Hello everyone, my name is Emma and I am a student of Bachelor’s degree in Digital Design at Faculty of Multimedia Communications. I decided to take advantage of all the opportunities our faculty offers and go to Portugal to study. Why? Because the world is too big for me to just watch it from the window of my university. I wanted to gain new horizons and experiences, taste foreign coffee and learn how to say “photoshop” in different languages.

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What are the main differences between studying here and in Portugal?

Studying at a Portuguese school is different. First of all, I was impressed by their care for spare time. We are in school for quite a long time, all subjects (at least in my case) are about three hours long, but after that we don’t have a lot of homework or studying. We usually have time for everything during the school day and then we can enjoy the rest of the day as we want. At FMK it’s completely different, especially if you study design – free time is very rare.
The teachers in Portugal are very nice and helpful. They will explain everything to you five times with a smile on their face. Here, there’s more of a focus on self-study. I was also surprised that the classes are focused on group projects, which I found a bit uncomfortable at first because I was used to working individually. But it’s a good experience because in most work environments you work in a team.

What was the most beautiful place you’ve visited in Portugal? Where have you travelled to?

Definitely Madeira. That place was magical, like something out of Avatar. We rented a car there and had the opportunity to drive around the whole island, and it was the best money invested. If you ever get a chance to go there, don’t hesitate a minute to go.

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What about the Portuguese and their mentality?

Portuguese culture and mentality are like a roller coaster ride for Czechs or Slovaks. You quickly get used to their calm nature, no one is in a hurry, and everyone is willing to chat with you. Time passes pleasantly slowly here. On the other hand, if you’re stressed and need to get something done quickly, like administrative matters or getting the bus on time, their calm attitude can drive you crazy. Overall, however, the Portuguese are very nice, calm and open.

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Are you a fan of Portuguese cuisine? What is your favourite food?

Portuguese cuisine was nothing new to me, because we often cook Portuguese food at home. But one of my favorite dishes that Portugal offers is the classic Bifana and of course, when it’s in season, they can make great sardines.

Is there anything you like in Portugal but miss in the Czech Republic?

I will definitely miss the ocean when I return to the Czech Republic. I have found that I am really a water person and I have grown very fond of water sports here, especially surfing, which is now a big part of my life. I think if the Czech Republic had access to the ocean or the sea, it would be the perfect country.

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Would you go to Erasmus again if you had the chance? Is there anything you would advise those going on Erasmus?

No hesitation. You need to step out of your comfort zone. Even though it sounds like a cliché, it’s true. It will always bring something new – either new knowledge related to your studies, new contacts and friends, or life experiences and lessons that you wouldn’t get to in our comfortable environment in Zlín.

Finally, what is your favourite moment from Portugal?

It’s hard to pick just one favourite moment I had here, because there were so many. But probably one of them would be a surfing trip to the west coast with our great friend who is a surf instructor here. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from that. Big waves, new people to spend the day with – I didn’t know how it would turn out. But in the end it was a memorable day full of laughter and joy. We made new friendships and maybe even future work contacts, which I definitely didn’t expect.

If you want to learn more about life abroad, read the interview with Lucie, a student who also spent Erasmus in Portugal ☀️

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