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Flying across the world not knowing anyone in your summer abroad program can be quite nerve-wracking. Thankfully, I grew up desiring independency. In iX Lisbon, I got just that, and more.
Aside from class, there were many amazing opportunities that iXperience brought to me. The people in this program made iXperience special for me. You would think that a bunch of students from completely different schools with different interests would clash, but our group quickly became a family. Spending time together, whether it was in the kitchen or going on excursions, never failed to make me the happiest human.
Becca's iX Lisbon family, Class of 2019
My favorite memories are of the two weekends I was able to travel around Portugal with my new best friends. One weekend, my friends and I traveled to the beautiful town of Lagos, in the Algarve, and the other weekend to historic Porto. We were easily able to make our own plans and explore places we had never been, all while feeling safe.
One thing that surprised us was how affordable the transport was. We used the great public transport (trains mostly) to get us to our weekend getaways. In Lagos, we took a boat tour of all of the spectacular blue caves and hung out on the warm beaches. In Porto, we went on a walking tour to learn about the great city’s history, and then went on a wine tour at Calem, where we learned about the ancient art of port wine making. Without the opportunities that iXperience provided me, I would never have been able to travel to Lisbon, as well as explore the wonderful places Portugal has to offer.
But I’m not done yet. The weekend trips truly brought me closer to the people that made this experience incredible. When I was diagnosed with tonsillitis, I had nothing but support from the friends I had made here. Every time someone saw me, they checked in and offered to get me soft foods that I could eat. Even at my weakest point, I was surrounded by people that helped me make the most of a not-so-great situation. So thank you, iXperience, for introducing me to not only some of my best friends, but a new family.