GREAT NEWS! From September 2014, the Portuguese Language Courses at TSU will be elective and credited!

The Portuguese Language Courses at TSU, which have so far been extra-curricular, will become elective courses (under the umbrella of Spanish Studies) with the value of 5 ECTs, a workload of 4 hours/week, and the registration capacity of 15 students per class.

The Portuguese Language Courses will be open to all TSU undergraduate students.Image

We’ll keep you updated on the details!

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“USA Today travel”: Reader’s choice awards for best European Country… check the results! GUESS WHO WON #1?

“In our 10Best Reders’ Choice contest for ‘Best European Country,’ voting was heaviest for one nominee in particular. Portugal has apparently stolen the hearts of our readers as it secured the lion’s share of votes.

Portugal is less iconic than other well-known countries, but it offers a wealth of opportunities to travelers: charming villages, great food, fascinating regional music, cultural opportunities, a beautiful coastline and even world-class surfing.

Italy and Austria landed solid in second and third, while a mere 47 votes separated 4th place finisher Germany from Spain in 6th place. The (very large) United Kingdom, with no language barriers for Americans and a wealth of well-known landmarks, took 5th place.

The biggest surprise? Iceland, which trumped Greece, Norway, and several other more exotic countries, to land in the top 10.

The full list of winners in the ‘Best European Country’ contest category for 10Best Readers’ Choice is as follows:

Portugal
Italy
Austria
Germany
United Kingdom
Spain
Ireland
France
Iceland
Switzerland”

[click on the photo to read the article]

Portugal Achieves 70 Percent Renewable Energy in First Quarter of 2013

Portugal’s electricity network operator announced that renewable energy supplied 70 percent of total consumption in the first quarter of this year. This increase was largely due to favorable weather conditions resulting in increased wind and water flow, as well as lower demand. Portuguese citizens are using less energy and using sources that never run out for the vast majority of what they do use.

Actually 70 percent isn’t unheard of for Portugal. For a few hours in 2011, Portugal was entirely run on renewable power. Yet this was the first time so much was sustained for a quarter.

[click on the photo to follow the link]

Most beautiful bookstore in the world: Porto, Portugal.

Most beautiful bookstore in the world: Porto, Portugal.

The Lello Bookstore was built in 1906 in Porto, Portugal by The Lello Brothers (Antonio and Jose) who formerly owned another bookstore a few streets away. Their new bookstore is one of the most ornate bookstores in the world, mixing Neo-Gothic and Art Dec elements (especially the facade, pictured below). Carved wood ceilings, a stain-glassed roof, an undulating, opulent red staircase, and even a built-in wheel-barrow on rails for moving the store’s 120,000 all make the Lello seem like the bookstore out of some fantasy-world (J.K. Rowling herself lived in Porto for a short while).

The bookstore experienced several decades of disrepair, but in 1995 a massive renovation project returned it to its former glory, and now it is as much a tourist-attraction as a bookstore. But oh, what a bookstore. (Be sure to check out the last image below for a glimpse of what the Lello looked like in its early days)

[click on the photo to follow the link]