“I went to Portugal without knowing what to expect, but that’s why I decided to go in the first place. I just knew that I would go to a school in Portugal, more specifically in Valongo which is a town with 20 minutes’ drive from Porto. I also knew that it was a rural town with simple people facing the financial misfortunes of today. My first impression when I got there was absolutely positive since Portugal is a beautiful country, then meeting my mentor and her family and all the kindness that they carry within them, I was also given a beautiful house just outside of the center with great landscape behind it. In general all the people I had contact with from the first until the last person inside or outside of the school grounds was friendly, helpful and kind.

About the most important thing the education, I met amazing teachers which they welcomed me to their school and their home town, highly professional but tender at the same time, caring about all aspects of the school and the community. This was very important to me as I absorbed experiences from a place that is worth being an example for any teacher. My mentor Fatima and i where giving English lessons to the first grade of the Primary school in Sobrado which is a village near the town and at the secondary school of Valongo to 7th, 9th and 11th  grade, also an English class for teachers who wanted to learn basic English language. I saw students with difficult and different backgrounds in multicultural classes, cooperating with teachers creating a friendly and creative environment without the teacher being the authority inside the classroom, I saw teachers and students blending in all kinds of regular school activities, I saw a school system which was much more humanistic and liberal but very pragmatic and productive towards its realistic goals. All the teachers and students I worked with boosted my educational consciousness and knowledge.

It was an experience that is really having a direct impact in my life and I couldn’t be more thankful for having the chance of being there.”

 

Traineeship at Agrupamento de Escolas, Valongo, Portugal

Fanis Stylianou , Primary Education Student , University of Nicosia