Hello SPEAKers,

I’m Claudia and I’m proud to say that I was the first international intern at SPEAK Lisbon.

In April 2015 I won an Erasmus+ scholarship to carry out an internship abroad.

I was interested in gaining work experience in a cultural association to learn how they work so I started to browse for several days. I sent more than 50 requests to associations all over Europe, from Ireland to Turkey, when suddenly I found the SPEAK internet site.

I checked all the information that I found on Google, I read all the articles that talk about their cultural and language exchange program and I totally fell in love with it; it was exactly what I was looking for.

I sent an e-mail hoping to receive a positive answer and…2 months later I was in Portugal, ready to start my SPEAKexperience.
I worked with the Lisbon team, made up of Hugo, Sandra and Nicola, and I created Italian language and cultural materials for SPEAK classes and reviewed materials in other languages. I also helped with the organization of the cultural events that are created for the community.

During my stay I also had the opportunity to join a SPEAK Portuguese class. I personally experienced the innovative SPEAK learning method and I improved my Portuguese in a really informal atmosphere. The classes are focused on communication and everybody is encouraged to participate. I had fun with my classmates while I was learning more about the culture and language of my host country.

The best part of my experience was sharing some of the best moments of my life with the SPEAK community of Lisbon, made up of students and volunteer teachers who were taking part in the program. It was an amazing multicultural experience that has made me more open-minded and curious about other cultures and more aware of problems linked with immigration and social exclusion of migrants. Thanks to them, I never felt alone during my stay in Lisbon and I immediately felt integrated into my new city.


I am also grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know the rest of the SPEAK team who coordinate the program in the other cities, Ana, Ricardo, Alina, Daniela, Patricia and Raul, who gave their time to SPEAK every single day with passion and d
edication. If SPEAK can achieve these wonderful results in a few months, it is just because of the people who dedicate their energy to make it work.
It was inspiring to be in touch with people who really believe that it is possible to build a society that values cultural diversity and that promotes intercultural dialogue. Thanks to them I now know that it’s not just a utopia.

I’m proud to have been part of the team for these 2 months, I will always be a SPEAKer and I’ll give all my support from Italy. I’m sure the SPEAK team will do amazing things this year.


Claudia stood by our side for two months, aren’t we lucky? Thank you so much for your time and help to this project.

Thank you for being a SPEAKer forever! 🙂

Author: Daniela Sousa

Daniela is a volunteer at SPEAK – she is trying to write us the amazing stories that happen in SPEAK. She loves cats, books, cookies and Japanese.

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