Every year students from other countries choose Porto Business School to invest in their professional development. Angola, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea, Mexico, Mozambique, Moldavia, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Spain, United States of America, Syria and Zambia are just a few of the home countries of the students who chose Porto Business School for the school year of 2021/2022.
For these students beginning a new study cycle means more than balance schedules, responsibilities, and professional and academic deadlines. For these students starting a new academic phase means interact not only with the Portuguese culture, but also with the colleagues’ cultures, which probably by the end of this journey will have become friends for life.
Thinking about this adaptation period, and with the goal of bringing closer the international participants of the variety of programmes, on October 23, Porto Business School promoted the International Student Welcome Day.
With this event, Porto Business School fostered an afternoon of leisure for the international students of Porto Business School. By promoting an easy-going and informal environment, this welcome event was ideal to narrow the bonds between the international students.
That Saturday afternoon was dedicated to welcoming this group of students began with a tour of downtown Porto with Porto Walkers, passing by some of the most emblematic monuments and spaces in the city, including the Porto Cathedral, the São Bento Station, the Clérigos Tower, and the Lello Bookstore. In the late afternoon the group participated in a culinary workshop at Workshop Pop-Out, during which, and with the support of the Chef Hugo Araújo, the students prepared the dinner, between moments of sharing, chill, and lots of conversation.
In a conversation with Gabriela Caffé Alves, from Brazil and student of Postgraduate programme in Finance and Taxation, and with Romero Bay, from Mozambique and student of The International MBA, it was possible to have a glimpse on the effective impact of the initiatives promoted for the international students.
For Romero Bay, who embarked in The International MBA’s adventure, the first school days were a little challenging, but for administrative matters, such as the visa admission delay. Romero compares the first days of school to “to change the tire of a vehicle in motion.”
For Gabriela Alves, who started the Postgraduate programme in Finance and Taxation in the beginning of October, shares the relevance of the lectures for the quality and up-to-dateness of its content. “Besides the material that is amazingly useful for my study and understanding of the classes”, and she adds “that it is fundamental for my career.”
Romero looks at these events, such as the International Student Welcome Day, very importante to boost the inclusion of international students and to “meet people in the same position”. Furthermore, “sharing experiences and advice of who already was in the same situation is always important when you are trying to be a part of a new society”; and he believes “the most important is the confraternization”.
For Gabriela Alves, “these events are important, as this type of welcoming makes students feel part of a transformation project.” And she adds “the International Student Welcome Day was exceptional. Sharing experiences and the care behind the planning of this special day shows the commitment and real concern in welcoming us. Being out of our country triggers a lot of uncertainties and the International Student Day made me feel welcomed and comfortable. And that is very important to me as a student and an individual. Thank you”.
Upon the farewell, Romero shares choosing Porto Business School was obvious: for the opportunity of attending a programme lectured entirely in English and the rating conquered by the MBA. While Gabriela Alves highlights that she chose Porto Business School “mainly for the opportunities in the job market arising in national companies and in multinationals”, and she adds “the prestige of the Institution and the quality of the programme will be decisive in my professional journey”.
All new beginnings always bring some challenges. Without disregard this dimension of challenge, the students who participated in this International Student Welcome Day was universal: this academic experience is already challenging and inspiring; and this event was a really good moment welcomed by this group who is ready to tackle the academic challenges of this journey.