Thursday, 17 September 2015

Arriving in Lisbon


As some of you may know already I'm off on exchange to Lisbon in Portugal so I haven't had much time to blog over the past few weeks! But I'm very excited to finally be blogging again after a hectic week of settling into a city in a completely different country that is going to be my home for the next few months. It's been a really scary but amazing journey so far and I thought I'd give you all a little update on what has been going on and how I have been settling in to everything now that I've been here over a week...

When I arrived at Lisbon airport I literally felt sick.; I thought I was going to throw up in front of everyone waiting to collect their baggage. I even had to get a man to help me collect my suitcase as I honestly felt so sick. As I walked through the airport I remember feeling the most apprehensive I have ever felt in my life, about a million thoughts going through my head and I felt like crying or just getting on the plane back home, but as I walked through the arrivals area I saw Beatriz (a portuguese girl who had been sent to help me settle in) and I was instantly put at ease. She spoke amazing English and seemed interested in all the same things as me. She helped me into a cab and took me to my new apartment. 

My new flat is a lot different from anything I would have had back home. Its a very old building which has been renovated to look newer with amazing decor inside. Its very basic but my bedroom is huge and has more than enough space for all my clothing and a desk to study. At the minute I only have one flat mate; a portuguese boy who works in town. As he's working so much we never seem to be in at the same time so I haven't gotten to know him that well yet, however he has been really helpful in showing me the shops, and the nearest metro station ect. 

The day after I arrived I met up with Beatriz and the other exchange student from my university and we all went shopping and for lunch together, and afterwards we were taken to our new university to fill in forms and apply for a monthly metro card ect. It was so nice in those first few days having people (and especially someone local to my host country) to show me around and help me relax and just enjoy my time living in a beautiful city with lots of other amazing people. It's honestly a lot easier to meet new people and find like minded exchange students to go shopping or sight seeing with as everyone is pretty much in the same boat and is here to make friends so I've not had any bother at all. 

So far I've been on a river cruise, to two nightclubs, tasted the local beer (it costs only 1 euro!!), been on a wine and cheese night, been to the beach and started my welcome week at my new university. It's also really nice that the weather has been very warm and sunny so far although I've not had many opportunities to work on my tan seeing as I've been so busy. I've met friends from Britain, Spain, Bulgaria, Germany, Holland, and the USA and I think I'm really starting to settle in. 

I also worried about having a vegetarian diet at the beginning as nowhere seemed to sell all the products I buy at home however, some friendly locals have pointed me in the direction of a health store about two metro stops away which sells all of the soya products I could want and more. I've also found a lot of resturaunts using Happy Cow and I'm also really enjoying how inexpensive it is to eat and drink here! 

Overall, I've had a wonderful first week and I don't have any doubts that this will be such a valuable and exciting opportunity for me! I can't wait to see what happens next! 

Have any of you been on exchange? Do you have any advice for me? I would love to know all about it in the comments or on twitter!  
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2 comments

  1. So excited to hear more about your experience! It sounds totally daunting, you're so brave to do it as I know I would struggle. Lisbon looks like an amazing city though and I do like the sound of a wine and cheese night... xxx

    Charlotte / Colours & Carousels

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  2. I'm from Porto also in Portugal and I'm really happy that you're enjoying your time here so far! I really hope you have the nicest time while you're here because it's a beautiful country :) xx

    riitamacedo.blogspot.pt

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