Portuguese for Foreigners
Summer Language School in Porto
After an academic year in Europe, I wanted one more adventure before heading home. I was considering a career as a writer for an environmental organization, and I thought speaking Portuguese would be helpful in finding
such a position. After some Internet research, I decided upon a summer language course offered by the Univ. of Porto in Porto, Portugal’s second largest city.
Approximately 10 students were in the beginner’s level class, the class I tested into, and I was pleased with the level of interaction I had with my two instructors.
During the four weeks of the course, I learned enough Portuguese to communicate with vendors and wait staff and find my way around town. I had plenty of time after class to explore the city, and I had no trouble
finding opportunities to interact with locals. They gave me directions when I was lost and advice on how to save money riding the bus (buy weekly passes). I kept visiting one produce shop in particular because the owner was always ready to
have an entire conversation with me in Portuguese. Students who stayed with a family may have had more opportunities to practice the language.
Students who want to arrange for their own accommodations, should try to find a place to stay before arriving in Porto. The language staff can email a list of available rooms in private residences, prices, and contact
numbers upon request. I made reservations for my first few nights at the youth hostel Pousada de Juventude do Porto at Rua Paulo da Gama, so that I could look for alternate housing after I arrived in Porto, but by then many of the places on
the list were taken. The language staff helped me book a room in an all-women’s dorm.
As part of the program we toured the port wine caves in Vila Nova de Gaia and visited the nearby towns of Braga, Bom Jesus, and Guimarães. I traveled on my own to Coimbra and after the course ended to the
Algarve in southern Portugal.
For those students who fall in love with Porto and its people, as I did, yearlong and month-long courses are also available.
For More Info
The 2006 summer course runs from July 4 until July 28. Tuition and learning materials cost €400. Grants are available. Housing costs depend on the arrangement. Contact:The Faculdade de Letras da Universidade
do Porto, Departamento de Estudos Portugueses e Estudos Românicos, Via Panorâmica, s/n, 4150-564 Porto, Portugal; 011-351-22-607-71-02, fax. 011-351-22-607-71-53; email@example.com, www.letras.up.pt/deper/ (click
on “Português, Língua Estrangeira” [Portuguese for Foreigners] on the left side of the page).
Youth hostel Pousada de Juventude do Porto at Rua Paulo da Gama, 551, 4150 Porto, Portugal; 011-351-22-617-72-57, fax. 011-351-22-617-72-47; firstname.lastname@example.org.