Hey! I´m in the “cantine” of the “ESAD” having a coffee and writing these words in a black pocket notebook, like the ones that artists use. It´s 12:13 pm (1:13 pm in Spain) and today is Friday. It´s rainy but not excessively cold. This week is ending and also my Erasmus time here. Although I´m going to Spain for Christmas, when I come back to Porto, I´ll only have one last month to enjoy this city, which is incredibly beautiful; so beautiful that I feel like crying (every time I go over the Luiz Bridge, I feel moved).
This city will be stuck in my mind forever due mainly to the varied programme of concerts and events (many of them are really worth noting); the cumbia (cumbia, wow!!);its beautiful old houses; its design shops and second-hand shops (of clothes, furniture, etc.); and the endless amount of street markets held every Saturday all over the city.
Regarding design, I think that this city is committed and wants to enhance it and to make it a hallmark of Porto, which is reflected in its festive and cultural programme.
Concercing the school, it is a nice place and the Erasmus students are very friendly. Some Portuguese people seem a bit unfriendly and curt, but it´s easy to get used to them bit by bit. However, this is not the general trend. In fact, the Portuguese are usually extraordinarily nice and very kind.
As for the methodology, obviously it is different; despite the fact that experimenting with different working methods is really enriching, sometimes I feel confused after some lessons. Other subjects, however, are focused on a very broad, deep and realistic knowledge of the field. For example, for the subject related to printing, the school has a workshop to practice and we have visited a couple of companies dedicated to this work area.
Finally, it´s important to point out that Porto, in addition to what I´ve mentioned above, has a very specific industrial conjunction, which helps the materialization of designs in terms of availability, manufacture. etc.
To sum up, Porto is a magic city – as Ana told me when I first came here- its people are wonderful and my experience here is being extraordinary. So, if you have ever considered to go in an Erasmus programme, I recommend you to go. A great variety of people participate in these exchange programmes and each student can live his/her own experience the way he/she wishes. So, your Erasmus experience can either be as it is expected to be or as you want it to be.