HOORAY! HOORAY! HOORAY! OUR DEAR BELGIAN FRIENDS WERE AGAIN WITH US !!!!!
3 Hoorays because it is the third year in a row that our dear friends have been with us and as usual everything went just fine!
This year we are 2 Portuguese teachers, Lígia Luís (the same old reporter on duty) and Teresa Reis (a dear old friend that this year joined our school), Johan (the dear old Belgian friend) and Anton (a brand new Belgian friend) and 21 fantastic Portuguese students + 21 awesome Belgian students … well, a winning team!!!!! They stayed by us since the 10th until the 17th November and we were always ‘on the move’.
It was a week full of activities … oh, yes, because we do not only learn sitting in the classroom, I’m sure you agree with me and if you think otherwise you are wrong … and excitement and we shared some precious moments together that none of us will forget!
Cristo-Rei with its amazing view over Lisbon; the charming dolphins, the kissing sea-lions and the guided-tour with the topic “Extinction is forever” (quite up-to-date issue, unfortunately!); the typical fishing town of Sesimbra and the international Portugal vs Belgium volleyball match at the beach; the wine cellars in Azeitão; old Lisbon with the brand new ‘Fashion and Design Museum’ and the Fado evening in typical Alfama; Belém with the monastery and the delicious ‘pasteis’; rainy and foggy Sintra with its lovely atmosphere; the most western European cape and its dangerous (bear this in mind, please!) cliffs and the always tourist and appealing Cascais – these were some of the top moments we experienced together … if we only had more time …
Our week was coming to an end … and so we had our traditional farewell dinner and party … emotions were ‘on the air’ and they burst at the airport! We are also counting the days to be with you again … only a few to go … this is the spirit!!!!
Here are some testimonies of some of the fantastic and awesome students:
An exchange program is always an enlightening experience for people of both sides.
Being able to socialize and share experiences with different people, to show them our patriotic essence and vice-versa made that week a enriching and emotionally deep period of time.
Besides the obvious advantages of cultural interaction, the emotional links made between the participants can’t be ignored.
The idea of dividing the program in two (Belgians come to Portugal, and then Portuguese go to Belgium) is interesting. It produces also – at least in myself – a sense of expectation that is very positive, and good for people who are travelling to a different country for the first time.
Another fact I think it is very important in this case is the way people get deeply involved in such a small amount of time. I became very close with some of the participants in matter of a day or two. I believe it makes all the difference, and it is very rewarding.
In conclusion, I believe that this program was (and will be) an extremely successful way of getting people interested in culture and in languages.
Mateus Ascenção 10A
My partner was a little crazy but he was nice, I really enjoyed the exchange! Now we can only wait to go to Belgium.
Jonathan Yago 12C
Hmmmm, What I ‘felt?’ perhaps it will be better if I say ‘What I’m still feeling’ xD… because I really miss them all.
Of course it was a success, it was GREAT! And I believe that all students have really liked the 1st part of the exchange.
And for sure, I need to confess… these 7 days were one of the best weeks I’ve ever had.
I had never thought it could be so cool as it was. I could stay in the school exchange forever! And I hope that 5 months goes fast because I really want to go Belgium.
Final words: ‘Ik hield van alle belgische meisjes’ but nothing against the guys, they are very entertaining ^^
Raquel Fonseca 10E
I liked the exchange very much, my partner and every Belgian.
It was a very short week, but very funny. I really enjoyed the dolphins at the Zoo.
My mother sends a big kiss to Suzanne and she hopes Suzanne liked this week at our home and in Portugal.
Liliane Fonseca 11E
My mother and I think it was a great experience!
It is obvious that there were some not that good moments but nothing that could interfere with our constant happiness.
I’m looking forward to the second part of the exchange.
Kisses from me and my mom.
I liked it very much, it was a very good experience…my mom liked my partner…
and I can’t wait to go to Belgium in April.
It was a great experience, I made a lot of improvements in my English, and in the end it all went just fine. :’D
My parents want to state that they enjoyed this experience very much but they spoke with my partner in French.
Soraia Reis 11A
I think that this exchange was perfect! The program was great, we visited interesting places, and we spent a lot of time with our partners.
The teachers were very cool and they organized the things in a way that everything was perfect and they took care of all the people very well.
I loved the Belgium group, all of them were really nice and funny! I specially loved my partner Tanée! She was really nice to me, social and she was very understandable when I got sick because she was always worried about me and gave to me a lot of support. She was always sweet and kind and I know that I have a new friend that I don’t want to lose. My mom enjoyed the week because she thinks that we had an excellent program and she loved my partner very much. She wants my partner to return again to our home, because she misses her a lot and of course that I miss her too, and I hope that she comes back!
This was one of the best weeks of my life that I want to repeat when I go to Belgium (:
Inês Breia 11A
I really loved my partner, Joke. We are more alike than anybody could ever tell… We really got along with each other! It was an awesome week, and I’m looking forward to go to Belgium! We are already talking about she coming to Portugal in summer…
My mom wrote:
It was a new experience, and it was great!
We were lucky with Inês’s partner, because Joke was a very sweet, funny, and balanced girl.
I was sad because this whole experience seemed too short, and it was a huge pleasure for us to have her in our house.
