My everyday life here in Portugal has definitely been different from that of Finland. I live in study in beautiful Oporto, the biggest city in northern Portugal and 2nd biggest city in all of Portugal. My school «Escola superior artística do Porto» or «ESAP» is a private university for different fields of art ranging from fine arts to cinema and architecture. Students here usually complete their studies in 3 years.
The school building is located in downtown area in the center of everything. I’m living in the suburbs myself – in a nice and peaceful neighorbood called Prelada, 1 hour walk (or 20 min by bus) from the center. I don’t mind it – I like using the public transportation around here and since it’s not that easy to drop at home during the school day you can be more productive and plan your days better… or just hang around in the city center. This contrasts my living in Tampere where I resided a 7 minute walk from school right in the center. I quite like this solution for a change.
It is very old building with a long history as are many of the buildings in the downtown area of Oporto. I heard from my colleagues that it used to be the headquarters of banana traders in the past – I wonder if that’s why there’s cell in the basement? Anyway, it is a great and inspiring environment for an artist.
My school days are relatively easygoing here – they usually start at 10 am and finish around 4 pm. Of course there’s a lunch break in the middle. I only participate the practical courses my school offers as my portuguese language skills are quite not up to the level of following lectures. In the first semester my classes consist of two project classes, dealing with print-making and artist pastiche work, litography and engraving classes and two illustration classes, dealing with conceptual tasks and self-published fanzine. I enjoy them wholeheartedly – since printmaking nor illustration are offered back in my home school!
Of course I have had time to travel around as well – mostly to the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. Portugal is very friendly and relatively small country with lots of beautiful historical and natural sites to see.
Here I am at Farol do Cabo de São Vicente, Sagres – far end of the southern Portugal. On the background is the Atlantic Ocean. Boy, did it wind down there!
Of course I enjoy my trips and the student activities around here (awesome parties), but in the end I came abroad also to live and experience the normal life with its ups and downs. I think I have quite succeeded in building myself a nice and comfortable home here – as it should be. Portugal has been good for me and I still look forward to many days to come!
Têm um grande momento!