Study Abroad Spotlight: Autumn’s Adventures in Portugal and the Azores

By: Kasey Andrade

Over the summer, sophomore Honors student Autumn Burrell took part in a study tour that traveled to Portugal and the Azores. Check out the interview below to learn more about Autumn’s experience abroad!

National Azulejo Museum (Tile Museum)
Above: Autumn at the National Azulejo Museum (Tile Museum)

 Major, Year, & Fun Fact?

I’m a sophomore. A fun fact about me is that I love learning new languages.

Where did you study abroad? How long?

I studied abroad in Portugal and the Azores for two weeks.

What interested you in this study abroad program?

I was interested in this study abroad program because I was able to learn about different types of art in another country. The Fado music was amazing, as well as the differing sense of fashion, the architecture, and the different museums. Also, the people in the Azores and Portugal were very friendly and made me feel welcome in their country.

Moors Castle
Above: Moors Castle

Did you have an opportunity to meet with any professors or students from Portugal?

Yes, I met students who were going to the University of the Azores as well as professors. I also had lunch with the different faculty members, and listened to a speaker talk about art in the Azores.

What museums, sites, and landmarks did you visit during your trip?

Some of the museums I went to include: the Museum of Fashion and Design, the Chiado Museum, and the Fado Museum. I also saw the westernmost point in Europe that is closest to America, called Cabo da Roca.

How did participating in this study tour influence your views and attitude towards art?

Prior to the study tour, I appreciated art but did not always have a strong understanding of it. By the end of the trip, I developed a greater understanding for art and this allowed me to appreciate the art even more.

How did you embrace the Portuguese culture during your time there?

Salad with Soft Goat Cheese
Above: Salad with Soft Goat Cheese

I was able to embrace the Portuguese culture by trying many different types of food, seeing the art galleries, and going to a concert.

What surprised you the most about your trip abroad?

I was most surprised about how many options they had for people who were vegetarians. There was even a vegetarian restaurant, Rotas. Their food was so fresh and it was very affordable.

Also, when I ordered tea they would give me a teapot and a mug. I was surprised by this and loved it because I would have several cups of tea daily!

What were some fun things you did during your time abroad? How did you spend your free time?

Pena National Palace
Above: Pena National Palace

Some fun things I did include swimming at the beach, going to different parks, and going to cafes for breakfast. During free time, I went to the market where there was a huge open space filled with so many different fruits, vegetables, and cheese

What is your favorite memory from your trip?

My favorite memory from the trip is when I visited Sintra. Sintra is a town of palaces and castles in Portugal. The Pena National Palace was my favorite, because of the designs, colors, and the different rooms that were inside of the palace.

What was your favorite Portuguese meal or dessert?

Vegetarian Lasagna
Above: Vegetarian Lasagna

My favorite meal was vegetarian lasagna with a salad. The ingredients were so fresh, and the pasta was made from scratch.

How did participating in this study tour help you connect with other BSU students?

Because there were so many fun activities I did every day, I was able to get to know the other students better. Also, because of the free time, I was able to explore the city more with the other students and become closer with them.

What advice would you give to others who are thinking of studying abroad?

I would tell them that it is a great opportunity, and they should definitely study abroad. Also, keep an open mind and take a lot of pictures. I recommend packing as light as you can; you will be very happy you did.

Where else would you like to travel to one day?

I would like to travel to all of Central and South America, the Canary Islands, Budapest, England, Italy, Austria (Vienna), Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Prince Edward Island, Norway, Egypt, and India.

Furnas
Above: Autumn and two other BSU students in Furnas

The views expressed in this piece are my own and are not representative of the BSU Honors Program community as a whole. 

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