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Utopia500 Team around the world

So far, Utopia500 team has had over than 90 international trainees from different fields of study and coming from various parts of the world.

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This is an interactive database of our team on a map. It covers the whole world - you can zoom in and zoom out to find out what we have.

You can click on the markers to see more info about each one of the trainees.

THE TEAM in a reversed chronological order




My name is Valeria and I come from Ravenna, Italy. Two years ago, I graduated from my Bachelor’s degree and now I am currently attending a Master’s degree in Economic Development and International Relations
at the University of Pavia. I decided to take part to the Erasmus + Traineeship project because, after almost two years of pandemics due to Covid-19, I wanted to break up the monotony and do an experience that
could challenge myself. In Porto I found the Utopia500 team: an amazing environment in which I was able to meet new people, new cultures, but also enrich my knowledge. The project is really stimulating and I think it can make the difference since it touches multiple issues and spread powerful values. The project gave me the chance to express my creativity and compare myself with young students about several interesting topics. I really enjoyed my time in Porto and I am very grateful for this life-changing experience.



Olá, I’m Aurora Hyseni from Kosovo. I’m an RIT undergraduate with a double major in Management and Entrepreneurship, and Public Policy and Governance, as well as a minor in International Relations. After graduating in May of last year, I was looking for an out-of-the-box experience abroad where I could grow professionally, but also challenge my own ideas and practices through an international environment. If you scroll down, you’ll find the testimonial of my friend Emira - the person who introduced me to Utopia500 and inspired me from her own positive experience. Today, I look back to my 4 months in Porto at Utopia500 as one of the best experiences of my life. There I learned what it’s truly like to work in an organization whose participants are genuinely passionate, driven and diligent about their purpose, and got to meet mentors and students who supported my drive and ideas likewise. That, together with the rich Portuguese culture, made my first internship experience abroad an unforgettable one!

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I am Fayna, a Spanish student at the University of Jaume I in Castellón. I wanted to do an internship abroad and carry out activities related to education that could be included in my Master's Thesis. Now I can say that Utopia500 has proven to be the ideal place for me. I have found a project in which I can collaborate and contribute and also enrich myself on all levels. Even in a pandemic, with the barriers that anyone may encounter, an Erasmus exchange is undoubtedly a wise decision. This small, quiet, diverse city has reminded me that you live better with less stress. Here it is easy to connect with nature and the simple, friendly and welcoming people who live here. The online interventions in Porto schools have been a fantastic experience, and I especially enjoyed creating interdisciplinary workshops that enrich and motivate students in their regular lessons at school. I will return home with an experience that will surely make me better in my professional and personal life.

Brigitta Zentai



My name is Brigi and I’m from Hungary. I’m currently studying Marketing at Corvinus University of Budapest. I volunteered at a number of organisations that deal with the education of children and career choices for young women in Hungary. I have always wanted to do an Erasmus internship abroad, where I could create and imagine a better future, so I took part in Utopia500 project as a social media intern. Living in the amazing city of Porto has opened my mind not only to Portuguese culture, but to the other cultures and nationalities to which my co-workers belong. Being a part of this multicultural and diverse environment served as a reminder that the solution to most of the current global issues can be found in tolerance and unity. Thank you to the Utopia500 project for allowing me to create my own ideas and make an impact on society.

Blanka Orhanović



My name is Blanka and I am a psychology student at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, The University of Zagreb. I come from a small town near Dubrovnik, but I am very passionate and excited about exploring different parts of the world.
Since I started my studies I was a part of different organizations and volunteered on different projects that were connected to mental health and other social issues. During the pandemic, I co-founded kako si? (how are you?), a mental health platform that offers psychoeducational content and e-mail counseling. This has taught me the importance of starting conversations about mental health issues and led me to a goal of creating a society that is caring and nurturing about this topic.
With that in mind - I enthusiastically joined the Utopia 500 team, where I am focused on creating mental health workshops and educative content for children and youth, giving them valuable information and introducing them to the habit of caring about their mental health. I feel happy and grateful to have a chance to do so.

