On-arrival Training in Viseu // Formação à chegada em Viseu


What is it? A vital part of EVS program is On-Arrival training and Mid-term evaluation. Having different goals, both activities are designed to prepare the volunteer for EVS experience and provide the important tools to deal with emerging challenges. As Emre is waiting for his Mid-term evaluation to come, I spend one week in my On-Arrival training where I was learning more about EVS, cultural differences, building new friendships and setting future plans.

O que é? Uma parte vital do programa SVE é formação à chegada e avaliação intercalar. Formações têm objetivos diferentes, mas ambas as atividades são projetadas para preparar o voluntário para a experiência do SVE e fornecer as ferramentas importantes para lidar com os desafios emergentes. Emre está espera da sua avaliação intercalar enquanto eu passei uma semana na minha formação à chegada. Aprendi mais sobre o SVE, diferenças culturais, encontrei novos amigos e criei planos futuros.


What happened during the week? 17 volunteers from all over the country gathered in a small but cozy city in the north of Portugal. Most of the time we spend outside exploring different spaces in Viseu and using it for our training. We were going to the local Market and gathering ideas for our projects’ presentation, also visiting a museum and teaching locals how to say ‘Hey’ in our native languages or how to dance traditional finish dance.

O que aconteceu durante a semana? 17 voluntários de todo o país reuniram-se numa cidade pequena mas acolhedora no norte de Portugal. A maior parte do tempo passamos fora explorando diferentes espaços em Viseu e usando-os para nossa formação. Estávamos indo ao mercado local e reunindo ideias para a apresentação dos nossos projetos; também visitar um museu e ensinar os locais a dizer “Hey” nas nossas línguas nativas ou a dançar a dança tradicional finlandesa.  


Moreover, we prepared our own workshops. We learnt how to survive in Italy understanding gestures, tasted the traditional Turkish soup, listened for the birds in the park and practiced acro-yoga and meditation and much more. I shared my experience about active listening skills which I obtained while providing support for people in need during my volunteering in emotional support line.

The last days were dedicated to reflection about this intensive week, promises for the future and plans to meet each other again.

Também preparamos nossos workshops actividades. Aprendemos a entender gestos na Itália, provamos a sopa turca tradicional, ouvimos os pássaros no parque e praticamos acro-yoga e meditação e muito mais. Compartilhei minha experiência sobre habilidades de escuta ativa que obtive enquanto fornecia suporte para pessoas necessitadas durante meu voluntariado na linha de apoio emocional.

Os últimos dias foram dedicados à reflexão sobre esta semana intensiva, promessas para o futuro e planos para nos encontrarmos novamente.


Was it worth it? Yes! I went to Viseu without big expectations but came back with higher motivation to be involved in my project. I want to appreciate my time in Porto, to be more open for the contact with locals and learning experience. It is not always easy to deal with everyday situations, city, language that you do not understand, bureaucratic issues and all other things that come up. It is not always easy to see the meaning of what you do neither.

But there is always the choice, how to perceive it.

Valeu a pena? Sim! Eu fui a Viseu sem grandes expectativas mas voltei com maior motivação para me envolver no meu projeto. Quero apreciar o meu tempo no Porto, estar mais aberta ao contacto com os locais e a experiência de aprendizagem. Nem sempre é fácil lidar com situações cotidianas, cidade, língua que tu não entendes, questões burocráticas e todas as outras coisas que surgem. Nem sempre é fácil ver o significado daquilo que tu fazes.

Mas há sempre a escolha, como perceber.


And the list of the volunteers that now has to be visited!

E a lista dos voluntários que agora têm que ser visitados!


EVS… In Viseu… Let’s get together and feel alright.

SVE… em Viseu… Vamos sair juntos e ficar-mos bem.

Até a próxima!


12 points go to…

This year was exceptional for Portugal – Eurovision song contest was held in Portuguese capital, The Lisbon Arena, located at the city’s seashore. The right to host the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest came after Salvador Sobral won the 2017 edition in Kyiv with his song Amar Pelos Dois.

