"My time in Lisbon" Past Review

By (Spanish, La Roche College) for

CIEE: Lisbon - Summer Language and Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have been to Lisbon before I came back for a second time. The first time I was in Lisbon was while I was on Spring Break. But that was with my family. I didn't really enjoy my second time, as it was related too much with school. I generally try to relax and enjoy my summer without the worry of school.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidade Nova de Lisboa
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

As long as I am still a student, I am used to the way that American teachers do things, not that I am saying that foreign teachers are bad.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

History has always been a bit of trouble with me, so it was hard for me to keep my concentration. The class size was good, as there were only 3-4 people that were taking the course with me. The teacher was not good and not bad. I have to give kudos to his skills with the English language, as he had lived in England for a while, which obviously helps in learning the language.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

For me, this was my second time in Lisbon. My first time was good. However on my second trip (which was last summer), the food seemed to be greasier than I remembered it. The only place that I really enjoyed eating at was the Hard Rock Café in Lisbon. I guess that helped with beating down a little bit of the homesickness, but not by a lot.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was the one in charge of making use of my own free time. I went to a concert given by Ana Carolina, a favorite Brazilian singer of mine who was touring Portugal last summer. I also went shopping at Fnac, a favorite music store of mine, I also grabbed snacks at two Starbuck's that were in Lisbon, and I shopped at El Corte Inglés, a big department store that was not that far from the university that I was studying at.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Although Lisbon is a city full of hills and the combined hills with the heat of the sun made me irritable during the sun's peak point, I think that Lisbon is a generally safe city. The only public transportation that I took was the metro, which seemed to be efficient in taking both myself and fellow pedestrians to the right location - or near to it, anyway. The bus system seemed to be effective, as well, although I did not take the bus during my time in Lisbon.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I was able to talk to a few people in Portuguese while I was in Portugal. However, I tried not to as I speak Brazilian Portuguese and I did not want to loose my Brazilian accent.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you like to visit cities with lots of hills, sun, and a good portuguese atmosphere, Lisbon is the place to visit. The food is good, and the people are friendly. Try to go see a concert, or at least make time one day to go to the beach for a day of sun, sand, and water. Shopping is a plus, so try to visit a shopping center, or an outdoor market during your time in Lisbon. Try a restaurant, as the waiters are positive and the food they serve you is not the food that people from America are accustomed to.