Portuguese Gap Year Course: Lisbon
6 weeks Portuguese course
I expected to be challenged as it was so long since I had done Portuguese at university. I expected to do one topic of grammar a day (similar to university) and I expected the teachers to be very helpful and friendly. Generally my expectations were met. I was certainly challenged.
I was placed in level 4 of 6, which I think was the right level as I knew most of the grammar but the problem for me was that I didn’t get an opportunity to revise the more basic points, which gave me the occasional problem.
The staff at the Portuguese language school in Lisbon were friendly and helpful and I didn’t speak a word of English to my teachers for the entire 6 weeks, which was great!
On the whole, I thought the lessons were very good. My lessons were very structured, with the lessons having a very similar pattern everyday; sometimes I would have preferred a bit more variety.
My lessons were very much based on oral, which was good, but more grammar work would have been useful.
The lessons were very well planned and the course books were easy to use. My class was between 2-4 students so we had lots of input from the teacher which was very beneficial.
I liked the school and the staff. The school was very comfortable and also air conditioned. The location was good, nice and central, although it was quite hard to find on the first day.
I think the best part was meeting so many new and interesting people from all over the world. I have made friends from America, England, Italy, Spain and Norway who I will certainly be keeping ion contact with.
The worst part was how tired I sometimes felt. Lessons all morning, then an excursion, then lots of homework and then having to find somewhere to eat.
All of the students were lovely and I will be keeping in touch with a few of them. One of them is even coming to stay with me next weekend. I would say there is no need to worry about making friends, people are constantly arriving and everyone is in the same situation.
I loved Lisbon and will certainly return. It was very cheap for everything!
The locals were very friendly and usually happy to help you speak Portuguese. I felt safe, I even used the metro by myself after midnight and I didn’t feel the way I would have done if I did the same in London. Of course I was alert, but I didn’t feel in any danger.
I was there for 6 weeks and didn’t get bored! There’s so much to do. I found a great internet café called ‘City Bar’ in the cinema in Campo Pequeno. It was cheap, the staff were lovely and the internet was fast. I would recommend it if someone wants to use the internet.
CESA staff were fabulous! Very patient with all the problems I had paying, for which I was very grateful. Also they were very helpful with a confusion over my transfer to the airport. It was very nice to receive an email to find out how I was when I was in Lisbon, a lovely touch.
If I ever do a language course in the future, I will definitely use CESA.
I would go again, although I would prefer to go to a different city so that I had a different experience. I would definitely recommend other to go! It’s a great way to learn or improve a language, but also feel like you are on holiday too!
I have many fond memories, but the best thing was the friends I made.