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Ing. Adéla Kotková, UCT Prague, ročník 5

Faculty Faculty of Chemical Technology
Field of study Polymeric Materials
Field of internship Physical Sciences, Other
Specialization of InternshipPolymer Chemistry
Internship period (from - to) 22.6.2018 - 22.12.2018
Internship duration (weeks) 24
Transport (means, price) plane to OPO, cca 220 EUR/return flight
Insurance/Insurance company ISIC insurance by UNIQA, 2700 CZK/year
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) NO
Price of Visa 0
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Portugal, Oliveira de Azeméis
Internship reference number PT-2018-04

About the country

Location of the place

City is located in Northern part of Portugal between cities Porto and Aveiro but not on the coastline.

City

Oliveira de Azeméis is a small municipal city in the middle of nowhere. Google says there are over 68 thousand of habitats, but it is not true. The city is really small and boring. For spending free time there you can visit 2 churches, nice park (also good for running), a few bars and a lot of cafés and bakeries. During the weekend there is a farmer´s market with nice vegetable and fresh fishes. Buying food is not a problem - there are 3 big supermarkets. The worst problem in this city is life without a car.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

The city is surrounded by forests, but there is not so much possibilities for hiking and making trips. Portuguese people love picnics. The nearest bigger city is São João da Madeira is good for shopping (7Avenida mall) or nice bars and restaurants. You can go by train to the beach in Espinho - it is a terrible trip in old graffiti train, it takes 1 hour. Another beautiful city is Aveiro - just 1 hour by bus. This city looks like Venice with beautiful canals, boats and beautiful beaches in Costa Nova (city of colorful striped houses). The best options for having fun during weekend is going to Porto - the best city of Portugal. This city is full of students and tourists, you can find their beautiful views, nice bars, parties, etc. It is easy to make friends everywhere in Portugal. For other trips I can recommend you visit Coimbra, Figueira da Foz, Lisbon, Sintra, places in Alentejo and Algarve (Porto Covo, Odeceixe, Lagos, Faro, Albufeira), or mountains in Peneda-Gerês National Park, etc.
Take vacation and visit the Azores or Madeira island!

Employer

Employer

Simoldes Plásticos S.A. is one of the biggest Portuguese companies famous for producing of injection molded plastic parts for the automotive industry. This company group has supporting plants in Brazil, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and newly one in Marocco. Their products are interior and exterior parts of car like door panels, arm rests, dashboard and trunk components, covers, inner fenders, etc.

Work description

I was working in Material Laboratory making several tests and reports. Within 6 months I did not change my job position or department even though it was mentioned in the internship description. So I was stuck 6 months doing the same in the lab. Some days and tests were really boring. But I learnt some new test methods used in the automotive industry, the rest was the same which I did at my university. Another intern previous year received a laptop and phone from the company. Do not trust to this information. I did not receive anything! So do not forget your laptop at home like I did. On the other hand, my colleagues were really nice to me and we had a lot of fun during days - especially with the super fun flammability test. In the beginning my boss told me there is an opportunity to work for the SP Czech Republic which I refused after internship.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

650 EUR was sufficient for local conditions. There was nothing much to do in Oliveira de Azemeis and accomodation was super cheap. I saved a lot of money for every weekend travelling and also going to the Azores.

Language requirements

Portuguese was not obligatory, but I can recommend you to learn something. I am sure during your internship, you will easily get some words. Learning Spanish can be also good. I give up Duolingo in Portuguese (it was Brazilian) and learnt Spanish. It was helpful.
Almost everybody at the company spoke English (someone great, someone really simply). Other people in the city did not speak good English, but someone did.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

160 EUR per month for normal room in house with other 3 flatmates. Not located in the centre and almost 2 kms from Company. We became friends and had a lot of fun together. I was lucky I could join my flatmate for going to the company by car in the mornings. Accommodation was provided by IAESTE. Be careful because houses/flats in Portugal do not have insulation and good heating like in The Czech Republic. Take warm clothes and try to get small electric heating in case of cold. Also humidity everywhere is a big problem!

Social life

Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organised events...)

I have NEVER met anyone from IAESTE Portugal. I think this organization here was so so bad. No one picked me up in the airport. My landlady went there for me to pick me up because my flight was in the evening. But I paid for this 25 EUR (I recommend you rather to stay in a hostel, see Porto and go by the bus/train the other day only for 5 EUR).
IAESTE started working almost in October but it was only in Lisbon. They organized one trip to Sintra and Praia Ursa which I did not join because I planned to go there other time alone.
I can not recommend IAESTE Portugal.

Meeting other foreign students

Fortunately we were 3 interns in Oliveira de Azemeis (Polish girl and boy and me). Me and Julia (Polish girl) travelled a lot around Portugal and also Azores. I made a lot of friends in Porto which I have met during travelling and parties. It is easy to make friends there. People are really nice.

Sport and culture

For sport, there are gyms, swimming pool (during summer also outdoor pool), tennis court, football fields, etc
There is some old cinema in the city but I can recommend you to go to cinema in São João da Madeira or Porto. During September you can not miss the Noite Branca party (White Night Party) in Oliveira de Azemeis and also other festival in La Salette park.

Food, local specialties

The food was the best! Seafood and fish were the best! Try various foods like arroz de marisco, francesinha in Porto, Leitão (small grilled pig) and other dishes.
Portugal is famous for great wine! You can buy in supermarkets really great wine for stupid prices. I was drinking every night there! Do not forget to visit Porto wine cellars in Porto or make a trip by train to Douro valley.
The next must have in Portugal is Pastel de Nata and other sweet cakes for the coffee. Portuguese are obsessed by bakeries (Pastelaria).
I recommend you to buy also olive oil, nice olives, exotic fruits, chestnuts in the autumn and fleur de sal.
Company paid for me lunches in canteen. Lunch was really huge containing soup, bread, salad, main meal, dessert or fruit and drink.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

Without problems.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Travel around Portugal! Otherwise you will die in boring Oliveira de Azemeis...

What not to forget with you

Do not forget about cold autumn and humidity in the air. Bring something warm - houses are really terrible.
Bring some Czech gifts.
For girls do not forget to bring enough cosmetics - there are no good drogeries and make-up stores in Portugal.
Umbrella for autumn, suncreen for summer :)

Benefits of the internship

Visiting new places and travelling, a lot of new experiences and friends from several countries. Trying local food and so so so much wine!
I learned something new in the laboratory but it is almost nothing in compares to the experiences I had before..

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

IAESTE Czech Republic was working well and they were helpful with all my questions. For interns who will go for internship after graduation I can recommend to cancel your health insurance in your country - but only when you are going away for more than 6 monts. When you forget to cancel it you will have a lot of problems later and you will pay a huge money for this!
IAESTE Portugal was working only before internship - they found accommodation. After there was nothing beneficial.

Overall experience with IAESTE

OK

Student's website

http://www.adelakotkova.wordpress.com

Employer's webiste

http://www.simoldes.com/plastics/

Other useful links

https://www.cp.pt
http://www.transdev.pt

Other comments

Portugal is wonderful. Never forget about this when you will be bored at work and hate it there. Because you will miss Portugal after. Portuguese people do not have good organization skills and they are always late, have last time problem solutions.
If you are a girl, everyone will love you in Portugal.
For summer vacation I recommend you to visit South of Portugal. Hitchhiking is also very easy there!
For going back to Czech you should send a box full of wine and olive oil. Send it by DHL or use truck to Simoldes Czech Republic.

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