Tag Archives: Portugal

Bom Dia from Porto!

I have spent three months now here in Porto. The place has shown to be even better than I expected. Porto is located at Northern Portugal and the name refers to harbor. There goes a river, called Douro, between Porto and Vila Nova De Gaia. The riverside, Ribeira, is really beautiful with different colored houses. The city is really lively and I think there is always something going on in here. The streets are filled with street artists and University students with their Hogwarts uniforms.

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I have done two practical trainings in here, the first one was at the biggest hospital in Porto, Hospital São João. I stayed at an Orthopedics ward for ten weeks. The hospital was really old and big, I managed to get lost in there several times during my stay. My next training took place in a recently renewed hospital, CMIN. I stayed for four weeks at an Obstrectical ward. I really enjoyed this training because I like to work with mothers and babys.

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Our school also arranged us a short Portuguese language course, which was really nice. I had been studied Portuguese a little already and during my stay I’ve noticed that I’ve learned a lot. The language is really difficult so I am proud if I am able to visit a supermarket or a coffee house with using only Portuguese language.

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The mentality of taking care of things is a little bit different than what I was used to in Finland. People can sometimes be a little slow and things can delay. But I have learned that you shouldn’t stress about it because it’s worth nothing. It’s better just to adapt to this “amanhã” style. In the hospitals the treatment can be a bit different but especially in my last training I think the basic care is the same than in Finland. Some things can vary because of cultural differences and I think that’s the biggest different. Sometimes I was suprised about the level of for example hygiene, but all in all I would say that the treatment is not so different.

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In my spare time I have tried to enjoy Porto as much as I can. I went to see two FC Porto football games which I really liked, visited the Port wine cellars, Matosinhos beach, parks and local markets. You can easily spend the day just walking around the city center and visiting the city of Vila Nova de Gaia and look at the breathtaking views from the bridge. Also, I would like to point out the amount of hills in Porto. You can’t avoid them, so good shoes are necessary.

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I have also travelled around Portugal, Lagos in Algarve, the capital Lisbon and the beautiful islands Azores. Now my exchange is soon coming to an end and even tho I am really exited to go back to Finland I am going to miss this place.

 

Laid back Porto

Hello from Porto! I have now been here over three months and it has definitely been a great experience. Studies have been quite the same as in Finland although not as challenging. Subjects I am studying are mostly focused on cultural differences in business and everyday life and how to get the best out of them.

Outside of the studies I have been travelling a lot around Portugal and even made a pit stop in Germany, Munich. I have been in Lisbon, seen the amazing university of Coimbra, swam in crystal blue waters in Algarve and relaxed in the hot springs of Azores. In Germany I mostly enjoyed the beer because here in Porto you basically have only one beer which is called Super Bock. Don’t get me wrong it’s good but it gets a bit boring after while. bridge algarve azores

The main difference here compared to Finland is definitely the laid back attitude towards everything. If you arrive ten minutes late to a meeting or class it’s not considered rude and you really don’t need to apologize for it which is a good thing but on the other hand you can see it in the results. Other major difference is that during the studies you have to choose between either continuous or final assessment. Continuous assessment means that you have small exams and group projects during the whole semester when final assessment means that you have to do one big exam in February on the subject.

Vila Nova de Gaia.

 

While waiting for small Christmas vacation to Finland I’m going to enjoy some delicious Port Wine (in moderation) and study hard and try to enjoy my last month here in Porto 🙂

Boa tarde!

So, it´s been almost three months when I left my dear country behind me and step to a whole new world! I was quite surprised that it was so warm in here in the autumn but hey can´t complain when the temperature was almost +30°C! Although in the hospital where I was doing my internship, it was terrible… But what do I think about Portugal? I think this is like exactly from the postcards you see in the tourist points, so beautiful and colorful country. Porto is at the same time small and big city, there is a lot of to see and discover in here and every time you found something new you get surprised! img_20160917_113904

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It is quite cheap to live here, so when you go to supermarket you really don´t have to think what you can buy. Also here is really good ingredients like fish, meat, vegetables and fruits! But have to say that it is almost as cheap to go out to eat. Most of the people are really friendly but I have noticed that in a stores and in restaurants you may not get as good service as you wish but I guess every country it goes that way.

