Erasmus+ report from Porto


You know when students come back from Erasmus full of impressions and acknowledge it was the best experience of their life? Well, we’ve only been on mobility for less than two months and we can agree that coming here is definitely one of our best decisions ever.

As for the university, the building itself does not reveal much from the outside, but the facilities it has are really diverse. For example, music courses are offered at the music faculty, which is new and contains very high-quality and modern equipment, just as art courses are taught in the atelier. Thus, students do not have to finance the materials needed for the lesson themselves. As was the case in Osijek until recently, the Faculty of Kinesiology is in the same building as basic education, which means that it has a large gym adequately equipped for various activities such as rollerblading, climbing, volleyball, basketball, tennis, cycling… and when the weather is good, as part of the lessons, we go skiing, hiking or surfing.

In class, notebooks and whiteboards are a thing of the past, work is done exclusively on laptops, tablets, or iPads, with a BYOD (bring your own device) policy.

The following are a few culture shocks we experienced, related to the university. The first and most impressive shock is definitely the “Praxe” culture. These are the students who dress in a different color every year, and in the last one (when they celebrate the end of college) they wear black, cover themselves with a blanket hey use as a cloak, and wear high-heeled shoes. What makes them different are the daily rituals they perform, so you can often see them lying down, yelling, doing squats, or smearing their faces with flour on the streets of Portugal. Sometimes these rituals are really extreme and cause fear in passers-by! Another cultural shock is the extraordinarily friendly relationship between students and professors – sometimes they kiss when entering the classrooms, they have lunch together in the canteen, during lectures both students and professors sometimes use bad words and it’s completely normal! Due to their maximal carefree behavior, we experienced that the professor did not show up for the exam without a single word of apology. Their mentality is such that they do not judge or pay attention to the clothes that the students or professors wear, nor is there any kind of dress code. Sometimes the college corridors are like a real fashion show. What disappointed us is that many young people do not understand a single word of English. In the beginning, it was really difficult for us because no one at the college could understand us or help us, not even the school staff. If the professors speak English during class, the other Portuguese students don’t understand what they are talking about, so a problem arises. Another disappointment is the food in the canteen – we realized that Slavonian meat is the best in the world, there is no such thing as good coffee in Portugal, cappuccino is milk with chocolate crumbs, no spice can beat Vegeta + we never want to eat rice again. Maybe the Portuguese people are so good-looking because they eat a lot of fish and olive oil, or maybe because they have P.E. twice a week for 2 and a half hours. Anyway, we’re enjoying it here, traveling, hanging out with people from all over the world and drinking really cheap booze! We are already afraid of the very thought of returning home and everything that awaits us.

P.S. the best thing of all is that we can miss English classes 10 times! 🙂

Written by:
Petra Mandić and Tihana Ristić, Module C, year 4

Erasmus+ report by Josipa Kuterovac

Recently I applied and participated in my first Erasmus+ project. It was an international training course called “WHAT THE… SOLIDARITY?” which took place in the small town of Tuchola in Poland. I went there with my best friend and sister. It was a week full of fun experiences, gaining knowledge and unforgettable adventures. I met really interesting people from other countries: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Latvia, Greece, Denmark, Turkey and Poland. The English language was our way of connection. The main goal of the project was to familiarize the participants with Erasmus+ opportunities in the implementation of youth projects related to the promotion of solidarity and the building of international relations.

In the course of the project we learned about the values of EU solidarity, but we also worked on creating our own projects. Besides that, we played simulation games and shared experiences with other participants. In addition, we created small “families”– support groups in which we did small tasks to promote solidarity and shared reflection of what we experienced. We also visited a local school, met the students and thus actively learned about solidarity and its importance in society. When the project finished, my sister, friend and me had the opportunity to explore some other cities in Poland for 2 days so we visited Gdansk and Poznan.

This project has helped me to broaden my knowledge, gain valuable experience and become more motivated to continue working with young people. I’m looking forward to some new projects and I encourage you all to also apply because you won’t regret it. For me, next time will probably be some youth exchange.

Written by:
Josipa Kuterevac, 4th-year student of teacher studies, module C