Hey, I am Marnix Rutten, a 3rd-year BSc Tourism student. Right now I am doing a minor at Universidade de Lisboa, the faculty is Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA). The courses of the minor are a mixture of Animal Biology, nature conservation, and Wildlife Management. The application went pretty smoothly but took quite a long time. There was a lot of contact with the exchange coordinator from ISA who helped me pick my courses and finalize the application. The communication was not always quick, but I have learned that email communication in Portugal can take some time. Nonetheless, all the help I got from her was very useful. Also while being here they are always available to reach out to in case something goes wrong or you need to change courses due to overlap.
Getting a room wasn’t difficult. There were many Facebook groups that offered student rooms for an affordable price in Lisbon. I chose to live in a flat with 12 other people. We have a big living room, a balcony, 2 kitchens, And 8 bathrooms. When everything was finalized it was finally time to move to Lisbon! However, in my first few days, I already realized that Lisbon is not made for tall people. While taking a stroll through Lisbon. I managed to walk into a traffic light, not the pole but the actual traffic light. I had to go to the hospital to get stitches. Great way to start the Minor abroad.
Still, I absolutely fell in love with the city and with Portugal itself. I was very surprised by how well people speak English here. Almost everyone is able to communicate with you. Furthermore, there are flixbusses and trains going all through Portugal. On a day off it is amazing to go to Porto, Faro, Sintra, or somewhere else. No matter where you travel to, there are always people who will travel along with you or who you will meet during your little trip. So you are never alone in Portugal.
Author: Marnix Rutten