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.




Living in Porto through the eyes of volunteers// Viver no Porto através dos olhos dos voluntários

What does it mean to be a volunteer in the city of… // O que isso significa ser voluntário na cidade do…

…strawberries, warm winter and intercultural experience (Miglė) // morangos, inverno quente e experiência intercultural 


Porto was elected as the best touristic destination, and not only once. Couldn‘t agree with that more – beautiful ocean and riverside view, impressive architecture, modern and easy public transport and all the other reasons, that make vacations in Porto particularly pleasant. But what about living there? Obviously, it is very different from my home country – Lithuania. That‘s why I was fascinated by almost everything. Now, I could say, that I lived in Porto long enough to actually know a lot of the good and bad of this city. In my opinion, the best thing is Portuguese food. It is always possible to find fresh fish or have tasty Francesinha everywhere in town. Also, you can buy strawberries at every time of the year! Coming from the Northern country, where fruits are wildly overpriced when it is “not a season”, it’s really a big thing.  The weather may not be tropical here, but for us, Lithuanians, Portuguese winters are like Lithuanian summer, so it was very nice to not wear heavy boots or to hide from -25°C during my winter in Porto!  People in Portugal are very friendly and relaxed, but the downside of it is that they are usually late. But I think I’m getting used to it and don’t panic about it every time. There are only a few things that may bother me sometimes but I think even if the countries are very different, it is Europe, and we can easily communicate with locals and get to know other culture. That’s what makes this intercultural experience interesting!

O Porto foi eleito como o melhor destino turístico, e não é a primeira vez. Não poderia concordar mais com isso – uma bela vista do oceano e do rio, arquitetura impressionante, transportes públicos modernos e fáceis e tantos outros motivos que tornam as férias no Porto particularmente agradáveis. Mas e quanto a viver lá? Obviamente, é muito diferente do meu país de origem – Lituânia. É por isso que me sinto fascinada por quase tudo. Até acho que já poderia dizer, que conheço o Porto o suficiente para realmente conhecer muitas das coisas boas e más desta cidade. Na minha opinião, o melhor é a comida portuguesa. É sempre possível encontrar peixe fresco ou ter uma francesinha saborosa por toda a cidade. Além disso, pode-se comprar morangos em todas as épocas do ano! Vindo de um país do Norte, onde as frutas são extremamente caras quando não são sazonais, é realmente ótimo. O clima pode não ser tropical, mas para nós lituanos, os invernos portugueses são como o verão lituano, por isso foi muito bom não usar botas pesadas ou ter de me esconder de -25 ° C durante todo o inverno no Porto! As pessoas em Portugal são muito amigáveis e relaxadas, mas a desvantagem é que são geralmente atrasadas. Mas acho que me estou a habituar a isso e não entro em pânico cada vez que acontece. Há apenas algumas coisas que me podem incomodar às vezes, mas acho que mesmo que os países sejam muito diferentes, é a Europa e podemos comunicar facilmente com os habitantes locais e conhecer a sua cultura. Isso é o que torna interessante esta experiência intercultural!


… dreams and beautiful photos (Emre) // sonhos e lindas fotos


As a volunteer I am working in one of the most beautiful city in the world and in the country that I have been dreaming about for years. As I was thinking before coming to Portugal, it became one of the most beautiful experience that I have ever had. I love the streets, the buildings and the parks of the city. When I am not working, my favorite activity is to walk in the streets to the river. You can take really beautiful photos in this city, so I take a lot of them. The wines and desserts are also great here. This rainy season can be bit distressing for someone who likes walking during sunny days. We are all looking forward for the spring to come!

I think that the hardest part of volunteering here is to be thousands of miles away from my family in Turkey. But it is ok because I predicted that before coming here. Although it depends on the person, I think that the best part of coming from Turkey is being away from the crazy crowd, especially if you come from Istanbul.

Como voluntário, estou numa das mais belas cidades do mundo e no país em que sonhei durante anos. Como imaginei, antes de chegar a Portugal, tornou-se uma das experiências mais bonitas que já tive. Adoro as ruas, os edifícios e os parques da cidade. Quando não estou em voluntariado, a minha atividade favorita é andar pelas ruas até ao rio. Podemos tirar fotos realmente bonitas nesta cidade, é por isso que o faço muito. Os vinhos e as sobremesas também são excelentes aqui. Esta estação chuvosa pode ser um pouco angustiante para alguém que gosta de andar durante os dias ensolarados. Estamos ansiosos para que chegue a primavera.

