‘Voce está onde voce tem que ser’: María Bernardos shares her Erasmus+ experience in Porto.

María Bernardos, a student at CEU Valencia, gives us a first-hand account of her experience as an intern at the Correia-Ragazzi studio through the Erasmus+ program.

General view of Porto
A beautiful sunset over Porto, second city in Portugal

‘Voce está onde voce tem que ser’

‘You are where you have to be’. Two months have passed since I arrived in Porto and read this phrase written on the wall while I was waiting to cross the road, it was pouring with rain and I was soaked to the skin.

It isn’t always easy to throw yourself into looking for somewhere to start your professional career, especially if it is something that you have spent a lot of time preparing for. You have to take the plunge as soon as possible, if it is thanks to the university where we have been training then everything happens in a more natural and smooth way.

My name is María and I’m part of the Erasmus+ program at the University CEU Cardenal Herrera in Valencia. I am coming to the end of the program in Porto.

“HE ENCOURAGED ME TO STEP OUT OF MY COMFOT ZONE AND EMBARK ON THIS ADVENTURE.”

The decision to look for a studio to do an internship, in my case, came at the same time as finishing my final degree project. Professor Ricardo Marí encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and embark on this adventure. All of the necessary processes to be able to take part in the stay were taken care of in Valencia thanks to the work of the International Relations Office here at the university; they made sure that everything was easy.

Modern Architecture in Porto
Modern Architecture in the “House of Music” in Porto

I arrived in Porto at the start of winter; the Atlantic climate is fantastic! It rained a lot but the temperature was extraordinary. The greyness of the rainy days made for a magical atmosphere in the city. The decadent roads of the city centre were always full of life and trapped anyone who was lucky enough to stay there for more than a couple of weeks.

When you walk through the city, you forget what you are looking for and instead start to discover that every little corner has something wonderful to offer.

Now I am completely integrated into city life and carrying out the internship at the Correia-Ragazzi studio, led by Graça Correia and Roberto Ragazzi and coordinated by Rita Breta and Inés Ruas.

Logo for Correia-Ragazzi Arquitectos

Every day at the studio is a challenge; the responsibility is growing rapidly which is also strengthening the interpersonal relationships between the different members of the team. The stay has become a journey of improvement in order to be able to respond to the daily tasks that I’m presented with, it’s an important experience of professional and personal growth.

“THE INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS ARE STRENGTHENING BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT MEMBERS OF THE TEAM.”

As the Vuelta a España gets closer and I know that it’s not going to be easy to say goodbye to all the people who have carved a massive place in my heart and I hope we continue to be friends. I have had a great experience, which has turned into the first step in my professional life. I hope that I can come back soon to continue discovering this marvellous country which so unknown to me despite it being so close geographically.

“I HAVE HAD A GREAT EXPERIENCE THAT HAS TURNED INTO THE FIRST STEP IN MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE.”

Thank you to everyone who has helped me to achieve this dream, thank you for helping me to be where I have to be.

María Bernardos

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