‘Love Letters to ICBAS’ by Julia Lagunilla Pereda

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My name is Julia and this year I had the chance to study my 5th year of Medicine as an Erasmus student in the University of Porto. And I am so happy that I did! 

In the begging there were some drawbacks that made me question if I was ready to become an Erasmus student in Porto…  but I was! So I am going to share what I did to overcome those insecurities, so that you don’t have to worry so much about them 🙂 First of all, I didn’t know what I would do about my classes and exams, as I was barely able to speak any Portuguese! Turns out that my level of understanding has been growing and growing since day one and now I can understand anything that my teachers say or that is written and even express myself, and so can all the other international students I know.

Second of all, I didn’t know if I’d be able to make friends and get to know a lot of people with my same interests. And it turns out I made many!! One thing that I would’ve loved to know from the beginning is that the university of Porto has many sports teams, and it is a great way to get to know people!!! I love basketball and at first I didn’t know if I could join the team, but it was super easy to do so and I have had so much fun training with them and playing games against other faculties. We are currently in the second phase of the championship and trying to get to the national tournament, so every game is extremely exciting 🙂 

Lastly, I didn’t know if I’d end up liking the city, but boy do I love it. Porto is a beautiful city by the river AND the sea. It has many parks, beaches, and beautiful streets full of cafes where you can try all the Portuguese sweets like pastel de nata, bola de Berlim, bolo de arroz… (I truly recommend them all).

So, in conclusion, if you are considering to come to Porto… do it!!! It is a great city full of students and fun things to do and discover. So don’t waste this opportunity. I  am incredibly grateful that I took it and you will be too! 


Julia Lagunilla Pereda

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