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Oftentimes, Portuguese people tend to lower themselves, not appreciating the natural beauty of their amazing country. According to a survey conducted by Gallup, Portugal is the 4th most pessimist country in the entire world! Marco Esposito, a current italian CEMS MIM student at NovaSBE, doesn’t have the same opinion, and that is why he decided to share with the Uduni community his view on Portugal – a trully eye-opening experience!

What A CEMS Nova SBE Exchange Student Should Really Know About Portugal

I was born and raised in Italy, and as a typical southern Italian I have been pampered by my parents since my first day of life. They have taken care of me and helped me in every decision I had to take. Following blindly the wise advices of my parents and my older brother, I suddenly found myself rushing through my life and constantly racing against time. At the end of my undergraduate studies in Milan, I could finally take a deep breath and started questioning myself: “Am I really following my dreams? Am I living my life or somebody else’s one?” Have you ever had the feeling of not being sure if any decision you have taken had already been taken for you by someone else? Well, I did. At that point I wanted to evade, to break the walls that were confining me in what I didn’t see as my life anymore. I wanted to go abroad and start a new life.

After having convinced myself to leave Italy, my friends and my family, I started to introspect, in order to prioritize my needs and wants. I knew that I wanted to attend a good university. I also knew that I wanted to live in a relatively warm country, since I had been a former professional skier for 16 years, and I have only seen snow and temperatures below 0°. However, I had to take into account also living costs. The destinations that met all my criteria were few, and most of them were overseas. Universities non in EU were too expensive for me. Therefore, since I could not go to California, I decided to opt for the “European California”. That’s how my magic journey in Lisbon began.

After having decided to go to Portugal, the choice of the university was pretty straightforward for me. I wanted to internationalize my career as much as possible, and I saw the best opportunity in the CEMS program at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Everything looked extremely promising, and I was so excited to begin my new academic journey, that I came earlier to Portugal to spend my summer vacations. I instantly fell in love with this country. Everything was perfect and exceeded all my expectations. I was used to travel around. I had already visited every country in Western Europe, each of them with its own peculiarity. Concerning Portugal, I would say that, besides me considering it the best country to live in as a student, it represents also a great opportunity for young professionals. For foreigners life is very cheap in Portugal (just consider that here you can have a beer “imperial” for €0.35). Anyways, as I was previously saying, Portugal is seen as a poor economy, still in recession and where there are no interesting job opportunities due to the low salaries. FALSE.

Portugal is now investing all its resources in the future generations. Universities are expanding, welcoming students from all over the world. The major cities are investing in attracting more and more tourists, not only to make short term profits to improve their infrastructures and blablabla, but they are also looking forward to attract FDI from countries with more stable economies. Rich tourists will come in Portugal for vacations, will see a nice and relatively cheap place to build a family and all of a sudden Portugal will see a huge increase in GDP. However, here it is not all “roses and flowers”. [To be continued…]

Did you enjoy this article? Then, probably you are also going to like Marco’s perspective on how the self-perception bias affects de biasing strategies!

Author: Marco Esposito, current CEMS MIM student @ NovaSBE, studied in Italy, US, Portugal, India & Denmark, business strategist and business developer, former professional alpine skier, PC gamer. You can also reach Marco via Facebook.

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