Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lisbon - Week3

Delicious Octopus at Sintra-Pena!
[15/05/2012] we were able to meet each other following the same course, and break ice this week. We received our admission letter signed by the EMDC coordinators from KTH, along with the insurance for the year. We also had a welcome reception by NMCI, and received a welcome kit that included a local SIM, with the operator Moche. Our lectures begin the coming Monday, the 17th of September.

The time table is given!
The modules for the first semester will be, Peer-to-peer Systems and Overlay Networks (Codenamed "SERS"), Cloud Computing (CN), Network and Computer Security (SIRS), and Parallel and Distributed Computing (CPD). We will have the lectures and lab sessions of SERS and CN on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Tagus Park campus of Instituto Superior Tecnico, where the SIRS and CPD will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Alameda - Lisbon campus. Both campuses are connected by the IST shuttle service, for the students' transport.

Museu de Marinha
We paid a visit to Museu de Marinha (Photos). It is a wonderful place. It is free for entrance on Sundays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Make sure to enter the ticket counter before 2 p.m., and get the ticket, free!

Cascais
Sunset at Cascais
Cascais and Estoril are two of the mostly praised beaches in Lisbon. We walked from Cascais to Estoril (Photos). Seagulls everywhere! The Sunset was scenic. The beach water was cold, probably because we are reaching the end of the summer, and autumn is coming to us! I was able to notice the oil wastes leaking from the sailing boats polluting the sea water.

Sintra
The train travel to Sintra (Photos) was remarkable. Our 35 Euro monthly charge of the travel card covers only the Lisbon area. Hence we had to buy the train tickets (one-day) for Cascais and Sintra, as they are not under Lisbon urban area that is covered, though they are still in Greater Lisbon. The forests and environment of Sintra reminded me Sri Lanka, and its forestation in the places like Ohiya. I had grilled octopus at the restaurant of Pena Castle - Sintra. It was delicious!

ESN Card
Students are really interested in getting the ESN (Erasmus Students Network) and Erasmus Lisboa cards. ESN card is 5 Euro/month, and Erasmus Lisboa is 10 Euro/month. Both come with exciting offers, free parties, and discounted trips. We joined ESN. It was a long queue with students from different countries!

Connecting with family
Museu de Marinha
Studying abroad teaches some life lessons, while also letting us learn to survive in a new environment, alone. Communication with friends and those with an access to the Internet is always easy for me, as I am online, almost always, when I am home. But calling my parents who do not appear online much was always a bit expensive. Skype came to help at this point. I credited my Skype account with 10 Euro. It also charged an additional 1.5 Euro, as a tax, which is applicable only to the countries of European Union. Since I am from Portugal, I had to pay the additional amount! It costs 0.121 Euro/minute to call Sri Lanka. I found the country-specific monthly skype credit option cheaper. You can buy 60 minutes of skype credits for Sri Lanka, for a month, for just 6.29 USD (4.79 Euro). This is just 0.08 Euro/minute. I will go for this option henceforth.

Our lectures start the day after tomorrow. I have stayed at Lisbon for almost a month, without any lectures. Now the real schedule begins! You can expect more blog posts on the course works in Llovizna very soon. :) Bom fim-de-semana!

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