This blog is part of a series on Brooke Banglesdorf, Curt and René’s daughter, who moved to Florida in March 2018 to become a full-time student at Flight Safety International in Vero Beach. For more, search “Brooke Banglesdorf” in our blog’s sidebar.

One of the major adjustments that Brooke has had to adapt to in her new home is the dozens of different cultures she’s surrounded by at Flight Safety International. Her classmates are from all over the world, from Korea to the Netherlands and many places in between.

One of the advantages of having classmates from different part of the world is being able to try different foods.

“What’s really been cool is some of my friends from Guyana, whose culture I’ve been learning about, their mom came into town and cooked for them and they cooked for us,” Brooke said.

Another one of those advantages is being able to tap into her classmates’ knowledge about different regions. As someone that loves to travel Brooke is taking advantage of her newfound connections to different parts of the world, taking mental notes on where she should visit next.

The most difficult part of being surrounded by people from so many different backgrounds, Brooke said, is the language barrier. Although all of them speak English to a certain extent, many of them grew up with a different first language. To combat some of those language barriers, Brooke said she’s learned through necessity how to read nonverbal cues.

“I feel like I’m learning to read people, because you have to rely on so much of that nonverbal communication and trying to read people,” Brooke said, “but I’m also so glad I know some Spanish so I’m able to connect with some of my classmates that way.”

Brooke said the transition has been easier than she thought, though, due in large part to the fact that they’re all essentially learning a new language and culture at Flight Safety International. Like her brother, Jake, who studied abroad in Spain to learn Spanish, Brooke has been completely immersed in aviation, and her classmates are in the same boat. They’re so deep in aviation terminology, in fact, that Brooke says even the way they speak to each other has changed.

“It’s been great, and I was telling my mom it’s like I’m in this immersive program, like aviation is a whole ‘nother language, and we’re all kind of in the same situation,” Brooke said. “When we’re texting each other that we’re on our way, we’re like, ‘Landing check complete. On our way. ETA blah, blah, blah. Skies clear, traffic is light and moderate.’ It’s like a whole ‘nother language, and we’re all just in this different country of aviation and we’re immersed in this culture.”

That immersion is, after all, the reason she decided to attend flight school as a full-time student. She and her classmates have no choice but to learn.