When in Porto

For my exchange destination I chose Porto, Portugal despite not knowing much about the country beforehand, but it did not disappoint. As my exchange is coming to an end, I can look back at it and be satisfied with the choice and the experiences I had.

The studies in Porto are quite traditional and have a relatively relaxed atmosphere. It’s also possible to complete the courses independently, which offers some flexibility to your own personal scheduling, even though the number of classes in a week is quite small already. The studies in Portugal are more traditional compared to those in Finland, with strict observation of attendance and lecture based teaching methods.

Most of my spare time is spent on the same interests I have back home, for example by exploring the different streets and finding street art and expanding that by travelling to different cities around Portugal as well. I love the amount of water around Tampere, so Porto and its seaside location and the views here are a dream come true.

I’ve tried a lot of local foods and drinks, and would definitely recommend Bifanas from Conga, Pastéis de Nata from Manteigaria, and Port wine from anywhere across the Douro river on the Vila Nova de Gaia area. Also, as an avid fan of craft beers, different bars focusing on that have been explored around the city, although the amount of sour beer choices has been a little saddening. But eh, opportunities to find new favourites!

When it comes to the comparison of free time, I noticed that a lot more people in Finland are out and walking for fun whereas in Portugal they mostly have a clear destination. Many places, such as bars and restaurants, open only later while in Finland, they’re mostly open and available during the days as well.


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