Eurovision mood also came to Porto, to be exact, to the House of Associations, where the live stream of grand final took place and the excitement was going through the roof. People from Lithuania, Turkey, Estonia, Italy, Spain, and many more gathered to support their countries and favorite artists. Some dancing, singing and rooting was happening as well 🙂


After an intense voting session, Israel was announced as a winner country of Eurovision 2018. Various emotions and opinions were flowing through everyone’s heads, but all of us could agree, that Netta’s song ”Toy” is really fun. Mostly, people in the House were supporting Cyprus, Austria, Estonia, and Czech Republic. But at the end of the day, we were happy that we could watch this contest first-hand. Even Portuguese weren’t sad about their loss this year. Probably last year’s victory and FC Porto winning Portuguese football championship was enough. Now, let’s wait for Eurovision 2019!


Queima das Fitas 2018

The academic week has come to town! A tradition, that started in 1919, still keeps going to this day and the largest academic festival attracts not only students but all the visitors of Porto every year. Queima das Fitas is a major event in the first week of May, before the beginning of the study period preceding the school year’s last exams, organized by Academic Federation of Porto – Federação Académica do Porto (FAP) this event offers various activities, that can meet everyone’s needs, and, the best part – Queima das Fitas is on for a whole week! The event comprehends 12 events, starting with the Monumental Serenata on Sunday, reaching its peak with the Cortejo Académico on Tuesday, when students from the universities and other higher education institutions of the city march through the downtown streets till they reach the city hall, where they’re greeted (and greet back) by the Mayor. During every night of the week a series of concerts takes place on the Queimódromo, next to the city’s park; here it’s also a tradition for the students in the second last year to erect small tents where alcoholic beverages are sold in order to finance the trip that takes place during the last year of their course.


During the parade through the city, different year students wear and play different parts: – the graduates (the last year students) wear a top-hat and a walking-cane, both the colour of their Faculty; – the sophomores (second year students) wear the traditional costume with their capes fully crossed; – the freshmen (who after being greeted by the Mayor become sophomores) wear funny/silly outfits (usually with carnival props related to baby-costumes) the same colour as their Faculty, sing songs as loud as they can, do some sort of group dances, usually get hazed a little bit, and when they get to the Town Hall have to crawl on their hands and feet to walk by the Mayor.


Queima das Fitas week attracts around 350,000 visitors to Porto and presents a unique opportunity to experience the city from a different perspective, while the non-stop party atmosphere also makes it a great time to discover nightly Porto.


A night of magic// Uma noite de magia


The 27th of April was a special day for all Harry Potter‘s lovers. The House gathered the event in which 9 teams were challenged to compete for the honor to be called the experts of this mysterious world of magic. Everybody, from friends till family members, was full of excitement to show their knowledge, special costumes or even the wands. The quiz consisted of 4 rounds, the 4th one being all about the Quidditch. The teams had not only to remember the date of Harry Potter‘s birth but also to feel as the referees of the Quidditch match and to write down the results. A curse for all of those who gave the victory for Slytherin instead of Gryffindor!

The event ended with prizes for the best teams who well deserved the name of being the best experts in town. Together with infinite honor, the teams shared certificates and small gifts in order to remember this marvelous evening.

O dia 27 de Abril foi um dia especial para todos os amantes de Harry Potter. A Casa das Associações  reuniu um evento em que 9 equipas foram desafiadas a competir pela honra de serem chamadas de especialistas deste misterioso mundo da magia. Todos, desde amigos até membros da família, estavam cheios de emoção para mostrar os seus conhecimentos, trajes especiais ou até mesmo as varinhas. O quiz consistia em 4 rondas, sendo que a 4ª era  sobre o Quadribol. As equipas não tinham só de se lembrar da data de aniversário do Harry Potter mas também ser os árbitros do quadribol e anotar os resultados. Uma maldição para todos aqueles que deram a vitória à Sonserina em vez de à Grifinória!

O evento terminou com prémios para as melhores equipas que mereceram o nome de especialistas na cidade. Juntamente com a honra infinita, as equipas compartilharam certificados e pequenos presentes para lembrar desta noite maravilhosa.


1st place // O 1º lugar : Horcruxes!


2nd place // O 2º lugar: A.F.E.E.D (Associação a favor da Escravidão dos Elfos Domésticos)!


3rd place // O 3º lugar: Super Bock team!



We hope that the event was a great opportunity to fulfill the day with a little bit of magic and joy.

“Every great wizard in history has started out as nothing more than what we are now, students. If they can do it, why not us?” Harry Potter.

