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January 2013 issue

Contents
News
News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agency Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus
Direction
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
Regional Focus
Market Analysis
Grapevine

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Picturesque Portugal

Gorgeous beaches and old-fashioned charm come in equal doses in Portugal, a country boasting a warm climate and welcoming attitude to overseas students. Claire Twyman finds out more.


With its Mediterranean climate and long stretch of coastline, Portugal has rivalled its Spanish cousin across the border as a beach holiday destination for a long time. But, as Ernesto Pinho from Fast Forward Language Institute in the country’s second largest city of Porto points out, “Portugal has far more to offer than wonderful beaches and a great climate. It is a country with a rich culture and a fascinating history, dating back to the 13th century. Our students also point out its diversity, good food and wine, cheap prices, good public transportation system that allows them to easily explore the surroundings, and, in particular, the people are always available and welcoming.” Meanwhile, Alex Bone from inlingua’s Porto school highlights that “for a small country, Portugal has an incredibly diverse landscape with distinct regional characteristics”.

Rivalling the capital city of Lisbon, Porto in the north is a popular destination for tourists. With a mix of baroque churches and Medieval alleyways, the city has also undergone a number of urban renewal projects in recent years. It is also a bit of a hotspot with architects, who flood in to admire buildings such as Álvaro Siza Vieira’s Museu de Arte Contemporânea and Rem Koolhaas’ Casa da Música. Pinho describes Porto as “incredibly picturesque, welcoming and vibrant – the perfect place to study Portuguese”, and his favourite place is the Douro Valley, “which is often described as the most beautiful wine region in the world. We take students here for the harvest and to experience the old-fashioned way of stomping on grapes,” he enthuses. Additionally, he always advises students to eat local dishes, such as francesinha, a type of sandwich; tripas à moda do Porto, meat with white beans and bacalhau, cod fish.

Bone adds, “No visit to Porto is complete without a tour of the famous Port wine cellars, or a boat cruise up the river Douro, or an open-tram ride through the centre of the historic city. But my favourite activity is to while away a sunny afternoon by the beach with some friends – or a good book – and an ice cold glass or two of vinho verde – the deliciously refreshing Portuguese sparkling white wine.” Students at the school, according to Bone, “might find themselves in the most beautiful bookshop in Europe (Livraria Lello), a tram museum, eating ice cream on the beach or listening to Fado [a Portuguese music genre renowned for melancholy lyrics].”

In the south, Lisbon obviously draws in its fair share of international students too. A city spread across steep hillsides that overlook Rio Tejo, gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums are part of the colourful landscape. “It is a very young city with people from all over the world, and has a crazy nightlife,” adds Cláudia Simão from IPAM – The Marketing School, the oldest marketing school in Portugal which has campuses in Lisbon and Aveiro. And for Alexandra Borges de Sousa from CIAL – Centro de Linguas in Lisbon and Faro, “Lisbon is the obvious choice, with a big offering of entertainment, culture and outdoor activities.” Lisbon’s castle near the waterfront is also a big highlight, she says, with great views from the top and with old narrow streets surrounding it. “We tell students to explore the old and new features Lisbon has to offer, and to always try the great food and wines,” she adds. Faro – the capital of the southernmost Algarve region – on the other hand, “is very different from other seaside locations,” Borges de Sousa enthuses, “keeping a very friendly and traditional atmosphere. For someone looking for a warmer location, a typical small town or golf and water sports, we [recommend] our school in Faro.”

Europa Algarve is another school in the Algarve region, located in the small city of Loulé that has a population of around 70,000. “Loulé got its charter of independence from Iberia in the 11th century,” explains Mary Jo from the school. “Traditionally it was a market town that had stronger ties with north Africa than the rest of Portugal, so there are definitely still traces of Arab culture,” she says, adding that the city includes a castle that has parts dating back to the 8th century. And in addition to its rich history, there are a number of things for international students to do. “There are many festivals throughout the year. There is a big religious festival in May – the Festival of our Lady – which brings together thousands of people,” she explains. “There is also the Fest Med, a music festival, and students enjoy the vibrant Saturday market. My favourite spot is the Arab Garden, also called the Lovers Garden, in front of the church.”

