I FALL IN LOVE WITH PORTUGAL, WHEN I’M IN PORTUGAL I FEEL LIKE SECOND HOME… EVERYTHING IS SO EASY!
[On the left: Arta. On the right: Arta in the ESAD.CR engraving workshop.]
Year of the “Mobility Experience”: 2010.
Hometown: Liepāja, Latvia.
Course in your origin school: Graphic Design.
Host institution: ESAD.CR/IPL, Portugal.
Course or field of study in ESAD.CR: Several.
Why did you choose this school?
I knew that I want to choose something totally different then it`s in Latvia, indicating to culture and different way of living. And of course that entire daily thing makes different view to things you want to create. I choose right and I`m happy about the time I spent in Caldas da Rainha!
How did you become involved with Portuguese teachers and students?
Good thing was that most of the teacher had good English so I could easily communicate with them and Portuguese students were welcoming and helping a lot with finding an apartment, showing the best parts of Portugal and teaching Portuguese!
This school is “ideal” for…
…enjoying an Erasmus time :)
Where did you stay?
I was switching apartment couple of times, but I always stayed with Portuguese people!
What did you think of the city?
It`s pretty small you never can cross it with no meeting somebody you know, so you never miss anything and everything is always happening around or close to you, so it`s quite handy J “Praça da Fruta”, Café Ilha, Park, Flies market and a lot other nice things and places are there and those thing makes it cozy!
Did you like the food?
NO! I hate it! As I`m vegan and most of the Portuguese people love to eat meat and fish and so one I had almost nothing to eat if I ever went to restaurant. But the good thing was “Cantina” at school, because there was vegan option almost every day and I even like that food in school!
Did you visit other cities in Portugal?
Yeah, quite a lot, maybe even more than Portuguese habitants! I made some trips with other Erasmus/Portuguese people and also with my family and friends form Latvia. It’s really nice to travel in Portugal because the regions are all different and with their own way of living so you feel like visiting more than one country. My favorite places were “Serra da Estrela” and a city I loved was “Porto”!
What do you think are the major cultural differences between Portugal and your hometown?
The main difference is that Portuguese people don`t make things complicated! They are really easy and that`s cool!
Did you make any Portuguese friends?
I think I did and I was getting really well with them… It was always a lot of fun with friends in Portugal some of them I wish to meet more than once a year :)
Do you have plans to return to Portugal?
I have returned already at least 4 or 5 times! I fall in love with Portugal, when I m in Portugal I feel like second home…everything is so easy!
What do you think that this experience brought to you in the personal and professional level?
I brought a lot of experience in both levels – personal and professional. In personal maybe even not that much, as I’m used to live alone for long I was not homesick or nothing, just I saw other view of living that makes my daily life different nowadays.
In my professional level I loved the contact between teacher and student! It`s great that teacher is so interested to teach and give so much advices and energy to students. Almost all the courses I choose I enjoyed and in most of them I got new knowledge that helps me now in forward studies!
A recommendation for future “In Coming Students”:
If you enjoy La Boheme, inspiration “broadcasting”, sharing ideas, parties and you are social active so definitely perfect place to spend your Erasmus time is ESAD in Caldas da Rainha!
Other information you like to share:
Live with Portuguese people not in “Residencia”, it helps to get nice friends and you will always know what`s happening around the town!
Caldas is not the most sunny place in the world, don`t dream about warm nights! It was the most horrible winter ever even I’m from the north of Europe!
The best place for coffee was “Café Ilha”, I loved it!