Ireland or London. He said the education in the UK is better.

Did you travel a lot before you came to London?

In my old life there wasn’t too much travelling involved. I have studied in Paris in the past for about 8 months when I was a doctor. I was there as a trainee, I was 37 years old at the time. It was a completely different experience because there I was with like minded people, with doctors who were in the same age as me and shared the same interests. My French back then was better than my English is here today. It was just a different situation.

This time my major reason to be over here is also to study. I would love to go over to Paris again and also to Germany, but there is just no time. I was too busy studying over the last few months. Only in July there is time for me to travel and this month is already fully packed with trips. While over in the UK, I did little trips to Stonehenge and Bath, Windsor, Eton and Oxford. Edinburgh is on the list for next weekend and after that I will be travelling to Amsterdam.

How has your experience at this language school in London been so far?

I find the whole experience I am having at the moment very exciting. Staying with so young people for me is just fascinating. They are between the ages 16 – 18 and they find it very strange that ‘such an old man like me’ is studying English amongst them. But for me it is really really exciting.

The English people are also very polite to me. I have amazing teachers over here. My fellow students are young enough to be my grandchildren. They have the ability to speak but they don’t really know how to use the grammar. That’s where I beat them. I have difficulties to speak, but my grammar is correct. Students thought: ‘This old man doesn’t speak’, that is what encouraged me to speak more and that is why I am comfortable with it now.

Have any touching moments happened during your stay?

I had a sad moment which was amazing at the same time. You know, all my friends are living back in Sao Paulo and so does my dog. I love and miss my dog so much. Last Christmas I got invited by my old English teacher from Brazil. He skyped me one day and told me he will come to the UK to visit his family in Birmingham for a week over Christmas and he would like me to come over. And so I did. I went to see his family and it was just an incredible experience. They treated me as a family member. I really felt like a part of the family. Very heart-warming people. At boxing day my English teacher came up to me and gave me a present. It was a picture of my dog. I was close to tears.

What’s the plan when you return back to Brazil?

I will stay in Brazil for 1 year and I will start to learn Italian in a language school, to understand the basics. After this I will return to Europe, to Florence. In Italy I will continue to learn Italian in a language school for about 6 months. For me to learn Italian is not difficult because my grandparents speak Italian at home so I have listened to it before. I would like to travel throughout whole Italy. Spanish and Italian are Latin languages, so it is easy for me to understand.

“After all this I will return back to Brazil for another year and I will learn Spanish. I will prepare myself for the next trip to Madrid, where I will be learning the local language for about 6-9 months. In 2018 I will be going to Germany and I will do exactly the same. Learn German in a German language school.

I found this man so amazing and very inspiring for everybody but especially for people in his age. You can still go out there and learn new things about the world and travel!




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