Lisbon became my second home, by Denise Fuenzalida

Denise F 1

A story by Denise Fuenzalida

Country of origin : Northern Ireland Destination country : Portugal

Back in 2012, with Graduation fast approaching I wasn’t sure what my next step would be, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to immediately find employment or to travel for a while and then I came across the Eurograduate (Leonardo Da Vinci ) Program, which offered the benefit of both travel and working. I was fortunate enough to be accepted and got a work placement in one of the leading Biotechnology company in Lisbon, where I learned a great lot of professional and technical knowledge, things that I only learned within one or two practical in university I was able to learn properly here, It wasn’t one of those internships where you run around making photocopies and making everyone coffee, as most of us feared this might be the case, I was an active member of the team, with my own projects and responsibilities. They took the time to train me and trusted me to do thing alone, I learned a lot from my mentors who are in the top of their fields and have studied and worked across the globe.  Portugal was not my first choice, in fact it wasn’t in any of my choices, but its where I ended up and  it was the best thing that could have happened to me, my experience of Living in Portugal has opened my eyes to a whole new world. I fell in love with the city, the culture, the food and the people. Lisbon is vibrant city, full of life, and there’s always something going on for everyone, we loved the lifestyle, being able to be in the city but also be a stone’s throw away from the beautiful beaches. Not to mention the wine and food is so cheap, what a bliss!

This program had made me developed not only professionally but also personally, I have made friends for life and found a second home, I recently went back for holidays and felt right at home in Lisbon. I learned a good bit of the language while I was there and when I came home I enrolled myself to more Portuguese classes, my work experience also gave me a more clear view of what I want to do in the future, so I am now nearly completing my Master’s degree in Biotechnology and I hope to find a job in a sector similar to the one I was working in during my placement in Portugal. Whether it’s here or further afield. I would totally recommend this program to anyone, not only does it look great on your CV’s and give you an advantage over most graduate but it’ll will open your eyes to a whole new world of experiences!

Madeline Blackburn - Intern Europe

Having taught all over the world, Madeline is passionate helping young people to find work opportunities overseas. She is a co-director of Intern Europe and ESPA which are dedicated to helping young adults find great work experience and internships across Europe.

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