Not far away from the Algarve, Parede is a coastal town in the Cascais Municipality where Speakwell Language School is located. Catherine Bright, Director at the school which offers courses for business people en route to Africa or Brazil, highlights some of the many attractions of Cascais. “It is a fishing town that is well-known these days for holding international sporting and cultural events, and is 10 minutes away from Parede on the train,” she says. “It has recently hosted various international sailing events and has a packed programme of high-standard musical events in the spring or summer.”

And back in the north, Gillian Moreira from the University of Aveiro, which hosts students from 49 different countries including India, China and Portuguese-speaking African countries, is full of praise for the city of Aveiro. “It offers much of what big cities can offer, but without the urban chaos or loss of quality of life,” she explains, highlighting that the city, nicknamed the Venice of Portugal, includes a lagoon and canals, interesting architecture and long beaches only a few minutes away. “It also has the advantages of a university city with lively nightlife and an energetic spirit,” she says, adding that the university has an experimental theatre group, GrETUA, a Centre for Jazz Studies and is one of the main supporters of the Filarmonia das Beiras Orchestra.



Agent viewpoint


“Our students really appreciate the size of the cities in Portugal. Even in large cities like Lisbon or Porto, it is easy to get around, and students are often happy to find out that most accommodation is located within walking distance of the schools! The variety of activities available in Portugal is generally excellent and extremely attractive to our students who enjoy experiencing Portuguese life in a way that isn’t possible if you travel on your own. It is easy for students to enjoy a wide variety of cultural activities within easy access to the beach.”
Phillippa Taylor, Apple Languages, UK

“Although we only send a small amount of students to Portugal – we tend to send teachers of foreign languages there – there is a lot of interest in the country as a study abroad destination from the northwest region of Spain, called Galicia, as the area has a lot in common with Portugal. Galicia is very well connected to the country both culturally and linguistically, and its people have a great fondness for the Portuguese language. Personally I love Portugal – it is a very beautiful country.”
Luis Arroyo, She – Herencia, Spain

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company

Country

Telephone

Email


ACCOMMODATION
Homestay Technologies Ltd  
Sara's New York Homestay LLC  
Studyhouse  
ASSOCIATIONS/GROUPS
CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools  
English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
MEI  
Study Gold Coast  
AUSTRALIA
Ability English  
Academia International College  
Access Macquarie Limited  
Australian Institute of Professional Education  
Cairns Language Centre / Eurocentres Cairns  
English Australia  
ILSC Australia  
Impact English College  
UNSW Global Pay Limited (University of New South W  
Study Gold Coast  
CANADA
Braemar College  
CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools  
Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology  
COMOX valley - School District 71  
Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est  
Eastern Townships School Board  
Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology  
IH Pacific (Vancouver, Whistler, San Diego)  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Niagara College  
Ottawa International Student Programmes (OISP)  
Pembina Trails School Division  
Powell River School District #47  
Qualicum School District #69  
Sol Schools International  
Study Manitoba School Divisions  
Victoria International Student Program  
Waterloo Catholic District SB  
West Vancouver School District #45  
CHINA
iMandarin Language Training Institute  
ENGLAND
Activate Your English  
INTO University Partnerships  
International House World Organisation  
Kaplan International Colleges  
London School of Business & Finance  
Mayfair School of English  
Ovingdean Hall College  
Plus  
TUS Advertising  
St Giles International  
Twin Group  
University of East Anglia  
EVENTS
Feltom Malta  
EXAM BOARDS
Cambridge Esol  
TOEFL Educational Testing Service  
IRELAND
Homestay Technologies Ltd  
MEI  
MALTA
Feltom Malta  
IH Malta-Gozo  
inlingua Malta  
Maltalingua Ltd.  
PORTUGAL
CIAL - Centro de Linguas  
SCOTLAND
Oscars International  
SPAIN
International House Sevilla CLIC  
SWEDEN
STS Student Travel Schools  
SWITZERLAND
EF International Language Centers  
USA
Annie Wright School  
Brown University  
ELS Language Centers  
FLS International  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Glenholme School  
Global Language Institute  
Northwest School  
Rennert  
Ross School (The)  
Saint George's School  
Saint John's University  
Sara's New York Homestay LLC  
Zoni Language Centers





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