Turkey’s File – Portugal Mobility

Student Reports

Ezo Nisa Oral

On our first day in Portugal, we met our hosts at the school. We went to their home and placed our clothes and other stuff. Then we went to their family gathering. I was nervous at the beginning, because I thought it would be awkward to join a family event of a family I just met. But the atmosphere was warm and everyone treated us like we were a part of family, so I felt comfortable with the hosting family since the first day.

On the second day, we met the other students from different countries. All of the countries made presentations about their country, city and school. We learned about other students’ school, city and country culture and features. Then we had a “group dynamics” activity which we learned about each other. Our names, things that make us smile etc. After those activities, we weren’t strangers anymore and I think that’s when the project really began. Later that day, we calculated our carbon footprint. Both personal and national, and also international. I liked that activity because we are the next generation and the earth is our legacy that we should protect at all costs. And seeing the harm we do scientifically, maybe we can understand what we are doing wrong better.

On the third day, we started with the micro:bit coding. Actually, it was boring to me. I’m more into complicated coding, but in micro:bit, there were code blocks that left us pretty much nothing to think about. So I think it didn’t really help us develop a strategy or a solution to the task we were given. The next activity was a lesson for positive actions about plastic pollution. Since we had a carbon footprint activity the day before, we had some knowledge about us polluting the earth, and in this activity, we learned how to deal with that pollution. We had a lunch break after the lesson was over. And then we went to the chemistry lab to make soap and candle. We learned how to make both soap and candle step by step. It was exciting for me because it was the first time I was making a soap or a candle. But after our first product, it felt kind of addictive and we made some more. I had so much fun in that lab. After that, we had dance workshop. It was so much fun because I love dancing and the choreography was so nice. Dance workshop was the last activity of the day. Well, at least I thought so. But then I find out that we were going to go to ice skating. I was so happy because I haven’t been going to ice skating for a long time. That evening, we both went to ice skating and saw the Christmas lights. That evening was the highlight of the project for me. I enjoyed it so much.

On the fourth day, we didn’t have any activities at the school. We went out to visit two cities. There were a lot of historical places and they were really impressive. I actually didn’t have any idea about Portugal’s history before I went to there, but after I saw the impressive ancient places, I realized that Portugal is a very beautiful country. After that day, we went to a mall. It was refreshing, but it was hard for us to find a food that didn’t include pork.

On the fifth day, we visited DEVESA Park, the House of Territory and CeNTI. Since it was raining hard, we didn’t pay much attention to the DEVESA Park. But I had a great time in the House of Territory. I got to learn more about the history of Portugal. This time, not only places but items too. After we saw the historical part of Portugal, we went to CeNTI to find out about modern side of Portugal. We learned about Portugal’s famous fiber technology. After our trip, we went back to school to prepare our national dishes. I made Tarhana soup and it was the first time I made it. After everyone was finished with their job, we moved on to the tasting part. Since most of the foods included pork, I couldn’t taste them all, but they all looked delicious. The event went on for hours and I didn’t want it to end because it was our last night in Famalicao.

On the sixth day, we had a farewell. My heart was broken because I got used to being there. We went to Porto after we left Famalicao. We visited some places there too. But since there were flights that people should catch, we didn’t go around for so long. We stayed at a hotel across the airport with Lithuanians because our flight was early.

On the seventh day, we bid goodbye to Lithuanians and we departed from Portugal. Even if I felt like I lost something while our plane took off, I realized I actually earned some things. I earned a lot of friends, a lot of new info about different cultures, and a lot of memories that I will never forget about STEM and generally everything.

İlke Toprak

Hi,

I am Ilke and i will tell my erasmus project experiences it was my first experience, first of  all i want to say “thank you portugal” everything was great, people, foods, the school, everything was great. I saw new places and cultures in this Project and this is wonderful. I have new friends from other countries after this project. We are still chatting from internet. Also it was awesome because i learned new and important things about our World and this made me a conscious person. I saw the what does it mean STEM with activities. I have the experiences of living in abroad in a beautiful country anymore and I tasted a different food culture. I learned the difference and common points with my country and other countries, we learned so much thing about our countries and regions.