Eu acho que a parte mais difícil de fazer voluntariado aqui é estar a milhares de quilômetros de distância da minha família na Turquia. Mas está tudo bem porque previ isto antes de vir para cá. Embora isto dependa da pessoa, acho que a melhor parte de chegar da Turquia é estar longe da multidão louca, especialmente se vier de Istambul.


…sun, relaxed people, cozy places and Pastel de Nata (Gabija) // …sol, das pessoas relaxadas, dos lugares acolhedores e do pastel de nata


The thing that I like the most about Porto is sun. In Lithuania we have around 1588 hours of sun during the year (in Portugal the number is around 2806). My freckles really enjoy this, I started to have it all the yearlong! People are happier and more relax when the weather is nice most of the time. However, sometimes I am not used to people who are so free and … late. I think that culturally Portuguese have different understanding of time. One of the biggest challenge is to accept it instead of trying to change it. However, it is always easier to say than to do. Still a lot of to learn and adopt!

When I am feeling too irritated or when I have a bad day, I like to go to the café and order Pastel de Nata. Who can keep being in a bad mood after the taste of it?! I have not met such kind of people. I also enjoy exploring new places to listen the live music or just to chill out. I still feel fascinated when I find the one that I have not heard before. In Porto there are so many lovely places! My most favorite ones are Casa da Musica, Casa Agricola, MiraJazz with amazingly beautiful city view and lately found Casa da Horta. There are so many places that are still waiting for their turn to be explored!

O que mais gosto no Porto é o sol. Na Lituânia, temos cerca de 1588 horas de sol durante o ano (em Portugal o número é de 2806) e as minhas sardas gostam realmente disso porque consegui tê-las durante todo o ano! Na maioria das vezes as  pessoas são mais felizes e relaxam mais quando o tempo está bom. No entanto, não estou habituada a pessoas tão livres e … atrasadas. Penso que, culturalmente, os portugueses tem uma compreensão diferente do tempo. Um dos maiores desafios é aceitar este facto em vez de o tentar mudar.. Mas é sempre mais fácil dizer do que fazer. Ainda há muito para aprender e adotar!

Quando me sinto muito irritada ou quando tenho um dia menos bom, gosto de ir ao café e pedir um pastel de nata. Quem é que pode continuar com mau humor depois daquele sabor?! Não conheço quem seja capaz. Também gosto de explorar novos locais onde possa ouvir música ao vivo ou simplesmente relaxar. Ainda me sinto fascinada quando encontro aquele lugar que não sabia antes.No Porto há tantos lugares fascinantes! Os meus favoritos são a Casa da Música, a Casa Agricola, o MiraJazz com uma vista deslumbrante da cidade e a recentemente encontrada Casa da Horta. Mas ainda existem muitos lugares que ainda estão à espera da sua vez para serem explorados!


Funding opportunities

Just a reminder – some application deadlines for 2018 are coming up!

If you are applying for Key Action 1: Mobility of individuals, second deadline this year is on 26 April, 11 am (UK time). Deadline for Key Action 3: Support for policy reform is at the same time.  Keep in mind, that the third deadline is only in October!

Deadline for Key Action 2: Co-operation for innovation and the exchange of good practices is on 21 March 2018, 11 am (UK time).

Before applying for funding, here are some tips for a great Eramus+ application:


Good luck!


New volunteer (wait, and where is EVA?!)


Where is the time gone?! This is the first thing that I could say about my first few weeks in FAJDP as an EVS volunteer. From the beginning of February in the project I changed Eva. However, I am not really new to Porto.

Moreover, I have a strong reason to believe that my story is probably a little bit different. Although I am joining EVS in the middle of it, I know Porto. From September I was doing my internship in university of Porto, SINTESIS research group. My main interests were aging issues. I loved it! But all good things end one day (especially, when they are funded). January was rather stressful month for me. As being a person who hates making decisions, I had to make quite a big one and relatively fast: stay or not to stay in Porto for…upcoming year.

And I decided to say YES (applause and shouting in the distance).

Is it made my life as an easy walk near the ocean? Well, not at all! When I finally started my EVS in FAJDP, I realized that I have to adopt for bunch of different things again.

-There is the new place in totally different surroundings than I was used to.

-There are 2 volunteers with whom I am going to share the flat, my worries, laughs and courses (kidding).

