Als ich vor zwei Jahren über das Erasmus Programm nach Portugal gekommen bin, habe ich mich direkt nach einer guten Möglichkeit umgesehen die Landessprache zu lernen. An der Uni wurden Portugiesisch-Kurse angeboten, sowie im Goethe Institut und vielen anderen Institutionen. Aber wie das als Student nun mal so ist, will man nicht viel Geld ausgeben und selbst an der Uni konnte man die Kurse nur gegen eine Gebühr belegen. Als ich einer portugiesischen Kommilitonin von meinem “Leid” erzählt habe, hat sie mir von Speak erzählt.
It’s raining in Berlin and someone stole my bed at 3am this evening (crazy, right?). I arrived at 2am to an hostel and chose a 4 bed dorm for my first night. Two beds were free, I picked one randomly. At 3am someone comes in and says: “hey, that’s my bed”. I did that wtf-face but moved to the other option with no resistance. The guy gets my first option preferring a used bed to a new one – sometimes the world is a funny place. Anyway, Berlin is beautiful….
Hi everyone! You may have seen our names pop up on your newsfeeds/discussion groups/emails from time to time, and now that we are leaving the SPEAK team, we thought we would finally introduce ourselves 😉
We are both languages students from the UK, who came to Lisbon to work with SPEAK this year as part of our degree. We never had experience of any kind in start-up projects, so as you can imagine…
SPEAK is a project with aims to connect migrants, refugees and locals through a language and culture exchange programme. Through our sessions and through our events, we encourage our members to integrate and become part of our community, helping those without friends or family in Portugal to feel a sense of belonging in their new city. We have thousands of kind and generous members in our community!
I’ll start with a disclaimer:
It’s impossible write everything in one post. I’m trying, but you know how one thing leads to another… In the end I’m just removing stuff like that. This is personal experiences, no objective or general truths won’t be mentioned or revealed. Also thoughts and quality of text can sometimes lose the flow – English is not my native tongue after all ^^ And yeah, grammar nazis – WATCH OUT! End of excuses.
As like many of the people who get involved with SPEAK, I am a foreigner to this country. I have now been living in Lisbon for just over a month, and as a English girl from a small town in the West Country, my experiences of living here have, of course, been quite different to back home.
Of course there are obvious differences; it is much hotter here than in Britain, which for Brits is amazing, but also a little heartbreaking when it is too hot for a comforting cup of tea when I get home. And then there’s the challenge of finding your way around a new city, a matter in which Google Maps has been my saviour. But one of the biggest things has to be the language barrier.
It is very normal when moving to a new country, or even just a new city, to be apprehensive and find it difficult to settle in. You’re unsure of where things are, you don’t know many people there, and there’s often the added pressure of having lots of people from home telling you how wonderful the experience is going to be. But it doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are a few tips on how to get to know your new city:
You have arrived. You’re looking around and you see completely new surroundings, different environment, maybe even totally different flora and fauna. Your suitcases and boxes are looking at you, asking to finally unpack them. What’s happened? Well, it looks like you’ve moved abroad. Maybe you’re thinking “what the hell I’m doing here”? “What have I done”? Don’t worry, that’s normal and soon you will forget these thoughts and start calling the new place “home”.
I’m sure, cause I’ve done that.
Most of the people in a time of their life come to face and accept the choice to move somewhere else, take the courage in their hands and pack their bags. Others for some professional or personal reasons find themselves obligated to say goodbye to their friends and family and start a new life kilometers away from where they grew up.
Moving away sounds exotic and exciting, but easy is not the term to define it.