 

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Oh, have to mention, if you come to Porto you have to have a good pair of shoes. There is a lot of hills and height differences! But I´ve heard that person who lives in Porto don`t go to the gym they just walk to home, hahah!

 

Travelling in here is also quite cheap. I´ve already visit in Lisbon, Braga, Guimaraes and Povoa de Varzim. It´s nice just go to the train station and decide where do I wanna go today… Trains and metros goes like all the time so you don`t have to worry how to get back!

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So, like I said, I am doing my internship in here in a hospital, yes I am going to be nurse soon! I have been already in a pediatric surgical ward five weeks in Sao Joan hospital. Have to say; it was really interesting and good place to be. Basically the children arrive to that ward from the operating room. I was also in those operating rooms to see different kind of operations, sooo interesting! Now I am in the nephrology unit in the same hospital and it´s also super interesting! I have seen the dialysis and also a kidney transplant surgery and have to say that I learn so much from the mentors and from the doctors because they really try to explain everything although some of them don´t speak so good English. But at least they try and I respect that!

Portuguese people do a lot of work in here and they don´t get a good salary. There is some differences about the time schedules because Portuguese people are like almost always late…hahah! It just something that I have to get used to it. But I think we work like the same way, we have different kind of protocols but in general we do it like the same way!

 

Bom dia from Portugal!

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I’ve been in Porto over two months now and I’ve really enjoyed my time here! My goal was to find an exchange destination where living is cheap and climate is warm and I think I couldn’t have chosen better place than Porto. Summer continued till November and now it’s a nice crisp autumn weather here. What comes to eating and drinking out, it’s very cheap! Lunch with a drink and dessert is usually five euros and the cheapest glass of red wine I found was 60 cents.

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I live by the river Douro with my room mates from all over the world. We have the most amazing view! Porto is a super beautiful city with deteriorated houses overlaid by colorful tiles and little streets and alleys and hidden gardens.

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I’m a nurse student and I’m having two practical training internships here, the first was a ten-week clinical training at Santo Antonio hospital. Language barrier was a problem at first since usually only young portuguese speak english. I think the biggest difference in portuguese and finnish school system is that everything takes more time here and sometimes no one knows answers to your questions considering for example next week’s schedule.. But you get used to it!

porto geres

I have been doing some travelling inside Portugal. Coimbra, Lisboa and a hiking trip to beautiful national park of Geres for example. For Christmas I’m flying to Azores, nature there is breathtaking and flights are cheap since Azores belong to Portugal. I don’t miss Finland yet,I’m just hoping I won’t run out of time, there’s so much’s to do here!

Be careful, Portugal may steal a piece from your heart!

Douro
Douro

It was amazing feeling to pack my bags and jump in to the airplane and in few hours I was in the middle of totally different culture, all alone and ready for new adventure!

My Erasmus experience in Porto included a lot of laughing, funny and confusing experiences, but there was also some frustrating moments.

New friends, great food, cheap restaurants and delicious Port Wine. Great parties, where you dance all night, while you are singing Spanish songs, without any idea what you are actually saying or singing. Traveling to different cities and seeing amazing places. These things gave  some unforgettable memories to me!


In Portugal people are more open, there is a lot of hugging and kissing to the cheeks and everything is “Que lindo!”. People love children and they won’t hide their feelings! But making plans and having schedules in Portugal (and Spain), is quite impossible.
You must be prepared, that plans can be changed in the last minutes and people will be late and things aren’t very well organized always.. Cultural differences are great, but I also learned that sometimes having those in everyday life can be a little bit tiring, so please be patient. :’)

I spent a lot of hours at hospital, sometimes doing quite long shifts.
I did my practical training in “Centro Hospitalar São João” which is the biggest hospital in northern Portugal. My expectations of Portuguese hospitals were not very high, so I wasn’t surprised that for example hygienic and aseptic things weren’t in so good level as in Finland.
New parts of the hospital were quite modern. I appreciate the Portuguese nurses’ dedication to their work.
Among the mentor nurses, in general, attitudes towards Erasmus students were quite good.

