Cláudia Duarte is a 22 years old girl from Mafra, Portugal. Before starting this ESC she studied International Relations in Lisbon and got her bachelor’s degree there.
Why did you leave Portugal to start this ESC in particular? What attracted you to it?
I’ve always been interested in Slovenia and the project seemed interesting because it’s about what I studied. I wanted to have experience first, before going to a master, in International Relations or European Studies. So it was a great opportunity.
And did you have any fear or hope at the beginning or before coming?
My hope was principally to fit well in the community, with the language and lifestyle. My fear was the opposite, that I wouldn’t have been able to get along with the habits and so on.
I had the same fear. What do you miss the most about your country?
Bacalhau. (Baccala or salted cod in English) *laughs* Some food that it’s not available in Slovenia and the stores not being open until late.
Yeah, same. And tell me, did you manage to achieve any goals?
Well, I’m already developing my skills, which was the main goal I had. I also gained digital and organisation skills, so I think it’s going well so far.
Cool. Okay so you’ve been here for quite long now, how are you doing by far?
Yeah, I’m doing great I guess. I already travelled a little bit, improved my skills, met new people. So everything is fine.
That’s good. Can you tell me more about your tasks in PiNA?
Mostly I do Project Management. I’ve already organised a database, promoted an event and helped in preparing some events.
Did you discover any new hobby?
I’m currently taking French lessons in CMK and I started studying Slovenian on an online platform too. If something else will come up I will be delighted to start other new things too.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to take walks, getting to know places I’ve never seen before and be with people.
Nice and talking about places, did you have the chance to visit any?
Yeah, I’ve visited Croatia already, Dubrovnik and Zagreb, Ljubljana, Piran and of course Izola and Koper.
Cool and which others would you like to visit?
Sarajevo, a few more places in Croatia and in Slovenia too, because I didn’t have the opportunity yet, and then Italy too maybe.
That’s nice. What’s your favourite place to hang out and to eat?
Well to eat I like Urban Piqniq, a burger place in Koper which my roommate introduced me to, while to hang out I like to go to CMK.
Do you have a personal project?
Yes, I will try to create a board game, which promotes the knowledge of the basic rights of the citizens and promotes active citizenship. With this board game, people will realise that they can take part in a community.
That seems cool! And how is it going?
I already made some sketches of games but it’s not ready yet. It will take a lot of time to finish it.
What surprised you the most about Slovenia?
The fact that Slovenia actually recycles, while in my country they don’t care that much about the environment and also that the drivers stop to let the pedestrians pass. From what I’ve seen Slovenia is really beautiful and seems like a nice place to live in.
Yes, that’s true. The last question I have for you is what would you like to bring home with you after this experience will be over?
Good memories, to keep in touch with the people I’ve met here, the skills I learned and every little aspect of the experience in general.
Talking with Cláudia was interesting because it made me understand her more. Even though we are sharing the same room, you can’t actually know someone deeply until you have a real talk with them.