Since I was a freshman in college, I have heard about a trip to the European Innovation Academy in Portugal with the STEM Path to the MBA.  It was advertised as an opportunity like no other to both see another country and expand your comfort zone, pitching a business with a team of strangers in only three weeks.  Unfortunately, I was a freshman in 2019 and thus no study abroad has travelled during the summer since before I began school (for reasons that we all know, but I don’t wish to acknowledge).  Thus, the summer before my senior year as an undergraduate, I write to you from my room in Porto after landing here last night.

I had never been out of the country before this past May, when I was part of another study abroad to Italy.  By no means am I a well-versed European traveler, but I had a bit more of an idea of what I was getting into this time.  That doesn’t make the flights any less stressful, though.  After stops in Atlanta and Amsterdam, however, I have made it safe and sound.

As I write this, tomorrow is the start of the Innovation Academy.  The 400 plus students that are here from around the world will meet at a poster fair-like event to form our five person teams and begin creating our businesses that we will pitch at the beginning of August.  Tomorrow is sure to hold a bit of stress that I hope turns into excitement about the project I am working towards.  

Until then, I leave you with a photo of the first place I walked out of the subway truly in the city.  Porto has treated me well for the day I’ve been here thus far, and I look forward to seeing what it will bring.