A minha viagem ao Porto Santo
18 de Setembro de 2017.
How to stay motivated
25 de Setembro de 2017.
Why in my homeland, Poland, more and more people start to learn Portuguese?

Maybe because it sounds like a mixture of Russian and Spanish? Maybe because it is spoken by around 215 million of people? Maybe because we are just passionate about your country? In Poland there is only one official language and guess what? It is used as an official spoken language only there. So this is one of the possible reasons why many Poles want to learn other languages. Let’s be brutally honest: if some tourists visits our country we need to speak other languages to them because otherwise, they would be terrified. For foreigners, it is even hard to pronounce ‘sorry’ or ‘thank you’ in my mothertongue.

I did not come to Madeira island by accident. My constant urge is to learn Portuguese and for me it does not matter if it is Brazilian, Portuguese from mainland or the one from Madeira. This is what makes this language so outstanding and beautiful – it has so many variations. You can spend 6 months in the southern part of Brazil and then go for a trip to the north and you will feel like you know nothing and you understand nothing of what local people are saying. That is one of the reason why this language is so fascinating – you can keep learning it your whole life and you will never get bored with it. You can study and practice the pronunciation in Portugal and after go to such a distant country like Angola and still you will be able to communicate with locals..

After the first month I’ve spent in Madeira I can only say that it is, and it will be, hard to switch from Brazilian ‘sotaque’ (accent) to madeiran one. But for sure I will never stop trying even if I would always be easily recognized as a foreign.

Short bio of the volunteer:

Karolina Szwaj, Polish with a Portuguese/Brazilian soul, volunteering in one of AAUMa’s projects namely history tellers project. Passionate about Romance languages and Lusophony culture as well as travelling as a backpacker.

Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3, which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.