View from the hospital’s window
Dialysis room

It was quite a surprise that many people in Portugal really couldn’t speak English at all, especially the older persons. So, there you must use the power of non-verbal communication, just be creative! If you are polite people are always ready to help you. 🙂

At the hospital, language barrier caused very funny situations, but also some problems. I was very lucky that I worked with a Spanish exchange student, who spoke English. I got a very good friend from her.
All in all, I learned a lot of things and I have seen that things can be done in many different ways!

Praia de Matosinhos


Football – Of course!

Almost four months I was very into the real Portuguese culture, because I had an amazingly friendly and warm-hearted land lady. Living with the locals gave a very realistic perspective to Portuguese culture. Also having Spanish friends, just proved, that I really love these two cultures.

Vineyard next to the little village in Carrazeda de Ansiães

I was warned that Portugal may steal a piece from my heart. And yes, it stole..:) I can’t wait to go back there and explore the country even more!

– Emma

Cuprimentos de Português!

Greetings from Porto, Portugal!

silta

When I first heard that my Erasmus destination would be Porto, I had no idea what was ahead of me. I had so little information about this city that I had to do a quick google search; the same amount of inhabitants than Tampere, near the sea and home of FC Porto. Alright, sounds good.

I arrived to Porto a week before my studies we’re scheduled to start at Polytechnic of Porto – School of engineering, ISEP. During the first week I noticed that you can easily manage with English, price level is low and that the houses really don’t have insulation. In February and March you almost had to add cloths when coming back to your apartment from outside.

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Pic: Porto city from Clérigos Tower

So began the school and activities, the school part is a little more laid back than in Finland. Portuguese people don’t really wear watches, so someone being 30 mins late is more a rule than an exception. ISEP as a school is very similar to TAMK and the ways to teach and work are mostly the same and they were easy to adopt.

Porto is a city loaded with activities to do, one of those is offered by the sea; surfing. Porto has great possibilities to learn the secrets of surfing and for experts Portugal has the biggest waves in the world to offer! Mountains and beautiful nature also provides good opportunities for hiking or mountain biking.

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Pic: An army fort at Matosinhos beach

In general the people in Portugal seems to be extremely friendly and laid back. They have a lot of tasty traditional foods and sweets that they’re really proud of. And about football they’re absolutely fanatic, the atmosphere in local matches is out of this world!

Ola from Portugal!

Hi everyone,

I’m doing my practical training in Lisbon, Portugal. To begin with, I would like to say that I just came to Portugal for a holidays and suddenly found an amazing internship. So, it started like a great adventure: to go to travel for a month and didn’t come back. I’m totally amazed by the country and people. Ok, let’s speak about my Portuguese life in some order.

First, practical training. I’m really happy with a company I got in. They do post production and animation. During my time here I got a possibility to participate in great projects and see how professionals work. Mostly, I’m practicing digital compositing but sometimes I also do some motion graphics. I guess I’ve already gained a lot of experience here.

Next, Portugal. What can I say? It is really beautiful country and, of course, it is a great pleasure for a North person to livesome amount of time in so warm climate. For now I didn’t travel much around but what I’ve saw was amazing. Ocean is really fascinating, there is no words to describe power of it. We went to visit city named Nazare where you can see one of the biggest waves all over the world.

Lisbon and all other cities I’ve been to are also really beautiful. City centre of Lisbon is located on hills therefore city is full of stairs (some streets are just stairs), hidden paths, old buildings which sometimes seems like don’t follow any architectural rules, and pavements which are so narrow that sometimes people need to cuddle to walls to let trams path. All these things create special amazing atmosphere.