Yavuz Berkay Aktaş

Actually, I had no idea what I was going through when I started this project. I thought that this will be just a travel to abroad. But I realized how wrong I was by the time. First day we were so tired after the long flight to Portugal. We went from airport to school. Every student met with the Portuguese students who will host them. Then, we met our host English Teacher and found out that she is a really kind and nice person and we felt so lucky. And her house was enormous. We tried to get used to the house but we were really tired and we went to bed. Next day, we went to school and When we got inside some Portuguese students gave us our name tags. Then we went to school’s conference room. All the teachers and students were there and we were going to introduce ourselves to others. At first Portuguese students started to introduce themselves and what were going to happen in the project. Then other students started to introduce themselves and their countries in a queue. We were the last ones to introduce ourselves and our country. After we had done it, we showed our little show to others. We sang some folk songs with İlke and I made a traditional dance. And in the end we gave little presents to everyone. Then we separated into groups and Portuguese students took us to a walk in the school. The school was really big and it was like a maze. After that we went back to conference room without teachers and made an activity called train of joy. At first we met each other. Then we started a human train. But there was a rule. If somebody wants to add anyone else to that train, then he/she must know the name and an information about the person who he/she wants to add. That was enjoyable. After that activity we went to cafeteria to have lunch. Lunches at there were great times for us to socialize and know each other better. After lunch we had a leisure and we went to a little park near the school. Playing at there was more enjoyable than I thought. There was a big round swing and swinging on that became our favorite activity. After our free time we went back to school and made the workshop “calculate your carbon footprint”. Portuguese students distributed tablets and we calculated our carbon footprints with a website. Then we compared the averages of each country and listened a little speech about pollution. After that workshop Portuguese students had an exam. That meant we had to wait for a while. In this time we gathered somewhere with some other students and had a great chat about lots of topics. When the exam finished we went back to our host’s houses. In the night after we had changed our clothes, we had dinner in the kitchen. Then we went back to our room. That day was more beautiful than I thought and it felt like a long long day. Next day we were late again. The first workshop was an IT workshop about coding. We were coding simple things with a program called microbit. Such a different workshop was  amusing for me. After that we watched a video about plastic pollution. We learned that every plastic we throw away is a big danger for nature. Then we tried to find some solutions about this subject. After this activity we went to cafeteria again to have lunch. And of course we did our favorite activity too. But this time Portuguese students offered us to have a short trip in the city. We surely accepted it. Having that trip and seeing the structures around was wonderful. When we turned back to school, we went to chemistry lab. The workshop at there was making soaps and candles. Making those was not easy and required a good patience but when we got the results  all that challenges had gone and just the great memories left with us. After that workshop we went to gym of school. We were going to have a dance workshop at there. The choreography was a little bit complicated but really fun. After that choreography the schedule of that day ended but the day was not over yet. After school with some of the students we went to an ice ring. That time was my first time on an ice ring and I understood that ice skating is harder than it looks. I fell down a lot while I was ice skating. After that enjoyable experience we walked around and went to supermarket but it was late and we needed to go back home. The activities of next day weren’t in the school. The activities were visiting the cities Guimarães and Braga. At first we went to Guimarães. Our English teacher and some Portuguese students were guiding us in the city. The city was full of historical heritage of Portugal. We went to lots of towers, squares, churches and castles. After that trip we went to a shopping center to have lunch. But we had to pay attention about what are we eating. Because in our religion we have some rules like not eating pork. But fortunately we could find a place where we can eat safely. After lunch we headed to city Braga. Braga was as beautiful as Guimarães. We enjoyed at that trip a lot. In the night of that day our English teacher invited all other teachers to her home for a dinner and İlke and I were only students who attended that dinner. I am not sure about that was an advantage or disadvantage but I can’t deny that night went well. The next day was my birthday. Before that day I told some of Portuguese students it was my birthday and I wasn’t expecting a lot from them. But when I arrived to school on that morning, every student rushed on me to say happy birthday and each of them hugged me. That was spectacular for me. That day we had a trip to a place in DEVASA Park called ceNTI (Center of Nanotechnology and Smart Materials). We learnt about nanotechnology and saw some futuristic developments at that place. After that we started to walk to a museum. Everything was great but not the weather. Rain was really pouring. All of us were soaking wet. We had umbrellas but umbrellas weren’t enough to prevent us from being soak. In the museums we learnt about the history of Portugal and Famalicão. After that rainy trip we went back to school to have lunch. We had a great free time until the next activity. Some of the students went to their homes. I was with the other students and we watched a film to kill time. That night was intercultural food night and all the students from all countries should make some dishes from their country. That was actually my first time in kitchen. The meal was not perfect but it was good. There was a chaos because the kitchen was not big enough for all of us. Everybody was in a hurry to make their dishes on time. That night there was a bigger organization than I expected. Tables and chairs like we were in a luxury restaurant, self service food stands with lots of dishes. There were even waiters and waitresses. I tried as many dish as I can and every dish was really tasty. My friends keep telling me that we are going to sing you happy birthday. The celebration that they made that morning was enough for me but I wondered what were they going to do. I was expecting something like maybe one of them stand up or call me somewhere and sing me happy birthday. I mean I wasn’t expecting a lot. But while all the things were going on, one of them took the microphone and said “We have a friend who has turned 16 today and we are going to sing him happy birthday.” The music started and İlke brought a cake with candles on it. I was really surprised and shocked that I was even shivering because I am a person who can be happy with little things and that was really amazing and lovely for me. After that celebration some songs started to play and we danced with them, had fun a lot. At the end of that night we took our certificates for attending to that project. Each day of that week was precious but that night was unforgettable. I really wanted that night to last forever. Morning of the next and the last day was really heartbreaking because we told our goodbyes to Portuguese students expect 5 of them. 5 of them came with us to our last trip to Porto. That morning was the last time I saw my Portuguese friends. I can’t find any words to describe my feelings about that farewell. After that we started our last trip in Porto. At first we went to Taylor’s. That place is a vine factory and store. I didn’t taste the vine but grape juice was tasty. Then we walked to a bridge. We passed through that bridge and continued sightseeing. For lunch we had two options. Going to McDonald’s or a pizza restaurant. I preferred to go to pizza restaurant. After that trip we went to our last station. The Hotel. We had a farewell at there too. What a sad day that was. That night we stayed in hotel and next day we flied to our country back. For the last words I can say that the thing that made this project phenomenal was our friendship. I felt like I have known these people not just for  a couple of days but for long years. Our friendships started so quick but improved themselves in a very good way. That made everything so enjoyable, amusing and lovely. All people at there were really nice, kind and friendly. We all cared about each other and that strengthened our friendship. I can surely say our friendship was really strong because of our farewell too. Our farewell hurt a lot which means we had got a great friendship. That week was really great for me and It felt like longer than a week for me. If there was a chance that we can make it again, I would do it with no doubt.

