culture

The Perks of Living Abroad

A paper published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes this March confirms what we’ve known all along: living abroad is good for you! Hajo Adam and his fellow researchers took a look at how delving into a new culture can help you know yourself better. The paper, “The shortest path to oneself leads around the world,” claims that living in a new place increases self clarity. This is because you can reflect on your own desires and behavior better when you’re out of your usual cultural context. Interestingly, the study found that it was more beneficial to live in one foreign country for a long time than to live in many countries briefly.

This research is the latest in a trend of studies that have found that experiences in foreign countries enhance creativity, reduce biases between groups, and lead to career success. As the paper sums up, “Leaving one’s home country for extended periods of time likely allows people to reap the numerous benefits that a clear sense of self provides.” Studying abroad is the perfect way to immerse yourself in a new culture for a long time, at a crucial time for self reflection and clarity!

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Contemporary Culture

Art buffs will love Portugal for the country’s rich art history. Traveling around the country, visitors can see fine art spanning from the fifteenth century Panels of Saint Vincent to Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso’s modernist paintings. In addition to art of the past, Portugal’s contemporary art scene is thriving. Museums like the Gulbenkian and the Serralves Foundation host contemporary international shows; right now, museumgoers can view work by photographer Mariana Silva and Ethiopian-American artist Julie Mehretu.

View of the exhibition "Mariana Silva. Olho Zoomórfico/Camera Trap." Photo via  Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

View of the exhibition "Mariana Silva. Olho Zoomórfico/Camera Trap." Photo via Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

For those who prefer movies, film festivals take place around the year in Portugal. Porto’s renowned film festival Fantasporto will celebrate films from over 60 countries later this month! Students at the many art schools around the country play a vital role in contemporary Portuguese art. Student magazines, exhibitions, and performances break new ground and introduce up and coming artists.

ESAD's design magazine PLI Arte & Design, N6 Design after Design. Photo via  ESAD

ESAD's design magazine PLI Arte & Design, N6 Design after Design. Photo via ESAD

Carnival in Portugal

Studying abroad in Portugal has many perks! International students love the weather, food, and culture, including Portuguese festivals. Carnival marks the beginning of Lent and is celebrated in Portugal with parades and festivals throughout the week.

This year, tourists, locals, and students attended events across the country. One such parade in Lisbon, the Spring Festival, combined Carnival with Chinese traditions, highlighting the city’s diverse blend of cultures.