Belém, the District of Discovery

It is clear from the moment a person sets foot in Lisbon that it is a beautifully aged city, with it’s narrow, limestone paved streets, picturesque squares and impressive monuments. Just take a walk through the centre of the city, and you will feel just like a modern day Dorothy discovering the world of Oz, “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”.

The city of Belém, a short 15 minute train ride away from central Lisbon, is no exception. This district is famous for it’s remarkable monuments and rich history. It is popular with tourists from all over the globe who flock here to visit the abundance of museums and to try the famed Pastel de Belém, but also with Lisbon’s own, many of whom would name Belém as their favourite place to visit in the city.

SPEAK @ Leiria

Leiria is a special city, because it is where SPEAK took its first steps! SPEAK was born in Leiria in September 2012. It started as a Language Exchange program, but today, four years later and having gone to six other cities and looking forward to the launch of SPEAK in Italy, it is a global community, where diversity, equality and the democratisation of the language learning are promoted.

Getting to know your new city

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:

SPEAK Event: Picnic @ Jardim do Torel

What better way to end the summer with SPEAK and start a brand new set of courses than with a picnic!
We gathered in Jardim do Torel, a beautiful little park on the top of one of Lisbon’s 7 hills for an evening of games, ‘getting-to-know-you’s, and, of course, a picnic. We started the evening by practising our portuguese, splitting into groups and finding out more about each other. Everyone was really enthusiastic in sharing facts about themselves and about their experiences, exactly the reaction that we encourage in SPEAK! Everyone was willing to get stuck right in, chatting to people they had never met before, being really friendly and sociable which, especially for someone like myself who arrived in Lisbon less than 2 weeks ago, was a really lovely atmosphere to be in.