Tag Archives: Portugal

Olá! Greetings from Portugal!

Hello Finland!

I study to be a nurse and I wanted to do my intership in other country. So here I am, in Portugal, city called Coimbra. Sebtember and specially October have been so warm; over 30 degrees most of the days.  No complaints…


Work place

I work at a university hospital at the infectious department. In the ward, there is lots of different kind of patients; HIV, pneumonia, cancer, drug users etc. I have done so many different things, for example taking blood examples, treated the wounds, diluted antibiotics and I have given intravenous medication to patiens. 


Free time

Coimbra is pretty small city here in Portugal but still there is something to see. The university is very famous and popular. The school was built in 1290. It’s oldest school in Portugal.

Also Santa Clara bridge is beautiful. Rio Mondego- river flows through Coimbra under the Santa Clara bridge. From there you can see all those colorful buildings and beautiful landscape. 

I have travelled few times in here Portugal. I have been in Figuera da Foz and Porto. One of my classmates from Finland came here and she is living in Porto. Figuera da Foz in near to the beach. Coimbra is inland so it is nice to visit the seafront sometimes. I am planning to go to Aveiro and Lissabon soon also. 

We also booked a trip to Paeva Walkways- event. There we went to this amazing park. Paiva Walkways are located on the left bank of the Paiva River, in Arouca municipality, Aveiro. There is route what is 8 km long and that provide a walk “untouched”, surrounded by unique beauty of landscapes, in an authentic natural sanctuary along the brave waters downhills.


What is different

I think the ward in the hospital itself is pretty similar than in Finland. In our ward, there is 29 beds for patiens. In morning shift works five nurses, three nurse assistant and several doctors. Nurse assistans differs from our practial nurses. Nurse assistants just help nurses if they need help. They are not allowed to do anything by themselves. You don’t need any kind of education to be an assistant; you learn when you work. Here nurses do lots of things. Some wards in Finland, nurses don’t take blood samples anymore. And nurses and doctors works together. Here they doesn’t.

The hierarchy is strongly exposed. Doctors are almost like God and students are lowest ranked. Even though they said that in Finland we are quiet and shy people, still we are friendly and openminded. Here not so many are interested from students or wants to know who we are etc. They don’t speak english, even if they can. 

In general, I think here people are nice and friendly and helpful. If you ask something, at least they try to help you (sometimes they just tell anything, just to get rid of you 😀 ). And ofcourse here they are “slow” as in the West European countries. Nurses comes to work like 10mins late every day, and that’s okay. If you ask something important, they answer you “don’t worry about it”.

But still, I like Portugal. Maybe we can learn to be little more flexible and relaxed… 😉



Saudações de Porto!

Porto is a very old beautiful city in the northern Portugal. It’s the second largest city of the country right after Lisbon.  Porto is known for it’s gorgeous bridges along with the medieval riverside district (Ribeira) with it’s narrow cobblestone streets. It is also famous for it’s Port wine production.



I spent my time trying to experience everything Portugal had to offer. I did trips to different cities around the country, went watching champions league games, tried experiencing different foods and drinks, but the most memorable trip was the trip we took to Azores islands. They are volcanic islands in the middle of Atlantic Ocean. They have very beautiful waterfalls where you can take trips to do canoying. They also have hot springs for relaxing and even volcanic hot beaches in the ocean!

Universities are quite different from what I’m used to in Finland. The teaching is “old school”, as in you have to respect and call your professors by their title. What I found extremely interesting was how the university students in Portugal dressed in these “Harry Potter” like school uniforms. It is known that the author of Harry Potter got the idea from these exact uniforms! The freshmen of universities go through embarrassing looking rituals every day during their first year. Also they have to wear the same white t-shirt and a paper “crown” every day for the whole semester without washing them even once. I talked with the freshmen about it and they all did it with pride because it was their traditions and I really respected that.

교복입는 대학교.jpg | 인스티즈


Boa tarde from the sunny Lisbon!

