This past weekend was the large weekend trip to Portugal. We all had the opportunity to visit Aviero and Oporto. It was really fascinating going to a country where Portuguese was the primary language. After two weeks in Salamanca, especially being almost fluent in the language, being a true outsider was a novel experience. Though I had been on a weekend trip to Segovia with the international studies program, this IES exclusive trip was entirely different. While Segovia consisted of one tour guide, guiding a large group of students to various monuments, IES made sure to arrange traditional meals, stops at beautiful beaches, open markets as well as boat rides. As exchange students we were given the opportunity to briefly experience various cultural elements of each community. Something about the fact that none of us spoke Portuguese leveled the playing field in a way that really allowed the group to connect. Though one of my favorite parts of the trip were the beaches in Barra and Costa Nova, my most memorable part of the trip was the dinner at O Mercantel with traditional Portuguese food. Being able to engage in conversation among friends, taking time to discuss the day’s events and challenges was why I chose this program to begin with. The added benefit of being accompanied by Alvaro, a student from the University of Salamanca added greatly to our dinner table banter. As the trip slowly draws to a close, these moments are the parts I will remember forever.
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<p>I am a rising senior at Sarah Lawrence College, double-majoring in Spanish and Journalism. When I'm not studying, I love practicing Jiu Jitsu and cooking in my tiny kitchen. As a Puerto Rican Jew, I love cooking everything, from my great grandmother's noodle kugel to my mom's tostones. My dream is to travel to every continent and as of right now, I have been to more than fifteen different countries.</p>