Goodbye Portugal

Leaving Portugal is really difficult. Even though I have only been here for about two months, I feel that I have made so many connections and grown a tremendous amount. By teaching the two English classes at the University, I learned a lot about not only teaching English but also about clear communication and interacting with students. For my second month, I took a Portuguese course for 4 hours a day and then in the afternoons helped out in the BabeliUM office. The Portuguese course was eye-opening and gave me a wonderful chance to see how classes are taught there. I wish that I would’ve had the Portuguese course the first month to have better ideas for teaching because I found myself thinking of different ideas that I could’ve utilized in my own classes. I was able to learn a lot not only about Portuguese culture but also about the cultures of the other students. There were a wide variety of students in the class from many different countries: China, Russia, Timor Leste, Colombia, and the UK to name a few. It was a cool experience to be the only one from the US and I think I learned more this way. Working in the BabeliUM office often involved data entry and typical “intern” tasks, but it gave me a chance to interact and hang out with the other 4 secretaries in the office and practice my Portuguese. I truly enjoyed working with them during these 2 months. On top of this awesome experience, I had several opportunities to travel with newfound friends who are really cool and hard to say goodbye to. However, I am confident that if (when) I return to Europe I will see them again. There are so many things I will miss about Portugal: the small cafes on every corner, speaking Portuguese, traveling, or just hanging out with friends at Bom Jesus or the city center. Braga is a amazing city and I’m sure I will return in the future.

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