To conclude, it is a must to mention few things about my accommodation. When I was arriving to Portugal, my friends warned me that I need to be careful with renting apartment and check if a room has windows. Therefore before coming I double checked with my landlord that my room has windows, and it did. However, when I arrived my room didn’t have a door because it was an attic. Now I’m still living in this apartment but moved to room which has four doors. Third room in the apartment doesn’t have window, and an entrance to our bathroom is through balcony what’s really terrible when it is raining. Despite on all these strange things, I really like apartment because it is arty, full of writings on walls form people who were lived there before, full of old furniture and rented with two cats included. Of course, I know that apartments in Portugal are not like this but it is not hard to find apartment with some “special” things. So, my accommodation also brings some special atmosphere to my stay in Portugal.

And here is some more photos:

 

Beijinhos!

Õla! It is Portugal calling…!

I started my Erasmus in Porto on September. I studied Mechanical Engineering at ISEP (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto) in industrial management area. First days were pretty confusing because we were told that we have to wait three weeks for Indian people to come. So we had pretty easy start with the studies but we used the time getting to know the city and enjoying the sun.

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Matonsinhos beach

Our school started on October and we had good English speaking teachers but studying effort needed wasn’t that demanding than in Finnish schools. Although courses were interesting and teachers knew what they were talking about.

Free time was usually spent in the city or in the beach. In the nights people used to go with other Erasmus students to a place called Adega. Porto city is so beautiful and attractive that it never gets boring to see it!

Adega, Erasmus bar
Adega, Erasmus bar
Porto city
Porto city

Main touristic place is Ribeira which is the street close to Duoro river. That is really beautiful place both in the day and night.

Portuguese people are very warm and helpful people. People speak English pretty well in general and everything can be solved in English. Also they are fanatic about football which is their main sport. Food is good and especially seafood. Very good seafood can be found in Matonsinhos which is about 40 minutes from Porto by metro. Their most popular food is Fransisinha and they sell it everywhere. Although the best places must be founded!

Fransisinha
Fransisinha

One big problem here in Portugal is their houses. Even if the weather outside is warm and sunny the houses are really cold. This is caused by the high humidity, no isolation and with no heating systems. If you are thinking about going to Portugal make sure your house has some kind of heater and bring warm clothes with you!

Porto is a really nice city to spend time and enjoy many sunny days!

Porto
Porto

 

 

 

Practice in Portugal

Finally my first practice here is over.

I started my practice 14.9.2015 in Health care center. My learning goals was spoke little with people and understand them. See the new culture and different ways take care people. Learn things what I can use in Finland and things what I can`t use there. I think that my learning goals was realistic  First days was really hard because I can`t do nothing. I dont know what I have to do, so I only follow what nurses made. I`m really lucky, because same time there was other student Sofia who helps me a lot. I really try to do all of things, but language was problem. It was so easy to be there because nurse spoke good English. Maybe she has little bit problems understand me sometimes. I admire nurses way to face patiens. She was so friendly, polite and she has good workmanship. Here nurses are relaxed. In Finland we are too formal.

Here nurses talk with other nurses and I think that is good, because they help if somebody have lot of patiens and they know hole situation. Cooperation with the dogtor is really good. First nurses take all necessary measurements and talk with patient and then patient go to the doctors room. Doctor dont have to take anymore them and they can only focus other things. In some situations nurse have to help doctor. Example when the doctor take a papa-test.

Here is different way to take care like a wounds. I saw first time many new ways take care. I tryed explane how we improve wounds. Here they use a lot Betadine and we in Finland dont. Normally I use everytime gloves but here I learn make sterile ”compressas”. I can clean wound without golves. I got take off wound sutures. Im do that only once so it was good practise for me.

We had home care places and it opened my eyes. First I think that nobody cant live here, windows was broken and house was really old. I understand now how lucky I am. Next house was better, and we did there wound care.  I think it`s really good that nurses go elderly peoples house and see hole situation. Most people cant go to the hospital, so its good that someone go theirs house. And I think that home care  prevents illness and and they can live at home longer. Home is always home where people want to be.

