Quick summary: How is it to study at Católica business school? Check out this real testimonial from an Asian student, sharing with the Uduni community his experience at Católica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics! You can also check out also a similar one from a European student and another one from a European student’s view of Nova SBE!
Related: Studying at ISEG, Técnico (IST), ISCTE-IUL and Nova SBE – real testimonials!
Prior to coming to Portugal, Lisbon, for my studies, I had the following thoughts:
- Wow, I will be studying in the best business school of Portugal! So cool!
- Eventually, I will see the ocean, frequently go to the beach, and enjoy the sun all the time
- I will be studying business and not economics (phew!)
- There will be so many international guys (50% of the Master’s students annually) and I will make so many friends here
- Most importantly, all of them will be very smart, different and open
- Most classes will be very interesting and challenging so that I will be ready to enter the “serious” business
The reality turned out to be a little bit different. I will tell you, guys, in this article, what expectations went true and what went false, without bullshit about “oh, the university is the best in ranking and I enjoy it so much” or my great international experience. Before I start, I have to admit: it is my fault to have unreasonably high expectations about studying in Lisbon. So, let’s go!
Study At Catolica – Destroyed Expectations
In the period of Spring – Summer 2015 I eventually decided that I would like to continue my education, in a slightly different sphere: management. I had a little idea what is taught there since I had a different major, and so I was thrilled: Management! This must be some cool stuff taught by dare, experienced and interesting experts who will tell about their industry experience during the lessons, without the economic theories that after a while stop making sense. I was looking forward to the studies that could show me what it is like to be a professional, a manager in a multinational company, or a successful entrepreneur. In other words, I was looking for a life mission, a path to follow. Instead, I found a path that I should NOT follow.
Management studies showed how to behave, deal with people and think in settings where you submit to the will of other people and usually (well, always) have no right to deviate from what is considered traditional (and not necessarily effective). The main messages I got from them are
- You should act according to the rules of the company you work in
- You should behave ethically meaning that you should not be different from everyone else
- You should always think of the customer, but be sure you please your boss
among others. However, the most important thing for me is that management studies never offered positive changes in a world other than the corporate. I understand that the main goal of corporations is to make as much profit as possible (in 99% of cases); however, it was all about how to save costs, increase the market share and gain more consumers, even if that meant making them addicted to an absolutely useless product or service (apart from a couple of courses).
I know I sound naïve, and I know that due to the language barrier I did not meet many people out there to be able to disprove my impressions, but the local students here turned out to be quite closed. It was funny when we, a small group of international students, found exactly the same nuances of communicating to Portuguese students: one day you talk to someone about something, and the next day you receive this look: Who are you, anyway?
I must tell that there are exceptions to these people I described above. Not everyone is so closed, and not everyone is thinking about parties and stuff, but my expectations led me to seek for these kinds of people, and I have practically stopped my search for people who would somehow be different than the people around me.
Everything Is Awful, But It’s Not That Bad
I do not usually complain like this, but it is my duty to warn about pros and cons about studying here. For the same reason I must also stress some positive moments about stay and studies in Portugal:
- People here are really nice when it comes to services like restaurants, shops, museums etc. It is much more relaxed than in my country; that is why I enjoy this atmosphere of smiles and relaxedness in Portugal.
- The weather is nice in most of days, it is true. Sun appears much more often than in my country, which is why I like to be outside: going to the ocean, taking walks or doing sports.
- Professors are really nice in terms of communication with the students. They are usually ready to help in time, and are making effort to bring the knowledge in a form that would be easy to digest.
- It is hard to ignore the prices here that are significantly lower than in the rest of the Western Europe.
In the end, I do not feel very welcomed in Portugal. Rather, the characteristics of the country in terms of weather and surroundings are more pleasing than the attitudes of locals toward foreigners. I think that is for the best, since I am now sure what it feels like when you have to live and study in settings not necessarily friendly. I also realized that the path of corporate career is not what I want, and that the profit causes and motives do not appeal to me. I am very grateful to these discoveries, and for the chance to self-reflect without the social life disturbing me. So, the main skill I realized is important when studying abroad is to remain positive, be proactive (as opposed to reactive), analyze yourself, and then act according to YOUR principles and priorities, and not be dictated by anyone how to live.
The author of this article asked to remain anonymous.
Would you like to share your testimonial as well? If yes, please send it to [email protected], either in Portuguese or English!
This was the impression of an Asian student, which is not that different from another one from an European student that you can check by clicking here! You can also click here to check out an opposite perspective: a Portuguese student’s perspective on his amazing experience in Beijing!
DISCLAIMER: The articles featured on our platform were prepared or accomplished by students in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of UDUNI. UDUNI does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in these articles. It is part of our mission to empower students, by providing them access to real testimonials and opinions, and we believe that is the reason why some of our articles may not please everyone.
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