I always dreamed of participating in an exchange program. And when it happened, all my expectations were fullfilled more than I expected. Our trip started with a flight to London. There we visited some of the most famous museums, parks, squares and tried out various vehicles – this is how we experienced at least the smallest part of the everyday life of a cosmopolitan city, seeing the variety of different cultures, religions and people. Then we continued our trip in Portugal. After visiting Porto, one of the most beautiful European cities, we went to a small town Paredes de Coura, which became our home for a week. The host families were especially sweet, they tried to make us feel at home. Every day we participated in various activities at the school, which surprised with some unusual rules different from Lithuania: to promote students’ responsibility and independence, there were no bells, lessons lasted 90 minutes until 5 p.m. We also went on excursions in other cities, visited the most famous museums, castles, got to know the country’s history, culture and traditions. I went to Spain with my host family. We spent the last day actively: crossed the river with the rope, tried out canoying. After saying goodbye to the families and new friends, we went back home. I will never forget my first flight, nightly London and the most beautiful week in Portugal, where I met new friends and got to know a unique culture, traditions and cuisine.
Our trip to Portugal began on the 5th of May. The first stop was London. We spent the whole day walking. We visited a lot of famous objects, but the most memorable were people. They love nature. Even to see a man sleeping on the grass, wearing the most luxurious costume is a usual thing. Also I was surprised by their understanding and caring. For people who are in a rush they leave the left side of the stairs, they leave a seat for older people in a metro and ect. Personally, I liked the Natural History Museum, as well as the park where we could feed squirrels. After visiting London, we continued our trip to Portugal. We lived in a village called Paredes De Coura. Every day we had plenty of activities from work-based teamwork to sightseeing tours. In Portugal, I was surprised by the fact that everyone at a young age already knew what they wanted to do in the future and had already made their choices in the 10th grade. At school there aren’t any ringbells , but despite that students aren’t late for classes. They don‘t miss lessons on purpose , and they don’t go on trips during the semester. Lessons take 90 minutes and last till 5 pm. I was surprised by the strong friendship between people. Everyone knows each other. There are no homeless people in this town, because they don’t allow each other to stay and sleep in the street . They take care of each other and let the homeless people sleep at their place. During the trip I got to know many wonderful people, I found out a lot of new things about the cultures of other countries, I learned how to get over myself and it definitely was an unforgettable experience!
I participated in Erasmus+ „DARE: Democratic Actions Rule Europe“ project, which was held in Paredes de Coura, Portugal. The week that I spent in Portugal became one of the most important and unforgettable ones in my life. People who are going to their first Erasmus+ project often have a lot of doubts. But when you finally arrive in a foreign country, all of your doubts suddenly dissappear. I am very satisfied with the organization of the project`s programme. I feel like being in a different environment has changed me a lot, helped me to feel as a part of the global world, find new friends, percieve culture and traditions of a foreign country. I can`t compare Erasmus+ with the other trips I`ve been to, because you get to know, to see and to feel more than places of interest for tourists.
Erasmus+ programme became one of the most memorable events of my life. During the programme I met a lot of new people from Italy and Portugal who introduced me to their culture. The best thing for me was my host family, who accommodated me in their home and taught me their traditions and language. Also I’m more confident about my speaking in English and myself, because every word you say can change something. After the programme I started to respect everyone and their cultures more, because from cultures you can learn something new and beneficial. I think that everyone who has a chance to be part of the programme has to accept it, because it is amazing experience that you will remember all of your life.
Adomas Janušas IID
Erasmus + project gave me the opportunity to visit Portugal and get to know its culture, a way of life of Portuguese, improve my English skills and introduce Lithuania to project partners. When I arrived in Portugal, I was warmly greeted and welcomed by a Portuguese student Raphael and his family, who took care of me for the whole week. Every day Rafael’s mother prepared traditional Portuguese or family‘s favorite dishes. I have to admit that the Portuguese have a superb cuisine. It was the first time I ate fish almost every day, although at home it is not my favorite food. Cod in Portugal is really special! I spent some wonderful, warm evenings sitting on a terrace of my host family house and talking with Rafael and his dad how similar and different Portugal and Lithuania are.
During the visit each day was planned thoroughly and we were quite busy with a lot of various activities: we presented our homework, which, by the way, was fun to do, we worked in groups and created comics, we listened to our project partners‘ presentations about democracy, participated in sports competitions, visited various cities and museums. But what I enjoyed most was having a great time with new friends not only from Portugal but also from Italy and Bulgaria. All participants of the project willingly participated in project activities, they were confident, sociable, cheerful and friendly.
I find this project very interesting and meaningful because not only did I gain a lot of knowledge about other cultures, made new friends from foreign countries, but also got better acquainted with my classmates. Everything that I experienced was incredibly new, unexpected and very enjoyable.
Gintarė Jasiūnaitė IIC
The opportunity to participate in Erasmus + project and a visit to Portugal was undoubtedly one of the most unforgettable events in my life. During the trip I was always in a very good mood, the trip was without any problems. This visit gave me a chance to learn about cultures of other European countries such as Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria. We made a lot of new friends. During our stay in Portugal, we had to do some tasks related to democracy in Europe. We had to draw comics, find and explain as many as possible words related to democracy. We also visited the local municipality where we met the mayor’s deputy. We cooked traditional Portuguese cookies from oak acorn flour. We visited the biggest and the oldest cities in Portugal. Also, we visited museums and castles, and admired the architecture of churches. We participated in some extreme sports activities where we competed with other teams. We spent our last day of the trip in Porto, the second largest city in Portugal. During the visit to Portugal I gained a lot of valuable experience because we travelled without our parents, lived separately in different families, we communicated almost only in English. I am happy that I was given the opportunity to participate in this project!