When I arrived at Lisbon in Portugal, the first feeling I got was the strong summer of 30 degree heat. Among these palm trees I saw many Southern Europeans who have more tanned skin than Finnish people in general. I was like “This is the real summer!”. After 4 hours flight, we found our way to the hotel by Uber. The system was interesting that I only got 1 key while I’m sharing the room with my classmate, Joni. And we had to leave our key every time before leaving the hotel.



The accommodation was recommended by EIA program due to its good location to EIA events and network area to know other EIA participants. The program is 3 weeks (15 days) long starting with team forming. There were over 100 ideas narrowed down to 53 ideas, which means 53 teams with 5 members were formed. The world is summarized into one place where people come from all over world with different nationalities and cultures. Diversity is really appreciated. During the day, we had lectures with professional speakers. After lectures we would do independent group working until 8pm.

Nevertheless, we had a great time to get to know Portuguese culture. Food and drinks are delicious and cheap. I learnt really fast the word “Obrigado!” which means “Thank you!”. You can almost survive with that word in anywhere in Portugal. This relaxing Portuguese beaches and inspiring EIA entrepreneurship environment gives me a great learning experience here in Portugal!


Franco’s team was rewarded for getting into the Top 10 at EIA


Franco Qian
Master’s Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering, Biotechnology
Aalto University School of Science