I was in Cozinha comunitaria with other nurse. There was lot of people. I took a blood pressure and other nurses took weight and asked questions. They try to prevents diabetes. Nurse told them about stoke, heart attack etc. I dont understood a lot because she told Portuguese. Maybe two days later I was with the same nurse and other students in school. We counted there childrens BMI values. We make a ”playground” for them and I think that they had fun. I really like kids and that day was fabulous. I took childrens hight so I learned numbers in portuguese. Kids are our future.

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I was involved in the five days program. First I learned fruits name in portuguese. Then I was in fruit factory with other students and we told to childrens why they should eat fruits everyday. What vitamines is different fruits.  I try to do all things and talk with childrens. We had many different groups some groupe was really wild, but still we “survive”.  Childrens made fruit salad and we made smoothies for them. Its important teach them eat healthy food. And hopefully they will eat many fruits after that.

I`m in dance group. Reason why I`m in is diabetes. We will dance in shopping center Dolce Vita. We have a blue t-shirt where is diabetes logo, character. We are practice that dance couple times and it was fun. I`m little bit scary, because I`m not a dancer. But nobody else isin`t too, it helps me that I can do something like that. For me it is big thing. We try to tell about diabetes with dance for people.

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Im travel a lot here. Im been in Alagarve, Porto and Lisboa. One day me and my Erasmus friends rented a car and we travel Aveiro, there was big beach and weather was good. Im visited many cultur places and meet many new people here. Im really lucky that I choose this city.

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Ofcourse I`m party here too with my friends and I really can`t understand how those people can party hole night. They are crazy 😀 But I think that we have to “Aproveite sua vida<3”

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Atenciosamente:

Jenni

Dois galões, por favor!

The Portuguese version of Caffe Latte is O Galão. Espresso with hot milk.
The Portuguese version of Caffe Latte is O Galão. Espresso with hot milk.

Ten months have gone so quickly here in the beautiful and sunny Lisbon. The experience has been amazing and now that I have my last month to go I can´t believe how well everything has gone and how fast time flies. I have had great days and bad days and all those experiences have left a mark in my heart. I hope to return and at least visit Lisbon and other parts of Portugal somewhere in the near future.

I arrived here with my husband on September to study fine arts in the Faculty of Belas-Artes situated in the vibrant  Baixa-Chiado area at the heart of Lisbon. The University is different of those that I have been used to in Finland. Belas-Artes gives you an memorable first impression with its massive plaster statues on the hallways, high ceilings and architecture from the past centuries.

Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade de Lisboa
Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade de Lisboa
Students learn how to restore the old plaster statues
Students learn how to restore the old plaster statues

The teachers have been very positive and helpful as well as the fellow students. It´s fun to meet so many Erasmus students all the time and its rather easy to make friends or start a conversation about almost anything with people you have never seen before. Portuguese people love telling stories about their culture, history and all that sort of stuff, so it doesn’t take long to get some insight to their views of the country.

Window view from the University to the lovely red roof tops.
Window view from the University to the lovely red rooftops.

Its hard for me to describe how Belas-Artes is different from TAMK ( Tampere University of Applied Sciences)  but for instance it seems that there is lot more possibilities to do and learn different types of crafts in here. Whether ceramics, jewelry making, glass art, mosaics, plaster, and sculpture; metals, stone, wood in both more traditional and contemporary form etc.  But there are also possibilities to study animation, photography, design, illustration, 3D modeling and lots and lots of other things. And of course drawing, painting and sculpting. Belas-Artes has lot more space to do all the things, since its a huge building with four floors.

For instance at TAMK we don’t have the possibility to do anything with ceramics due to the lack of space and equipment. I have always loved doing things with my hands and working with clay, so on my first semester I took courses with ceramics. I really enjoyed them, and even though I probably wont be making tiles the rest of my life, I really learned to appreciate the art of tile making and ceramics in general. It is not at all as easy as I first thought. It is all about chemistry and to be truly great with ceramics you need to know how different ingredients work together. You need to be a little bit of a crazy chemist and Martha Steward at the same time. And things can explode – in the kiln.