Zeynep İpek Kayalı

Hello everyone!

I’m Zeynep Ipek. In this text, I will share my experience with “Students and Teachers Experiencing the Meaning of STEM” Erasmus+ Project in Portugal, Famalicão which I represent Fatih Bilim ve Sanat Merkezi with my Turkish friends. First of all the week was amazing. It was fun and I learned many interesting things such as making candles. 

The first day I kind of nervous because it was the first time I traveled by plane also it was the first time I went to a foreign country. But when we got on the plane all my thought disappeared. After a while, we landed in Portugal and went to our houses. My host was Sara and I stayed with Ezo. The house was lovely and she and her family were very hospitable every day we ate delicious food. Also, we went to Sara’s family reunion in the day we arrived in Portugal and they all were companionable. 

The second day activities started. First, we listened to other countries’ presentations then we present our school, city and country. I presented our county. That makes me proud and I had fun. After that, we visited the school. The school was huge and there were many ways to spending time. And it was time for lunch. The thing I liked most about lunches the time we spent with others. These times were very precious for me. Then we played some games with students from other countries. I think it was important because we had a chance of meeting with others. The last activity of the day was calculating our carbon footprints with that activity I remembered the significance of global warming.

The third day flat out started. The day started with coding. Coding micro:bit was very simple but in my opinion, the activity was very important because if we talk about STEM, we need to do something about coding. The following activity was about plastic pollution and how can we avoid it. In my opinion, the key point of this activity was brainstorming which each group found ideas about preventing plastic pollution. When the activity finished we had lunch and after it making soap and candles workshop started. I think my favorite indoor activity was this workshop. I had fun and with that activity, I made candles the first time. Another thing I liked about this activity was the cooperating between students. When this workshop finished dance workshop started. I can not say I was good at it but at least I tried. After the day in school finished we went ice skating with some students and it was incredibly fun. But the day has not finished yet. That day we also see the Christmas lights in the streets and they were amazing and beautiful. 

The fourth day was the visiting day. That day we visited Braga and Guimarães and see historical places of these cities. I think I impressed most about how these buildings not got damaged. The churches we visited were very detailed and fascinating. Also on that day, I ate the best hamburger of my life.

On the fifth day, we visited CeNTI and the House of Territory. The House of Territory was interesting because there were many objects which show us the history of Famalicão. But CeNTI was best. Things scientists do in there were incredible, it takes time but the results show what can be done with true material. When our trip finished, we returned the school and had lunch. After free time we started preparing our cultural dishes. I made rice and had a good time. All countries made different foods and I tried as much as the food I can try. All the foods were delicious but the atmosphere was the best. That night we took our soaps and candles also cute gifts with our certificates. We danced and celebrated Yavuz’s birthday but that day was our last day in Famalicão so I was a little bit sad. 

The sixth day was very hard because I had to say goodbye to my friends. Despite this sadness Porto and Gaia were amazing. Every part of this cities shows you another story. When day finishes Turkish and Lithuanian teams stayed in a hotel so being not alone made me feel better.  

  The seventh day passed with traveling so I had a chance of thinking. After spending so much good time in Famalicão leaving there makes me feel sad and even now I am missing the project days. I can not explain all the benefits of the project with words but I can say with that project now I have a new perspective.

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