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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.”
― Edith Wharton
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
I’m a second year nursing student and I stayed in Porto for three months and did two different practical trainings in here. It was a very interesting experience because the school system is different in here, so there is a lot to compare and learn. The local students are very friendly and helpful, they don’t mind explaining how everything works in here. It has been a lot of help to have support from them, from daily life to dealing with different teachers.
Entrance of my school in Porto
The city itself is very nice and easy to get to know. The center area is rather small and it is impossible to get lost. In the free time there is plenty to do, from enjoying a quick cup of espresso to going to see a good game of football in the weekends (there are two notable football teams in here). Also the connection between other cities is very nice and taking the train is rather cheap for the students.
Casa da Musica and the city hall.
The view on the city
Boavista F.C. and FC Porto
Ocean and Castelo do Quejio
Ferreira ‘vinho do Porto’ wine cellar and the famous Ponte de dom Luís I
There is a lot more to see and wonder about in Porto and it surely is worth a visit! And specially because Portuguese people are very open minded and guest friendly!
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, isn’t called the city of seven hills for no reason. There really are hills almost every direction you go. So my high heels have been basically only decorating my room. Still the hills give possibilities to see amazing views from different sides of the city. And in the case you feel too tired to walk up the hills, there are lots of trams that take you up.
The city is charming and so are the people as well. There are all the time something to do and see. Also the weather is, surprise, better than in Finland. We spent a day on a beach sunbathing already at the first week of March. Great escape from the winter of Finland!
Here in Portugal travelling is really cheap. For example roundtrip train tickets to Sintra is 10 euro. Or flights to Azores 70e. That’s a reason why I have also made a road trip to Andalucía to Spain with my flat mates. 6 days in 5 cities under 200 euros. Also other things like food is cheaper here than in Finland. It is also possible to enjoy nightlife basically for free or with only couple of euro. Excellent for a student..
The university where I am is actually a private one. That I found out after two months, haha. The university is quite small but nice. I have only a few classes so I spend most of my time elsewhere. Thing that I’m really grateful is the buddy program in my school! Without my buddy I would have been totally lost during my first week here because of all kinds of problems with accommodation. But after all I have found lots of new amazing friends from all over the world. I wish the time wouldn’t pass so fast.
I spend my practical training period in sunny Portugal. The first month I lived in a city called Portimao which is popular among tourists. There is a beautiful beach where is great to enjoy warm days off from work. I have got Portuguese friends because of my local room mates and it has been fun to get to know their way of life. I have found out that Portuguese people are very friendly and they like to party.
I had one week holiday at Easter and I traveled to Lisbon. The capital of Portugal is very old and beautiful. The specialty of Portuguese buildings are decorated tile walls. I have tasted many Portuguese traditional foods like codfish and Pastel de Nata. People usually drink wine at dinner. Local people love small and strong coffee.
I perform the remaining part of my practical training in hospital of Faro. I live in a private apartment with my student friend. The rent is 190 euros for a room per month. Electricity is very expensive but luckily it is included. It was a surprise how cold it is inside the houses! I had to wear three layers of clothes for the first month but now it’s getting warmer. I’m glad the summer is coming.
As a radiographer student I work at radiology department and do for example conventional x-rays, CT scans, mammography and MRI examinations. I have also participated in surgeries and it has been very fascinating. It is quite different compared to Finland that medical staff is allowed to wear jewelries and keep their hair open at work. In Portugal the pace of work is much slower than in Finland, too. For example we are allowed to sleep at the night shifts and go out to have some fresh air during the work day 🙂
Greetings from Portugal! I arrived here 23.2 and my practical training started 25.2 in Portimao hospital. I live in the first four weeks in Portimao. After that I will move to Faro for two months. I’m here together with my classmate Anna-Sofia.
Everything has gone very well. We have a really nice portuguese roommates. The weather was really cold at first and inside of the houses were a horrible cold. Luckily there was a heater! After two weeks the weather warmed up and we were able to go to the beach. In Portimao are a lot of wonderful beaches. One of the most famous is Praia da Rocha.
In Portugal people eat a lot of fish, and they love codfish. The most famous dessert is the Pastel de Nata. Mealtimes are quite different. Lunch is eaten two or three o’clock and dinner around eight o’clock. Food in the shops is a bit cheaper than in Finland and eating in restaurants is cheaper to. Shampoo, soap and hair sprays are even more expensive than in Finland, which was quite a surprise.
Hospital equipments are really old. Here are still used to image plates. In Portimao the magnetic resonance imaging device is about 14 years old. But almost everything is working. It has been veryeducational to learn to usemanual devices.
The Portuguese pople are really nice and kind. They are always ready to help. The Portuguese people are much more family-oriented than the Finnish. Family is very important here. Young people living with their parents until they get married.
Next I’m moving to Faro. There everything will be new and exciting again. I hope that rest of the exchange will be really nice and I will meet a lot of new people!