Journey to Birmingham: I took a plane from Oporto to London and then we got two different trains to Birmingham. It was a really tiring trip.
Journey from Birmingham: The trip was the same as the one to Birmingham but with the opposite direction even more stressful and exhausting.
First impressions: England is a multiracial country where everyone is extremely nice.
Landscape and climate: It was really cold but it was mostly sunny; the landscape is essentially composed by plains and some woodlands.
Houses (similarities/differences): The houses are really smaller than in Portugal and I could see lots of streets where all the houses were identical.
What did you do on Saturday? The plain left Oporto at 10am and, when we got to London, we quickly went to a train station where we caught a train to London Euston and then, after changing to another train and having a two hours trip, we finally got to Birmingham. The host families were already waiting for us at the station so I went home and, after dining, I went to bed because I was really tired.
Best part of the day: Meeting the host family.
Worst part of the day: The long and stressful trip
Food and drink: Lasagne, garlic bread, past with tuna fish and a salad. To drink, I had Dr. Pepper.
What did you do on Sunday? I woke up and had breakfast and I went with my host, Callum, to the centre of the city where I met with some of his friends that were also hosting foreign students. We walked through the city and visited the Canals which are one of the most well-known things in Birmingham. In the evening, we came back home and, after having dinner, I went to bed.
Best part of the day: Visiting the Canals and playing FIFA 16.
Worst part of the day: Happily, it was a flawless day!
Food and drink: For breakfast I ate a typical English Breakfast with orange juice, at lunch I went to Nando’s where I ate a burger and a juice and, for dinner, I had roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with apple juice.
What did you do on Monday? On Monday, I had to wake up early to go to school. Me and my host, Callum, got the bus to school and a while after arriving there, an older student did me and the other Portuguese people a tour. Then, I met a boy from Year 10 with whom I spent the rest of the morning /afternoon with and whose classes I attended. After leaving school, all the students involved in the project went bowling and we played Laser Quest, which I won! In the evening, I went home and all the family sat around the TV watching a film.
Best part of the day: Meeting lots of new people.
Worst part of the day: Having to watch a swimming lesson take place for an hour while being alone and doing nothing else.
Food and drink: Waffles and apple juice for breakfast; I had the European Meal in the school’s library and, for dinner, we ate snacks while watching a film.
What did you do on Tuesday? On Tuesday, I went to school by bus again and, when I got there, I did some crafts with the other Portuguese student in an Art Lesson. After the class, all the foreign students went to Stratford-upon-Avon with some of the older students; we spent the day there and we had the opportunity to buy some souvenirs. We came back to Birmingham in the afternoon and when school ended I went with my host and some of the other students to a shopping mall where I had dinner at Pizza Hut. I went home and played on the Wii with Callum. At 9pm, all the family took me to the train station and, after a long time saying goodbye to them and thanking them for the amazing days, me and the other Portuguese people took a train to London Euston and from there, we took one to London Gatwick. Then, a taxi took us to a guesthouse, where we spent that night.
Best part of the day: Having the opportunity to wander freely through Stratford–upon-Avon.
Worst part of the day: Having to say goodbye to the host family which I really loved and the tiring trip to London.
Food and drink: Waffles and apple juice for breakfast; for lunch, I had a sandwich and a lemonade at Stratford and for dinner, I ate pizza.
What did you do on Wednesday? I woke up early, had breakfast at the guesthouse, and then we all went to the airport where I bought some more souvenirs. We got the plane at 1pm from London to Oporto and when we arrived, we caught a bus to Macedo de Cavaleiros.
Best part of the day: Getting to bed after such a long day of travelling.
Worst part of the day: The bus trip from Oporto to Macedo de Cavaleiros.
Food and drink: For breakfast, orange juice, a toast and an egg and for lunch, a sandwich.
School day (similarities/differences): The classes are shorter and they spend less time at school. They have to wear uniforms and have a really big school. On the other hand, they also have buses to take them to school, and similar classes.
Best part of your trip: Meeting lots of new people and creating a second family in Birmingham.
Worst part of your trip: The boring and tiring trips.
Your final impressions: I loved this experience and I can’t wait to go back to Birmingham to be with my host again.
Jorge Silveira (Portugal)