I became interested in the Portugal program as freshman taking Portuguese and Anthropology courses. I didn't know much about Anthropology or Portugal itself, but jumped at the chance to study abroad and practice my budding language skills. I was impressed with the ambitious itinerary of our trip, allowing us to cover a swathe of diverse locales. Pre-departure and upon arrival in Portugal, we developed a solid understanding of Portugal's fascinating history. Soon, as we moved from the capital and largest city, Lisboa, to the rural northeast, we began interacting with Portuguese professors and cultural groups, who, along with Dr. Parkhurst, encouraged us to ask compelling questions about globalization, modernization, and the clash of old and new. From the cultural festivals to the food, from the reading and writing to the late-night discussions, my experience in Portugal was a rich and invaluable one. After only a month in the country, I felt as though I had a solid understanding of its interesting history and its complex present. The trip inspired me to continue my Portuguese studies with vigor and enroll in more Anthropology courses. I later continued my studies in Brazil, through the Brazilian Studies program and a Fulbright grant, where I found my Portugal experience to be an invaluable reference point for studying Brazilian history and culture.