Deša Matičević



My name is Deša and I come from Split, Croatia - a city which Porto reminds me of in many aspects and which is also set on the coast, so I am very happy to be near the sea again. I'm a final year Psychology student at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb, only my thesis away from graduating. Coming to Porto and working for Utopia500 has been a great wish for me during the past year and I am beyond excited that it managed to come true considering all the turmoils caused by Covid-19. The pandemic has been a challenging experience in many ways, but it has also strengthened my beliefs that mental health is a topic of great importance that should be discussed and promoted. In Croatia, I have participated in the creation of a non-profit organization dealing with issues concerning mental health and educating the public on the subject, and I am very pleased to be able to continue that mission in this beautiful country, as well as to get a chance to work with progressive and proactive young minds. Utopia500 for me is a perfect mixture of creativity, proactivity, education, empathy, conversation, and a multicultural environment - which are values I find crucial in moving the world towards a better, more utopian future.

 Ayşe UĞUR



I am Ayşe from Mersin, Turkey. I studied Psychological Counseling and Guidance in Turkey. I decided to do an internship after my graduation and I found the Utopia 500 project; It was the best option for me because the multidisciplinary working environment and international atmosphere of this project will strongly enrich my future studies and help me in my prospective career. There was no Covid-19 when I applied for this project. However, I am now in the second month of the internship while the pandemic is ongoing and despite everything I am so happy that I am here in Porto and I am proud to be part of the Utopia 500 project. It is exciting to be a part of the change that I want to see in the system we live in, now I believe that "The world goes to where we take it.”

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Anna Weder


Feminist, Master in Philosophy, Polish. I am interested in biopolitics which analyses the politicisation of scientific research which can be used to abuse or extend liberties of human rights such as access to food, fresh air and, most importantly, equal law for all. At the Utopia 500 project I found myself providing substantive arguments to use in workshops, future policies and to help to reshape social contracts to become more inclusive and understanding towards plurality of ideas, ways of living and experiences. I joined the Utopia 500 team whose main goal is solidarity and dialogue in solving local and world's problems. I like to be proactive and intertwine bottom-up initiatives, such as activism and movements, into the reality of written law policies and parts of school curriculums in order to keep improving the ever changing world around us.

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Paula Sánchez Ramón




My name is Paula and I come from Castellón, a city in the Valencian Community of Spain. I chose to take part in the Utopia 500 project as an Erasmus internship after finishing my degree in Primary Education. I was looking for an international environment in which I could feel myself collaborating towards creating a better future - and I found it! Through this project, I can address education from a social point of view. The view of taking care of humans and our planet. Right now, I am creating a workshop for children to educate them on the fact that differences enrich us: the variety of types of families that exist, the importance of respecting every person and also, the need of knowing how to say “no”. 

Personally, I feel very happy about being able to address these issues, because, as a teacher, I have noticed the importance of tackling them in schools. To sum up, I am thankful to Rita, my colleagues, and the Utopia 500 team (the people who were here and the people who will come) for this opportunity and I really hope to be helpful to the project because I will try to give the best of myself for it. Muito obrigada!

Giulia Conti


My name’s Giulia and I come From Asti, Italy. I’m currently studying International Relations for Cooperation and Development, at Trento University. During my years of study I have found it very interesting to reflect on what development means and in which ways we should implement it, so that it is fair, sustainable and long-lasting. I believe that if our aim is to encourage and drive development, the collaboration with communities and the exchange of ideas are fundamental aspects to take into consideration. This is why I chose to take part in the Utopia 500 project: I found the idea of active action and taking society where we think it should go stimulating and important principles. 
Working with younger generations for me puts a solid foundation of change on the ground. It’s an important and precious task, and I’m happy to be able to do my bit and work towards a fairer society.

Hana Radovanovic



My name is Hana and I am a fifth year psychology student at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, The University of Zagreb. I come from a small town called Pula on the coast of Croatia. I enjoy living and working in an international environment because there is so much to gain from this experience. The Erasmus internship on the Utopia500 project was the perfect choice for me, not only because it is in Portugal, a country that I find so beautiful; but also because the project does something that I believe is really important to spread throughout the world. The topics that we deal with, such as equality of rights for minorities and the preservation of our planet are something that I find necessary to educate children and a lot of other people about. Also, it gives me the opportunity to work with and learn from various people from different parts of the world who are of different professions and backgrounds. This project allows me to propose my own ideas, be creative and make an impact on the community.

