Moema is in her second year, spending a semester abroad. See what she has to say about her exciting period of study in Portugal !
I arrived by plane and one thing that always takes my breath away is the 15-20min before landing, as we approach the town we get a complete overview of the city.
It was not my first time in the city but there is something different about coming here as an exchange student, I was going to become a local or so I’m hoping. I arrived on the last days of January, it was sunny like most days since then but a little cold because of the winds, however it was nothing compared to the Parisian weather I had just left and since it is the coldest it was going to get, I knew that the adventure was only going to get better and better.
The first week was orientation week, we had presentations of the university and it’s activities, details about the local culture, the police gave us tips on how to be safe and some rules in the country, nothing scary instead very reassuring even if Lisbon is already a safe city. We also received tips on how to integrate ourselves better in our new cultural setting and a presentation of the Erasmus associations that organised events. The university was making sure we felt safe, understood and that we would always have help, the same way they were helping students find accommodations.
A little less than 300 Erasmus students from all backgrounds and different programs were gathered and to help us all meet each other and discover the city, the school partnered with one of the Erasmus associations and created a variety of activities throughout the week that we could participate and in most cases they were free of charges like a welcome dinner and a wine tasting event.
The schools facilities are impressive and well resourced, it has a library with a study area and computers in addition to the numerous other places at our disposal where we can find a little peace to study, various places to have lunch at a good price within it’s walls and even ATM machines.
What is ahead?
Portugal is not a big country and has beautiful cities and sights only a few hours away by car, the neighbouring country is also something to not miss out on. But focusing on the country itself, it’s rich culture and food, it’s beautiful beaches and the fun nightlife are also a must I will try not to hold on too dear when going back home.