I never thought I’d have the opportunity to travel during the school year, especially as a third year business student. But then I heard about the TRSM International Exchange Program and was informed I could enrol in courses abroad that were the same as those offered at TRSM. At that moment, my dreams began to come true!
Before arriving in Lisbon, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Apart from avoiding Canada’s -40 degree temperatures, the experience would definitely be a surprise. After an eight-hour flight, I was nervous and scared but at the same time, excited to spend five months of my life in a new country and culture.
Never mind my tension, I instantly fell in love with Lisbon. Everywhere I looked, history and culture were around me. The narrow streets, the cobblestone roads… even São Jorge Castle, built in the 1200s, all at my front door. I loved the simple things like gazing outside my balcony and seeing the Portuguese culture all around me.
Nonetheless, when the first day of school came, I was so scared! It was like first year all over again. I didn’t know anyone, and I was the only student from all of Canada on exchange at my school. But as the days passed, I met so many friends – many of whom I’m sure will be lifelong friends. We are even planning to reunite in May!
Lisbon was an awesome city to study in for multiple reasons. First off, there are many universities in the city, and many international students (and I’m happy to say I wasn’t the only one who got lost). The weather is almost always nice and warm, it’s only a 20-minute train ride to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean, the food is spectacular and Lisbon is much more affordable than other European cities.
I also had the opportunity to do some really cool things I didn’t think I’d have the chance to do. I traveled to places like France, Germany and Poland. I went on road trips across Portugal, ate strange but delicious food and created memories I’ll never forget.
If you have an opportunity to study in another country, take it! You never know when you’ll be given a chance like this again, so do it now and I promise, you will not regret it.
Interested in going on your own international exchange?
Visit the TRSM International Exchange website for more information and to find out when you can attend a program information session.