Lydia Patrick

United Kingdom


I’m Lydia I am currently studying a BA in Modern Languages (French, Spanish and Portuguese) at the University of Bristol in the UK. I was delighted to find an internship raising awareness for such important global matters, such as gender and environmental issues. Being in the charming city of Porto has opened my mind not only to Portuguese culture, but to the kaleidoscope of cultures and nationalities that belong to my co-workers. Together we have a birds-eye scope of different issues affecting places across the globe. Living here is a great opportunity for me to improve my Portuguese and surprisingly, my general fitness. I am sure that I will be ready to climb mount Everest after 4 months of enduring Porto’s hills! Studying languages has enabled me to cross-culturally examine issues such as gender equality and racism. I have engaged with a wide range of feminist theory and literature that has encouraged me to make a positive change to lift women and challenge our patriarchal society. Being a member of Utopia500, I can use our collective voice to put my beliefs into action. Currently we are promoting workshops raising awareness of Dating Violence and also Collective imagination. I am also passionate about racial and class equality in an increasingly unequal society. As Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are skipping hand in hand towards dystopia; utopians are more crucial than ever to inspire and empower others to fight for a more equal society.

Anna Rikama



I'm Anna from Helsinki, Finland. I'm an anthropologist just graduating from the University of Helsinki. I have studied religions and ways communities pursue a utopian way of life. This has led me to ponder how I might make an impact and create ways for a better world to exist. From the internship, I'm hoping to gain knowledge on how and what these ways could be, while also giving my own input and expertise I have achieved from my studies and general life experience. Utopia500 offers a great opportunity to work in the charming city of Porto. This project is a beautiful experience to be shared amongst colleagues around the world!

Giulia Peroni


Hello, my name is Giulia and I come from a small village scattered in the mountains and vineyards in northern Italy. Three years ago, I moved to Parma to attend University and last December I received my Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences and International Relations. I would like to finish my studies in the same field because, forward thinking, my biggest aim is to become an ambassador. I came to Porto because I really wanted to challenge myself. Working for Utopia 500 is an incredible experience, besides getting to know a lot of smart people, it gives me the opportunity to bring into action and deepen my knowledge of all the issues that I’m already greatly interested in. By participating in workshops in several places and with students of all ages, it has become clear to me that union is strength. After an uncertain time in my life, where I became disillusioned with the idea of uniting to change society; I rediscovered a moral duty- to take a step forward and walk together towards an ideal and utopian horizon.

Farileandro Londoño


My name is Farileandro and I come from Spain, although I am originally from Colombia. I studied International Relations and recently finished a Masters in Latin American Studies. Believing everyone has some potential to make the world a better place, Utopia500 seemed a good opportunity to showcase this in an endeavour to create a more inclusive and welcoming place for all. Having also lived abroad several times, I found Portugal a very interesting country to explore and get to know. Luckily, I have also gotten to work alongside a brilliant team, making this experience even more memorable. All in all, standing for what I value, making meaningful projects and helping people to develop are priorities at this stage of my life and this project is suitable for any person who, like me, wants to gain experience on the many issues Utopia500 addresses.

Klara Avsec




My name is Klara and I am currently pursuing a degree in Media Communications at the University of Maribor, Slovenia. Joining the dynamic team of Utopia 500 seemed like the perfect opportunity to gain more experience working in the areas I am deeply interested in – media, collective action and the issues of human rights, while exploring the charmingly vibrant city of Porto. Being a part of an extremely multicultural and diverse environment served as a powerful reminder that the answer to most global issues of today can only be found in unity. In a world as divided as ours, a true utopia can only be reached when we harness the power of the collective.

