Brazil is the largest country in South America, stretching almost 4,350km from end to end and covering nearly 3,300,155 square miles. What is special or unique about your city? Brazil is the largest country in South America, stretching almost 4,350km from end to end and covering nearly 3,300,155 square miles. It extends from the Andes Mountains eastward to the Atlantic Ocean and borders every country of the continent except Chile and Ecuador. Although only slightly smaller in size than the United States, Brazil has a population of over 194 million. For hundreds of years, Brazil has ignited the Western imagination like no other South American country. The country is blessed with warm and pleasant weather year-round; friendly, relaxed and diverse people; beautiful, abundant nature and myriad cultural and social attractions. Curitiba is one of the largest cities in the prosperous Southern region, and its population is largely descended from German, Ukrainian, Russian, Italian and Polish immigrants. The city is known to urban planners worldwide for its innovative public transit system. What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city? It is a medium-size city, largely populated by European descendants. The weather can reach freezing temperatures. Even so, it is a cozy city. Locals say, "Our parks are our beaches." It is easy to adapt to life there. Are these impressions likely to change? Not really. What is the local language? The official language of Brazil is Portuguese. Away from the big cities, most Brazilians have little or no command of English. Many are able to understand Spanish, however, due to the similar nature of the two Latin-based languages. In general, Brazilians look favorably upon any effort to communicate with them in their native language. How easily could I live in this city without knowing this language? It is recommended that you acquire at least a basic knowledge of Portuguese prior to departure. Once in Brazil; enrolling in language classes is encouraged. Below are some commonly used Portuguese expressions that you might find helpful: Good morning = Bom Dia Good Afternoon = Boa Tarde Goodbye = Tchau Please = Por favor Thank you = Obrigado/a Yes = Sim No = Não What are good things to remember in order to avoid offending the other residents of this city? There are no fixed rules. Brazilians are open people. But, as always, you can't go wrong by simply exercising basic courtesy. How might the local weather affect my daily life? Many visitors from outside Brazil are not prepared to feel cold in this tropical country. This is precisely the case in Curitiba, located off the tropic parallel, and elevated by an altitude of almost 1000 meters above the sea level. These factors mean that winters (June - September) can reach freezing temperatures, especially at night, which makes coats and further protection necessary. Even in the other seasons, cold nights are not something unexpected, albeit it will rarely go down to freezing levels. Summers (December - March) tend to be mild, with some hotter days up to 30s °C (90s °F), but occasional nights of 10s°C (50s °F). Summers are more temperate than other regions to the north, but the altitude and more southerly location make the winters much colder. Curitiba receives a lot of rain; there's no dry season, and the area doesn’t go more than four or five days without showers. Meteorological issues lead to long periods of a permanent light rain or drizzle, which can last several weeks, typically foggy and gray, similar to London. Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people? As a rule, drinking tap water should be avoided, even in big cities. Bottled water should be consumed at all times. Living in Brazil will undoubtedly be a challenging and rewarding experience--learn as much as you can and make the most of it!