Why arriving in a new country brings about so much confusion – part 1

My exchange-adventure has started on the 6th of September when I arrived in Lisbon after a 3 hour flight across Europe. The first three to four days were very stressful for me, as I had to run errands, such as trying to finalize the course enrollment at the university, get a monthly ticket for the public transportation system, find shops where I can buy food and other things that I needed in order to survive for the first few days, and so on.

Well, when looking at the tasks mentioned above one might think, that this would not take too much time. Be warned, you might be totally wrong. Here are some examples of how difficult it can be to finally settle down in Lisbon: (This is how it really happened, but: Attenzione! The content below might violate someone personally, so make sure you speak sarcasm fluently. I love this country and the people here, so stay calm and just enjoy reading this.)

  1. The course enrollment

As a person who comes from a very well organized culture and university, where „Atomuhranmeldung“ is a thing, I was at first very pleased by how the enrollments are done in Lisbon. (What is Atomuhranmeldung?: It means, staring at your computer for at least 15 minutes, starting at 1:45pm so still have a chance to log in with your account. Then trying not to miss the enrollment period, which begins at 2:00pm (sometimes at 1:59:59) and ends (not officially) at 2:00:10pm. = 2pm and 10 seconds.) During this 10 second time period, a rush of adrenalin might occur and, if you are lucky, you will end up being enrolled to e.g. 5 out of 7 classes for the whole semester.)

Back to the Portuguese enrollment: „Take your time“ gets a whole new meaning here, because I was able to enroll to and change my courses HOURS after the enrollment has started. This sounds really good, doesn’t it? At first yes, but when I entered the online platform I was only able to choose the name of the courses, but I did not know at what day of the week (or time) they take place. I just went on and thought, I will figure it out sooner or later. Then, I received an email saying, that some courses overlap and I got deregistered from half of the courses that I have selected. WHAT? (This also happened to many other people who I have talked to.) After that, I was finally able to look at the timetable and I had to enroll again. The first and most important question that comes to my mind is: Why can’t I just do that in the first attempt? By the way: Finding this timetable also took me some days, it is somewhere on the bottom of the moodle website.

Summing up, it took me much more time to enroll to the courses than I had expected and to be honest, my courses still overlap with each other so wish me luck tomorrow when the next enrollment period starts!

 

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