On Monday, October 24, we were delighted to receive a visit from the newly appointed Ambassador of Portugal to Canada, António Leão Rocha, and the recently assigned Consul General of Portugal in Toronto, Sofia Batalha. They were accompanied by Jose Pedro Ferreira, Coordinator for the Camoes Institute in Canada.
As we celebrate 75 years of the first Portuguese language course offered at the University of Toronto and 70 years of diplomatic relations between Portugal and Canada, their visit was particularly meaningful. The Ambassador and the Consul General showed significant interest in supporting Portuguese teaching and learning, and we are thankful for their continued commitment to the Leitorado through the Camoes Institute in our department. This meeting was an opportunity to celebrate and strengthen our shared links.
Our visitors also stopped by the PRT100Y1 class to meet some of our students. After a brief presentation by Ambassador Rocha, students had a chance to ask questions to all the guests about their professional paths and their arrival to Canada. Luciana Graça, visiting lecturer in our department and course instructor of PRT100Y1, shared the following:
The Ambassador and the Consul General showed huge interest towards the students – asking them, for instance, about their reasons for learning Portuguese. They were very generous with their answers to our students’ questions and kept their interactions with them effortless and enriching. The students were looking forward to the visit, and I have no doubt that it really exceeded their initial expectations.