-There are activities about which I knew only approximately.

It still feels as the new brand beginning for me.

Another story to write in this amazingly beautiful city.

Story full of different projects with children in Lavra and Catapulta (together with realization how terribly convenient it was to learn only few words while staying here for more than 4 months), discussions with my colleagues (while realizing how amazingly satisfying is to talk in Lithuanian with another volunteer), events to organize (the music evening is coming!), interviews/work/talks with different organizations (and learning from good practices).

Story full of little observations about the life and the world around me which are soon going to land in my Personal project about cultural differences. Let’s talk… about coffee! Do you think drinking coffee here it is the same as doing it in Lithuania? Think again (and keep checking our blog)!

Story full of new Portuguese phrases in Portuguese classes (Hip hip hooray!), realization that Duolingo is actually teaching you Brazilian Portuguese instead of European Portuguese, rescue mission by fireman from being stuck in the bathroom for the rest of my life.


The beginnings are never easy. They will never be.

But they always push you beyond your comfort zone, are breath-taking and beautiful.

Long life for the new beginnings!


Gabija, Lithuania



Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of northern–eastern Europe. One of the three Baltic states, located on the shore of Baltic sea.

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Lithuania is one of the developing countries in the European Union. One of the fastest Internet in Europe, great nightlife, beautiful nature, low living costs and not crowded surroundings makes it a great country to visit, study or stay for the volunteering project. Although if you are afraid of rain, wind and cold, it may be not so pleasant in winter.

Vilnius         Capital of Lithuania – Vilnius

In the 14th century, Lithuania was one of the largest and powerful countries in Europe. Our history is preserved in highly-worth to visit and impressive monuments, buildings, and museums that you can find in every city, big or small, of Lithuania.

Trakai Island Castle in Galve Lake            Trakai Island Castle – the former residence of the Grand Dukes

Nevertheless, biggest cities are modern and European, with developed and comfortable public transport, touristic activities, bars, clubs, and restaurants.

kaunas                            Kaunas Old town

Lithuania is also known for it’s beautiful and untouched nature. Only 3-hour ride from the capital and you can be on the opposite side of Lithuania – stunning seashore.

papludimys                        Karkle beach
nida                        Nida

lithuanian nature


Historical capital of Lithuania. Vilnius is classified as a Gamma global city according to GaWC studies, and is known for the architecture in its Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture. After declaring Independency in 1991, Vilnius fastly started developing and now it’s modern, multicultural and active European city. There are 65 churches in Vilnius. Like most medieval towns, Vilnius was developed around its Town Hall. The main artery, Pilies Street, links the Royal Palace with Town Hall. The Old Town of Vilnius, the historical center of Vilnius, is one of the largest in Europe and the most valuable historic and cultural sites are concentrated here.



Lithuania is a small country with well-developed roads and infrastructure. Due to that, other cities in Lithuania are very easily reached.


Second-largest city of Lithuania. While Vilnius was incorporated into Poland, Kaunas served as temporary capital of Lithuania during the interwar period. During that period it has been nicknamed the Little Paris because of rich cultural and academic life, fashion, construction of countless Art Deco, Lithuanian National Romanticism architectural style buildings as well as popular furniture, interior design of the time and widespread café culture. The city inter-war architecture is regarded as one of the finest examples of the European Art Deco and received the European Heritage Label, it also resulted in naming Kaunas the first city in Central and Eastern Europe as a UNESCO City of Design. In 2022, Kaunas will be the European Capital of Culture.




Pocket vocabulary:

  1. Labas (hi)
  2. Kaip sekas? (how are you?)
  3. Gerai (good)
  4. Ačiū (thank you)
  5. Koks tavo vardas? (what’s your name?)
  6. Mano vardas yra… (my name is…)
  7. Malonu susipažinti (nice to meet you)
  8. Alus (beer)
  9. Viso gero (bye)
  10. Aš noriu… (I want…)


New year’s eve celebration in Porto

For the first time, New year’s eve was celebrated far away from our countries, in the new place that we already call home – Porto. Apparently, meeting of the New years is very loud, entertaining and, most importantly, fun. Concerts in Avenida dos Aliados, fireworks displays and lots of other activities that were available during the whole holiday season. We greeted New years with hope and positivity, surrounded by a lot of locals and foreigners in, probably, one of the most beautiful and festive city in Europe.

naujakas                                  ©portolazer.pt