Erasmus life in Porto

What is it like living and studying in Portugal.

There are plenty of things I could write about living and studying in Porto but to keep the text somewhat entertaining I’ll keep the text focused on main points mostly.

So my name is Petteri and I’m currently studying in Porto my 3rd year of International Business degree. In Finland I am still in my bachelors faze but due to my lack of concentration I accidentally chose masters level courses in Porto. Oops… But nevertheless I have to say that my courses here have not been nearly as difficult as I was anticipating and comparing to Tamk I would say that the difficulty level is pretty much the same or even slightly easier. I have not put too much effort in studying here and still managed to get good grades, but what did surprise me a little bit was the amount of work that needs to be done during the courses. Usually each course consists of an essay, presentation and a test at the end of the course. Like in Tamk most of the course projects and essays are done in teams which has been super good but there is always the possibility of doing it alone as well. The tests themselves have usually a big area that needs to be studied for the test but as I said earlier it is still easy to get good grades without that much effort. The biggest difference I have noticed studying here is that the teachers focus during classes on giving us students as much information as humanly possible without properly diving in to the details of the topics that much so in order to comprehend the main ideas of some things you need to study them at home all over again. The studying culture here I feel has been pretty much the same in my opinion but the timetables especially in masters courses have been weird. Usually we had a lesson from 10:00 to 13:00 and then there would be a four hour “lunch break” where most people would go home, workout and eat lunch with friends and even get drinks. Then the school would continue from 17:00 to 20:00 or even later during somedays. So to say here a lot of people work and study really long days but even our teachers say that it ruins the productivity. I prefer the studying preferences in Finland but I have not had any problems to adapting to the Portugese studying culture and once you accept it becomes normal to you already.

When it comes to my spare time in Porto I have met so many amazing friends that I feel I have already known for many years because we hangout, travel and do so many things together. In Portugal it is super common during a school week also to go out after a school day for few drinks, dinner and enjoy time with your friends and I have noticed that if you have a bit social life here, the time needs to come out of your sleeping time. Nevertheless, my objective going to exchange was to make as many foreign friends as possible and to meet people from all around the world and looking at our friend group, we are all from different countries around the world and it has been such a pleasure. Before the exam periods and after we usually hangout daily and traveled once a month to places like Madeira, Morocco, Nazare etc. I am also glad that the football world cup was during my time here and it was fun to see Erasmus friends as well as Portugese friends cheer for their countries and we would always gather to a sports bar to watch the games. When it comes to traveling Portugal has been an ideal location in my opinion because the plane tickets to neighboring countries are in the region of 30€ to 70€ back and forth.

Overall, I have more than enjoyed my time here so much and it is emotionally hard to go back home to Finland because I feel so comfortable here but at the same time there are these small things that I miss about home and I am somewhat excited to go back.


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