Cátia - Portuguese student about her studies in Poland

Who are you? Briefly describe yourself (where do you come from, what do you study, etc.)

My name is Cátia T., I'm 23 years old. I'm from Portugal and I study marketing at the University of Technology in Gdansk.

What has surprised you in Poland?

Before I went to Poland I was imagining a grey and cold country... I don't know why but it was like that. When I arrived in September I noticed that I was with a wrong idea... Yes, it was colder than in Portugal but Poland have a lot of vegetation, so I saw a lot of green, the sky was still blue and the old town in Gdansk (where I was studying) was full of colors.

How did you come up with the idea of studying in Poland?

I wanted to experience a totally different winter and culture and that was what I found.

Do you remember the first days of studying in Poland? Describe the struggles you went through:

The first struggle that I found in Poland was when I bought the train ticket from Warsaw to Gdansk. I didn't know any Polish and that scared me a little bit. Even in the street when I looked to some posters and I didn't understand anything I felt like an illiterate. But that sensation passed when I started to learn some Polish and then I started trying to read and understand them.

Tell us about the differences between studies in Poland and studies in Portugal:

The main difference in studies between Poland and Portugal was your timetable. In Poland I had 18 hours of lectures per week and in Portugal my colleagues were having 23 hours of lectures per week.

What do you like about studying in Poland?

I liked that all my lectures were given in English so I could improve it and I liked when teachers were given examples of some Polish traditions and culture and all the erasmus students compared them with the traditions and culture of their own country.

Do you know any famous people from Poland?

Unfortunately I just know Marie Curie...

Describe the places in Poland, that have a positive influence on you:

Gdansk had a huge impact in my because everytime I went on a trip and come back there I was really feeling like home. Another of the cities that I visited was Krakow. I really liked the city, it had a different environment... and I had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz concentration camp. It was a big experience.

Tell us about the country you've always wanted to visit, but still haven't:

I would love to go to the Czech Republic because I have a huge curiosity to see Prague. I know only by pictures that the city it´s beautiful so it would be amazing watching it on live. Another county that I want to visit it's Budapest... people say that they have great parties.

Are you a member of any student's club or organization? Tell us something about it:

Currently I'm not in any club or organization but on elementary school I was on photography club.

Have you made any permament relations with polish students? What do you like most in them?

I made really good Polish friends and I try to talk to them as much as I can. What I like the most in them it's their will to help and share their culture with me.

Would you like to come back to Poland in the future? Why?

Definitely! I want to go back to Poland in the spring to see Gdansk full of green leaves and colorful flowers, feel some warm weather there and of course to see, hug, and party with my friends.

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