Esperamos que o evento tenha sido uma grande oportunidade para realizar um dia com um pouco de magia e alegria.

“Todo o grande mago da história começou como nada mais do que somos agora, estudantes. Se eles podem fazer isso, por que não nós?” Harry Potter.


Call for applications! “Programa Nacional de Desporto para Todos”

The PNDpT (Programa Nacional de Desporto para Todos or National Program for Sport for All) is a structure that aims to support sports programs that promote the general sports practice, informal, recreational or competitive activities.

If you are public or private non-profit organization which has an aim to develop sports practice, namely: sports federation, club, association, collective, or any other organization, whose corporate purpose comprises or qualifies the basic sport in Portugal, IPDJ (Instituto Português do Desporto e Juventude) is waiting for your application!

PNDpT’s main areas of activity:

  1. Health and healthy lifestyle promotion among all segments of the population
  2. Social inclusion (social minorities, disabled people etc.)
  3. Integration of persons with disabilities
  4. Promotion of gender equality
  5. Environmental sustainability
  6. Protection of human rights

Applications for the PNDpT are open from April 10 to May 4 (3 pm).

Submit the application: http://candidaturas.ipdj.pt/

More information in Portuguese: http://www.idesporto.pt/noticia.aspx?id=802


Turkey is a country that serves as a bridge between the Middle East and Europe. A small part of the country is in Europe, and a large part is in Asia. Turkey has a very important geographical location in the world. Anatolia is considered as an Asian part. These lands have been home to very important states of human history for thousands of years. Therefore, this bridge which is very valuable geographically is also valid in a cultural way.


The official name is the Republic of Turkey and has a population of about 80 million. The establishment date is October 29, 1923. The biggest city is Istanbul with a population of around 20 million. The capital city is Ankara.

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Anıtkabir – Ankara

Neighbors are Greece and Bulgaria in the West – Syria and Iraq in the south – Iran Armenia Georgia and Nakhchivan(Azerbaijan) in the east. The three sides of the country are surrounded by the sea. There is the Black Sea in the north, the Aegean Sea in the west, and the Mediterranean in the south. And there are two very important straits connecting the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. The Dardanelles and the Bosphorus.  They’re one of the most important sea routes in the world. At the same time, Asia and Europe are separated from each other by these straits.

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 Bosphorus – Istanbul

The most distinctive features of the four seasons are experienced in Turkey.  You can spend a unique summer holiday in the coastal regions and enjoy winter tourism in the eastern regions.

Yedigöller National Park – Bolu
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Palandöken – Erzurum
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Kaş – Antalya

Turkey’s geographical features offer different flavors in every region. You can enjoy nature at any time of the year and spend a lot of precious time with perfect sceneries.

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Pamukkale – Denizli
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Ayder – Rize


Although the Republic of Turkey about 100 years old, the history of Anatolia dates back thousands of years.  For example, the world’s oldest temple in Göbekli Tepe is 10.000 years old.

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Göbekli Tepe – Urfa

Since that time, the lands of Anatolia have been home to many civilizations.  Troy, Hittites, Ionia, Phrygia, Lydians, Persian Domination, Hellenistic Period, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Seljuq Dynasty and Ottoman Empire. You can find remains of these civilizations in many parts of Anatolia. When viewed from this aspect, Anatolia is a very big open-air museum.

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Sumela Monastery
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Mount Nemrut
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Hagia Sophia

This country which is with the famous hospitality of the people of Turkey, with a wide variety of cuisine that appeals to every taste, with immense landscapes, with bazillion historical and cultural structures is an option that you should definitely make use of an opportunity.    For volunteering projects, education, holidays or other reasons.

Turkey offers you the excitement of discovery…


Open Windows Jam

One Saturday of March, we invited the Spring in with live music, tea, and cookies. Two amazing singers, that we found right there, busking in the streets of Porto, created a very cozy vibe in the House.


Portuguese singer and guitarist Rui Pinto played his favorite song covers, mostly from the 60s to 90s, that made everyone’s heads swing along with his melody.


Australian singer and songwriter Keely Denham not only performed her own songs and unique covers of the classics but told some stories about her interesting life as well.


Huge thanks to the artists and the crowd that joined us that evening!

You can find more information about our upcoming events here.