I’m studying in Universidade Europeia, one of the few private universities in Lisbon. Studying here is a bit different from what I’m used to in TAMK. Here I have school a few hours every day with different subjects and professors, whereas in TAMK we have one or two subjects per period. I have classes in Marketing, Tourism and Hospitality.

In TAMK we also do more practical work, when the lessons here feel like the lessons I had in the high school, with teacher doing most of the speaking and trying to explain things. All my courses are in English and most people here speak English very well.

img_2749Portuguese people are really friendly and laidback, but also a bit impatient. You can see that every day if you’re walking in a city, when people cross the street whenever they can or when the drivers use the car horns much more than is needed.

The Erasmus activity in Lisbon is really good. There are at least three Erasmus organizations who all arrange parties, BBQ’s and trips to all over Portugal, and to Spain and Morocco too! I have been on these trips to Sintra, Braga, Guimarães, Gerês, Nazaré, Berlengas, Obidós and Torres Vedras (Carnival!).I wish we had so many trips for the Erasmus students in Tampere too.

By myself, I visited the Azores, which belong to Portugal. I still haven’t gone to Madeira, although my Madeiran roommates tell me it’s heaven on earth.

My most favourite thing here is to drink coffee or wine in a miradouro, a viewpoint where you have really nice views over the red roofs. There are many in Lisbon. The city really has a rough style of beauty, with lots of graffitis, street art, old houses and narrow tiled streets.img_2412 img_0922 img_2443

As the summer is here, the temperature can rise up and over +30C, which is insane to a white Finnish person like me. Luckily there are beaches, terraces and all kind of activity you can do outside. Also, many flowers and trees are blooming! Even the night is warm to me.img_2814 img_2781 img_2762

One memorable thing for me will be a volunteer trip my school arranged to Setúbal, which is south from Lisbon. We were in a beach, collecting the plastic waste from the beaches. I really love the ocean and the plastic pollution has always stressed me out, so it was nice to help, even a bit. Afterwards we could enjoy the beaches.img_2639 img_2656 img_2675

Lisbon and Portugal will surely have a place in my heart. As my friend said, Lisbon is a state of mind.

Com amor,


Greetings from Porto

I have been studying in Porto for almost three months and I have at least two months ahead of me and I can’t wait to get more and more experiences from Portugal. Why do I love Porto? It has a lot of universities and a huge group of Erasmus students are coming here every semester. Local people are friendly, living is cheap and the public transportation (metro) is awesome! The coastline is beautiful and the weather.. well, it’s mostly amazing!


I am studying mechanical engineering at ISEP. My courses are from the Master Degree of Industrial Management / Process Engineering. I have been struggling sometimes with the classes but I still feel optimistic and I’m always up for new challenges. Our class size is fairly small – we have more or less ten students attending the classes and all of my teachers remembers my name and they are really interested to know more about Finland. I am studying mostly with Portuguese people, which has been really cool!IMG_20170310_181520

I am living with 8 people around the world from Italy, Mexico, Angola, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Brazil and I love it! I am spending my spare time like any other Erasmus student (should) – meeting friends and new people, joining the ESN Events (parties) and travelling. I have been travelling around Portugal (Lisbon, Albufeira, Braga, Guimaraes, Esposende) and in Morocco. I am planning to keep on collecting experiences!

Below are some pictures from  Braga, Morocco and Albufeira.

BragaIMG_20170412_182429 Albufeira






In Portugal, dinner time is the most important time of the day. I have learned to eat a lot in the evening with friends and I am familiar with referring to meeting times such as “before the dinner” and “after the dinner”. Dinner is a social event with awesome food – every night!

It is okay to be late in Portugal and sometimes you need to wait a long time to see your local friends – obviously as a Finnish person I am arriving too early. I have learned to love the Portuguese lifestyle. People are laid back and they are not always in a rush and they don’t mind being late. I have learned how to live more stress-less life here in Portugal – sometimes you can be late and for the most times it is okay. I warmly recommend you to visit Porto and figure that out yourself…

Porto has been chosen to be the Best European Destination 2017 – and I do agree!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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



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.






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!




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!


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.


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.


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!


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!


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!