In the United States students tend to keep relationships with their professors strictly professional (although, as we know, sometimes things get out of hand).
However, Brazil has once again afforded me the opportunity to experience things in a new light.
Once the workday is over my professors simply become Brazilians – lovely, happy people who just want to sip a cerveja and relax on the beach. It isn’t rare to find teachers fully informed of any drama going on amongst the students (and for them to even bring that drama up in class for discussion).
The university even sponsors events featuring unlimited beer and food (all for free!) that bring students and professors together for what begin as polite discussions of the day’s events and ultimately culminate in wild samba dance parties.
Overall, the student-teacher relationships found in Brazil are much more relaxed than those found in the United States, and the increased personal contact between students and professors makes for a much more enjoyable academic atmosphere.