Duan Jiaxin

MPI exchange student to University of Algarve, Portugal to study in the Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art

  

I am very grateful to my college (MPI) for providing me with such an exchange opportunity to study at the Portugal University of Algarve for about half a year. 
 
Time flies like an arrow, and I still remember how excited I was after a 13-hour flight to FARO.I lived near the city center. I couldn’t wait to bring my camera to record this beautiful city on the first day. We also had more leisure time to reach other islands by boat and it was an excellent place to enjoy pleasant days in contact with nature. We could also enjoy boating, biking and walking. I really appreciate being able to study and live in such a beautiful city. 
 
At first, I didn’t have other friends and I couldn’t speak Portuguese, so I felt stressed. But Portuguese students were very passionate which quickly made me feel warm. I had a Portuguese language course, so I became more confident to talk with my Portuguese classmates and teachers.
 
As an exchange student in Portugal I was amazed that the educational pattern in Europe is so free that you can go straight to the teacher for discussion about your ideas, without any restrictions to media, form or even theme. I long for freedom. However, the more freedom you want, the more difficult the journey will be, since you have no standards in your mind and you can only find out your own style and unique perspective by yourselves. 
  
Studying abroad offered me many opportunities to travel to other European countries. Such experiences helped me realize that art is diverse and I should continue to broaden my horizon. I have not only improved my ability to operate and think alone, but also cultivated organizational and communication skills. I want to pursue what I like and dig further into my favorite field. I want more new things to inspire me so that I can explore my own style. However, those memories are still unforgettable and vivid in my mind.