Joke is an adorable person!
I hope we can see her again 🙂
Rita Ramos 11A
So … what can I say? I really liked the week that they spent here with us, I didn’t thinK that it could be that good! I love my partner and the group, Portuguese, Belgium, and all together … they are really really special. We could live a different week and that week is an unforgettable week.
I really want to see them again and I hope that the time until April runs fast… and then we will have another fantastic week.
Nienke, Suzanne and Tanée
Life in Portugal is the life you wish for. The weather is very good; you just can walk in your t-shirt, and get a sun-tan. That’s very good to visit the rocks, the beach, the zoo and other monuments… We liked the beach the most because we had a lot of time to interact with the other people and we could rest a bit. And when we went to see the statue ‘Christo Rei’, you had a lovely view of Lisbon. In the zoo we saw a very spectacular dolphin show, we also had a guided tour, but that was less fun then the dolphin show.
The habits of the Portuguese people are really different; you see very well we have a different culture. Like the food, here it’s a lot of fish and they eat a lot all day long. They also eat a lot of chips, for lunch or just with their diner. They eat very late. Here people are never stressed, only in traffic (…) They also drink a lot of coffee, when you go to a village you see a whole street with coffee bars.
The fashion here is very different than in Belgium, (…), we prefer the Belgian clothes.
The people are very friendly here, they talk to everyone and you’re really welcome. They do anything to make you feel good and they say: ’My home is your home.’ (…)
The Portuguese say they have the best wine and we went to the wine caves and after we could taste and buy it.
My exchange partner is Pedro Aires, I like him very much, and we get along really good. His family is really nice too; they’re really friendly and tried their best to talk English to me. We eat a lot of fish here and normally I don’t eat a lot of fish in Belgium but I like it here. (…) The group of the Belgian people and the Portuguese people is really nice, we get along really good, everybody talks to everybody, and there are no arguments. The language is a lot different than I thought, I thought it sounded more like Spanish. The excursions were nice too,(..). And the cliff was beautiful. And on the beach it was really warm for the time of the year, and the wine in the afternoon was really tasteful, it was something I had never tasted before ‘muscatel’ a sweet wine. Compared to Belgium they do everything by car, like in Belgium we also do a lot on bike, and here nobody uses his bike.
This really was a good choice to go on an exchange too.
Janne and Louise’s report.
I really like Portugal. Everybody is so nice.
Before I arrived in Portugal I was scared that I wouldn’t like the food.
But I think that the food is very good. They give a lot of food to us, but they don’t eat that much themselves.
The family that I’m in is very sweet and they are taking good care of me.
When we arrived at the school, a lot of people started talking to us, they are all very sociable.
Hello! My exchange partner is João. I like Portugal because the beer is very cheap here. I like his family because they are very friendly. I liked the beach soccer because we won. We have a good exchange group, the people are very social. (…) I like the wine called muscatel. In Portugal there are a lot of apartments but in Belgium there are not so many. They also don’t ride bicycles a lot. I like the mall too, it’s very big and you can eat a lot of junk food there. I think it was a good choice to come to Portugal.
Hello! I live in Londerzeel , and everything is way more expensive than in Lissabon.
They are very kind , and polite and very caring : they always ask triple confirmation about things such as clothes , food and health. Because they think it’s very cold in November, but actually it’s as hot as summer in Belgium.
But their English isn’t that good but mine neither so that’s a good match, they’re always talking English so most of the time you aren’t able to understand them . (…)
Another characteristic of the Portuguese people is that they’re always late also in school …
Well, these are some of the fun things about Portugal , everyone lives without stress , lay back and they just do whatever they want ; a good example for Belgium!
My experiences with Portugal were very good. I was a bit scared that I wouldn’t like the food but especially the food is really good. A lot of things are still the same as in Belgium but it’s only greasier. And they eat a lot more than us but it’s weird that a lot of Portuguese people don’t eat in the morning, or not a lot comparing to us. The people are all very open and sociable for example the first day at school when we arrived here, everyone came to us to say hello and they were all curious.(…). I learned how to count in Portuguese, and also the words bon dia, bon noit ,… (…)
The family I stayed with are very kind. Unfortunately the parents can’t speak English so Rita had to translate all the time. I have already had very good conversations with Rita. At first I felt uncomfortable that I had to sleep with her in one room but after all it’s very funny. When we’re laying in the bed we first talk a bit before we go to sleep. Because of this you know each other better. I’m exited for the rest of the week. Also to go out, to see if it’s different than in Belgium, just to see how they dance etc.
It was a very good experience; I hope I can come back one day.
Jerome de Wulf
I was very excited about coming here. My expectations were very high and I must say that, so far, the experience has been keeping up with my expectations. My partner,Vitor, and his family are very friendly. The hospitality here is something that isn’t as common in Belgium as it is here. All of my friends have told me that their families are this friendly as well. Everything we do here is very relaxed and I love that. I don’t like to be stressed… the group spirit is coming along great. At first it felt a bit awkward but that disappeared immediately. The people are allowed to do anything they like here. There is one thing that I would still like to do while here, and that’s shopping. Everything here is a lot cheaper than it is in Belgium. (…)