Friday, May 22, 2009

AFS Exchange Student Alli: Reflecting on a Semester in Portugal

The AFS experience is nothing like I thought it would be. First of all,when I first left Alaska I couldn't even imagine being away from my family, because I have gone through my whole life with them around. Being away from them was by far the biggest change. With my family I feel comfortable, I can express my feelings, and most importantly be myself and relax.

I initially felt lost in Portugal without that constant comfort and support, but I managed to get by. Gradually I got to know my friends better, my family host family helped me with everything, and keeping busy kept me from dwelling too much on how much I missed them (there is a name here for missing somebody that cannot be translated. It's to have "saudades". I immediately knew what people meant when they said they had "saudades"). Read more.

AFS offers year and semester programs to Portugal.

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