Emira Gerguri



My name is Emira and I come from Kosovo. I am currently doing my BA in International Relations at Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary. I also lived in Northern Cyprus, making Portugal my third country living abroad, but so far it is the one that I impressed me the most. It was very exciting to be living in Porto and most of the time I would be the first Kosovar person Portuguese people had ever met in their lives so this was a way to represent Kosovo. Utopia500 was an amazing experience and every day was exciting and there was something new to do. It made me become more aware of the problems we are facing today as a society, the risks posed to the environment and what we can do to help. Utopia500 made it able for me to hold a session about the Sworn Virgins of Albania - Burrneshat and also about Women’s Rights in Kosovo. A truly unforgettable experience!  Unfortunately, I got to stay here for only 2 months but every day was more memorable than the other. The Utopia500 team has amazing people and all of us were active and ready to offer our help to try and make an impact on the world.

Emily Stott

United States



My name is Emily and I’m from Beverly, Massachusetts.  I am going into my fourth year at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire as a Creative Writing and Literature major.  I have a strong interest in Literature, particularly postmodernism, but I enjoy learning about different cultures and finding ways to be creative.  I have family in both the Azores and Porto, so Utopia500 is the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about this beautiful city and interact with its community.  I’m very excited to join this diverse team and expand my thinking as a utopian!

Daniele Ligato



My name is Daniele, I'm from Italy.

I lived most of my life in a little village of Southern Italy, Melicuccà, in the province of Reggio Calabria, but I then moved to study at the University of Pavia where I Graduated in Computer Engeneering. In these last years, I became more and more interested in building a better world, through both reducing our ecological footprint as a single human and with activist groups like Utopia500. I truly believe in the combined power of the little action such as not using disposable plastic and buying things in a more mindful and responsible way. Due to my interest, I realized that Utopia500 was the project for me, and the amazing Team I found as soon as I arrived in Porto confirmed it. The city is really beautiful, both from an artistic/architectural point of view and for the great vibes that it transmits. I discovered places from Ponte Dom Luís I bridge to Clerigos tower and attended events from ESN to the Utopia500 workshop that led to the discovery of the less famous part of Porto, the little town of Valongo. In the end, I think this will be an absolutely positive experience and I'm grateful for having had this possibility.

Miguel Ohnesorge



My name is Miguel Ohnesorge and I spent most of my life in the cosy town of Goettingen in the heart of Germany. I did my BA in History and Philosophy at the University of Kassel and will proceed to an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge later this year. For me, Utopia 500 was a good opportunity to stay longer in the wonderful city of Porto after spending an Erasmus term and bridge the time between my undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The project offered me an interesting insight into the why’s and how’s of ecological activism. I especially enjoyed the collaborative work we did together with the High School of Valongo and different public institutions like the Serralves Museum of Modern Art. 

Marina Girgis



My name is Marina, from Milan, Italy. I completed my degree in Communication, Innovation, Multimodality at the University of Pavia, a small city near Milan. When the opportunity arose to go on an Erasmus Traineeship I wanted to find some place I really felt could enrich me. Even though my field of studies is unrelated it was my personal passion for the mission of Utopia500 that in the end brought me here. This is a place where I feel I can put my skills to good use for something I really believe in. I've had so many great opportunities at Utopia500 to do that and it's amazing to see the results of what we work on. I was lucky enough to be on a great team but above all the work environment is something I aspire to find again in the future. This traineeship has been a wonderful experience, in this gorgeous city, and it gives me hope that we can really bring Utopia to life.

Isabel Relvas


My name is Isabel, and I am from Porto, Portugal.
I completed a semester in Law School at the Faculty of Law in Porto, but decided it wasn´t the right course, so will be switching to Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the Fall, also in Porto. 
Utopia500 became a very interesting opportunity during what would have been my second semester at Law School, to be able to get a broad introduction into studies related to Languages and Humanities. 
And so far, I have had an amazing experience helping out at Utopia500 and its several projects, also learning a lot about the environment and how to be more sustainable, in order to be able to save our planet before it becomes too late. 
I am very grateful for the experience and hope to be able to repeat such an experience in the future, during my Masters or as an Erasmus student. 

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