Greetings from Porto

A Postcard from Portugal

Olá! Greetings from now sunny Porto! I say now sunny because we just had the rainiest winters and the sun is only recently shown itself with the comfortable warmth. And not a moment too soon since I have only a short time left here before I have a second winter to endure in Finland.

Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto or ISEP as everyone knows it was a nice place to study. It is very much like TAMK of Porto. I chose physics, electronics and some embedded development. Comparing the universities I would say that the contents and goals of the courses are about the same as in TAMK but the overall study plan seems a bit disorganized and random. Teaching methods here were the biggest difference (I like TAMK better) which is something you would most certainly get used to on a longer run. Also you can clearly see that there is not a lot of money thrown at ISEP but they make do.

Most of my spare time was spent with a bunch of other exchange students mostly from around the EU. First three months were so warm you didn’t need a jacket even at night. I went to Azores and Madeira to explore the nature and culture (can recommend). I spent the new year in Madeira which is one of my life’s most important experiences. The fireworks were spectacular even though the locals were underwhelmed. Bad weather or something they said. I was too busy admiring the show.

All in all I like Portugal. I don’t think I would live here but maybe in Madeira. Things take a while to happen here. I mean all the things. Sometimes it’s a blessing and other times it’s a curse but just knowing it helps a lot. In some areas I think Portugal is a bit stuck in the teeth of history. Lots of bureaucracy, some places take cash only and most things you can’t do online. But the best are the people. They are more relaxed and open than in Finland. I’m excited to go home but I don’t want to leave.

– Rikuville Uusitalo


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