Bom dia beau gosse, my brother is back from his BTS NDRC internship in Portugal and he counted many things that amused him, or simply noted. In order to prepare you for your internship, here is a brief overview of the cultural differences between France and Portugal.
The Portuguese eat a little later than us metropolitans, but not as late as our Spanish friends. For example: breakfast is around 9am, then you have lunch around 1.30-2pm and dinner around 8.30pm. Nothing excessive, but it obviously takes some getting used to.
On the pro side there is an average of 5 minutes delay. The hours are quite long (9.30-18.30) with a good break in between. There is no nap, but almost.
A different notion of neighbourhood
… and noise. Your neighbours will be curious to know you and will be happy to introduce themselves to you. Portuguese people are very friendly and caring. However, if you are a bit sensitive to noise, get your earplugs ready because they are not the most discreet people. But you get used to it and it is not insurmountable.
The Portuguese also kiss each other. However, this singular way of greeting is not / not often used between men, even within the same family. In discussions, polite language is used in a professional context, when there is a hierarchical relationship for example. First name is more reserved for your friends. Nevertheless, your acquaintances may quickly show a respectful familiarity and call you by your first name.
In the restaurant
When you go to a restaurant, they bring you water in a carafe, bread and sometimes even little things to nibble on (olives, breadsticks etc…) you should know that unlike in France these little things will be charged to you if you touch them. So don’t be surprised if you see an extra line on the bill.
Portugal is a fabulous country that allows you to combine dolce vita and work experience and we have been there so many times that we can recommend it! If you call us, we’ll tell you all about Porto, Faro and Lisbon, for your internship abroad! So for your internship in Portugal: contact us!