Professor Pedro Fortuna measuring the ingcredients
Professor Pedro Fortuna measuring the ingredients
Prof. Fortuna showing how to make the glaze for the tiles
Prof. Fortuna showing how to make the glaze for the tiles
Students working at the ceramic class
Students working at the ceramic class
One of my works from the first semester, before firing
One of my works from the first semester, before firing
"The Unknown Thinker" After firing
“The Unknown Thinker”
After firing

 “Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.”
― Edith Wharton

 

Our window view from our lovely apartment in Graça. “Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.” ― Edith Wharton
Our window view from our lovely apartment in Graça. I want to be like that tall building sipping the last rays of the sun.

The city is very beautiful in itself a lot of old buildings and the culture shows all over. The art scene is lively and you just simply cant walk walk down the streets without sensing abundance of art, culture and history in various different forms, whether in music, typical Portuguese tiles, street art and traditional crafts. You can always stop to have a coffee and chat with a friend in reasonable priced coffee places. I really appreciate the Portuguese mentality that they keep the prices of coffee down for social reasons. Everyone needs to be able to have social life, whether rich or poor. That is culture for you, Finland! In here a galão costs about 1 € or 1,20 €. In Finland a cafe latte is an investment  – the prices are hipster high.

Cafeteria under a fig tree at Principe Real
Cafeteria under a fig tree at Principe Real

At this week we are celebrating Portugal Day and St. Anthony´s Day and in Lisbon that means that the capital city turns into a welcoming village with music, food and people partying all over the city for the week. Evenings are crazy with loud music, crowds down the streets and the hot air.

Everyone comes out to join the party at the Portugal´s Day (9th of July) This starts a week of celebration
Everyone comes out to join the party at the Portugal´s Day (9th of July) This starts a week of celebration
You can buy all kinds of food down the streets with a reasonable price on the celebration week.
You can buy all kinds of food down the streets with a reasonable price on the celebration week.
The city gets a new decoration, tables and chairs are being brought to parks and people eat and talk and kids play around. Everyone is welcomed and all are neighbors.
The city gets a new decoration, tables and chairs are being brought to parks and people eat and talk and kids play around. Everyone is welcomed and all are neighbors.

 

There is something about that warm atmosphere and people hanging out down the streets and everything being so lively, that makes you feel part of the city. The music is really loud and people are cheery and of course the downside is that there´s now way to escape this celebration, especially since our apartment is located just above the craziness.  Nevertheless its a fun experience.

Me in the middle with my husband, roommates and two random photo bombers in the front :D
Me in the middle with my husband, our four roommates and two random photo bombers at the front

I think that the exchange period is not only about studying in the school environment, but even more about the real life in here. It´s vital to get to know the local people – making Portuguese friends can help you a long way. If you´ll need someone to translate you things or to advice you with anything, it’s the locals.

During our days off in here we have gone traveling to different places: Sintra, Cascais, Mafra, Ericeira, Setubal, Sesimbra and so many other places. One of my favorites is definitely the island of São Miguel at the Azores.

Volcanic lake at the Island of São Miguel
Volcanic lake at the Island of São Miguel

Of course we have been getting to know the city very well. I already know my way around and overall it´s a safe city. I have never felt unsafe walking down the streets. There are areas to be avoided though, at least the night time. There is a lot of beauty to be discovered, foods and wines to taste and things to explore. I can imagine how in years to come after this experience has ended I will miss this.

Capo da Roca,which forms the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal and continental Europe
Capo da Roca,which forms the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal and continental Europe

The thing I will most miss though are the genuine friends I´ve made in here, the long conversations and the laughs that we shared. There are people at the school I will miss, like Sr. Martins, to whom you can ask anything ceramics related and he will have the answer and I will miss the lively atmosphere of the Portuguese students while they work. The students were always helpful even if they didn’t know me. After one conversation they would start greeting you down the long hallways of Belas-Artes. They really make you feel welcomed and curious about different countries.The Erasmus experience gave me a lot of confidence to move abroad again and even though I always knew I wanted to live abroad, this experience made it so much more concrete. We are already planning for new trips.

 

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“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.”

Isabelle Eberhardt, The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt