Country of origin: United Kingdom
EU Vendor Manager (Watches), Amazon.co.uk
My term abroad was by far the most remarkable, enjoyable and insightful part of my degree at LUMS. I would encourage absolutely everyone with the chance to study abroad for a term to do so. The first semester in Portugal starts the first week of September, so a little earlier than Lancaster but with the pleasant compromise of it being around 30-35 degrees, a worthwhile trade-off!
The staff at Católica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics were extremely helpful throughout my term, and particularly in the ‘Welcome Week’. They run events, trips and dinners throughout the first week to introduce all the ERASMUS students to one another and immediately foster a close family relationship between the 60-70 students from all over the globe. To give you an indication, some of my closest friends were Italian, Greek, Spanish, Danish, Canadian, Austrian, German, French, Russian and of course Portuguese. The environment is fantastic – all friendly, fun and like-minded people exploring a new exciting adventure together, studying abroad in Portugal’s capital for four to five months.
The academic life is intriguing: a large proportion of professors have a strong link with industry. My Banking Management lecturer worked for EDP, my Business Strategy lecturers both worked as consultants for McKinsey for many years, and similarly my Public Policy Analysis professor also reported to the Portuguese aviation authority and was a frequent guest on the Portuguese equivalent of 'Question Time'!
Católica-Lisbon is the top-ranked business school in Portugal, it is the highest ranked Portuguese business school in the Financial Times university guide, and is a private school with fantastic facilities. As it has a fairly small faculty there is a close and friendly atmosphere and a real sense of togetherness, which is encouraging from a personal perspective. I thoroughly recommend you take the opportunity to study there.
There are numerous electives available in English and the standard is extremely high. The school is obviously successful and demands high academic standards; there are numerous ex-students who are now in significant positions in industry. For example, former Católica student António Horta Osório was invited by the British government to be the new CEO of Lloyds in November 2010.
I cannot be more grateful for the link that LUMS has formed with Católica-Lisbon. My experiences in Lisbon have had a great impact on my outlook on life and added something distinctive on my CV. I hope one day to live along the Lisbon coast – a demonstration of how fond of the place I became in my time there.