marius-postI’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.

Expectations

I was basically aiming for a start-up, since I wanted to see how it works from the inside and to actually do something that matters and counts. To be valued by thinking and adding up to the solutions of the project. Not only basic unimportant stuff you could end up doing in big companies (that’s not necessarily how you end up, it’s just about the possibility to get there). Also I had some recommendations from a friend about Lisbon and Portugal. He said that as a country, it is something in between tourism and ordinary life we are used to. I found that quite attractive and interesting to see. Having all that I filled in a bunch of papers and SPEAK was the 1st one to respond. It was no coincidence. These guys are really showing quality performance in communication!

What happened

Although I was kind of hoping to take this summer and September to spend on my own, meaning just doing an internship, studying and not going anywhere out from home, it was totally the opposite.

Lisbon (Portugal) and SPEAK is not about individual performance. It’s all about teamwork, communication and being a part of the team. It just doesn’t work otherwise. And it’s awesome! Considering myself as a solo player all the time I was quite surprised because I’ve never imagined that even one person can give and add so much to whatever you’re doing – working, solving puzzles, looking for an apartment or visiting new places. It’s just so much better-sharing experiences with someone.

I always thought it’s hard for me to ask for help or to come out from nowhere and ask someone if I could join [place any activity in here]. I had friends – if you’re questioning that (haha people who have friends don’t normally point that out). I was just about doing things on my own. This was the only way I’d known. And when I gave it a thought and tried, it turns out it wasn’t hard at all, it was easy and it added so much fun and value to things!

On the other hand – if you want to be alone amongst people, Lisbon is also perfect for that. What I mean is – everyone is welcomed and met nicely in there. If you want to be a loner and spend some time alone, go ahead. No one will ever disturb you if you don’t want them to (maybe the guys on the streets who are hunting down tourists will, but they’re also cool). And it’s the same for people who love communicating and making friends – go ahead and talk with someone. They will be happy to have a conversation with you, I promise (especially those hunters O_o)! The conclusion – everyone can have whatever lifestyle they want in Lisbon. It’s almost too easy, but it’s also a reason why it was quite hard to leave the city.

Behind Scenes

In general, I found it really hard to describe all the experiences and stuff I’ve been through in Portugal. Mainly because I didn’t feel like an outsider there. I was feeling like home and usually when I try to describe what is homelike, keywords are often these: cozy, comfy, nice, free, safe, friends etc.  And that’s it. You can tell anyone that you’re going home and everyone understands what you mean. No extra descriptions or explanations needed.

And the credits go to:

SPEAK was the reason why I visited Lisbon, met new people, learned and improved my professional and personal skills. Also, SPEAK was the reason why I’d changed my laptop’s HDD (If you want the full story contact me 🙂 ).

These guys taught me the importance of a team, good vibes, enthusiasm and encouraged me to be more confident about myself. They also reminded me how much I was interested in the language as a tool or means of communication. The magic of words, expression and similar stuff. After all – if not for the language, how would people be able to think and share experiences? Also, it’s truly amazing how many similarities and differences at the same time two different languages can have. You won’t find all these things in other places where they teach you languages. Because you go to class and just sit and listen and learn everything by heart. In SPEAK people share everything. Including food 🙂

All in all:

When you think that Lisbon is perfect and there is nothing to add, just visit SPEAK and you will realize you’re wrong. SPEAK isn’t just the language school or a community. It’s like this pulsing ball of energy and experiences which can always improve other communities, cities, countries and eventually the whole world. Therefore I’m saying – thank you SPEAK.

Keep the good vibes up!

Cheers from Lithuania! 🙂

Author: Marius Raskevicius

Marius is Full Stack Developer at SPEAK from Lithuania, who loves camping and coming home with great stories.

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