|The Study Abroad in Portugal Program can be developed in many places in Europe, however the team has chosen Portugal as the location to develop the main activities for many reasons.
Portugal is a magnificent small western European country with a long history of successful accomplishments not only inland but also overseas. It is being considered by many historians such as Martin Page, which studies produced the book: “The First Global Village: How Portugal changed the world” as one of the first globalization promoters. Due to its bravery and enterprise it is the nation that in 15th Century started to go overseas connecting with different cultures, embracing the diversity.
It is a sophisticated society that is present in many places of the globe helping to shape the world civilization. Let’s point out some facts brought up by Martin Page in his book:
Portuguese Jesuits lived in Japan for generations before our ancestors knew of this, introducing words into the Japanese language; e.g., “orrigato,” which means “thank you.” They brought the recipe for tempura. They introduced the technique for gun manufacturing. The Portuguese also taught the Japanese how to construct buildings that would withstand artillery attack and earthquakes.
The chili plant was brought to India, allowing “curry” to be invented.
Portuguese is the third most spoken language in Europe (English, Spanish, then Portuguese), even before French and German. It’s the language of cattle ranchers in northern California and fishing communities on the New England coast line. With over 210 million native speakers, Portuguese is the fifth most spoken language in the world.The Portuguese own and operate over 400 restaurants in Paris as Italian trattorias.
Sintra, Portugal, has been an attraction for writers’ inspiration for generations; e.g., Henry Fielding, Robert Southey, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Lord Byron, Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, Christoper Isherwood, W. H. Auden.
Portugal's economic development model has been changing from one based on public consumption and public investment to one focused on exports, private investment, and development of the high-tech sector. Business services have overtaken more traditional industries such as textiles, clothing, footwear, cork (of which Portugal is the world's leading producer), wood products and beverages.
Most industry, business and finance are concentrated in Lisbon and Porto metropolitan areas. The districts of Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra and Leiria are the biggest economic centers outside those two main metropolitan areas. Modern non-traditional technology-based industries like aerospace, biotechnology and software, have been developed in several locations across the country. Alverca, Covilhã, Évora and Ponte de Sor are the main centers of Portuguese aerospace industry.
It is let’s say a small big Country that worth to know for its history and influence worldwide.