I must say, the fastest way to get to know a new culture and its systems is to visit the local hospital. I already experienced this in Hong Kong with my finger cut, but this time I even got to experience overnight stay and learned some Portuguese words when sharing a room with three Portuguese patients for four days. How I ended up at the hospital this time? I broke my nose with surfing, which had to be set straight under full narcosis. At the time it was quite painful, but it brought me yet another experience of living abroad. And thankfully my new sweet friends and roommates came to visit and took care of me the days after. Now, my nose is almost fully recovered, but no more surfing for a while.
Back to a few weeks earlier: four days after the defense of my thesis it was time to take the plane again and start the next adventure of the Triangle Programme. Settling in Lisbon went really smooth and easy and after a few days I already felt home. The first two weeks were full of introduction days, welcome parties and pub-crawls. My room is located in the middle of the center, (where the shopping area is 😉 and also very close to the river – perfect for running. Compared to the always vibrant 24/7 life in Hong Kong, Lisbon has this relaxed southern-Europe vibe – where rooftop bars are hidden on the top floor of parking lots and street artist give ambience to almost every street in the city center. And where HK is surrounded by large skyscrapers, Lisbon has these wide views over the city and a see breeze alongside the river. The one thing that these cities have in common is the feeling that everything is possible – which perfectly fits the Triangle Program in my opinion. Drinking a beer in the streets is also done here in Lisbon, just like LKF in HK, Lisbon has Bairro Alto – a phenomenon I can get used to ;-).
The University is easy to reach by metro and a 10 minutes’ walk. This term I had 3 courses, mostly marketing related, which have quite some overlap with some courses in Hong Kong and my bachelor in International Business. Since the track in Hong Kong was on MBA level, the differences are sometimes large in teaching style and interaction. These courses almost already end with exams next week, so time is really flying. Next to the courses we also have a management consultancy project, which takes the whole semester. This is very interesting, since we have to work as real consultants for a large gas and electricity company in Portugal. It is nice to be able to put some knowledge into practice, and having done the SSF project in the first part of the Triangle Program in Maastricht really gave the necessary skills and knowledge in how to execute a consultancy project. A great experience which really adds value to the program.
In two weeks I will be going back to the Netherlands shortly to see my sister graduate in Maastricht, which I am really happy to be able to attend. After that, the new courses will start and the last term of my master will kick-off! For now, I will be studying in the next couple of days, but since the sun has left Lisbon and rain took over, it is not so bad being inside anyway. Stay tuned for the next update!