Greetings and introduction


I’ve been using Practice Portuguese for a couple weeks now and wanted to introduce myself. I’m Paula, my wife’s name is Serafina. We currently live in Austin, Texas in the USA.

We first started thinking about moving to Portugal about three years ago. We made our first trip there two years ago and all of our positive thoughts about the country were confirmed. We loved it! We’ve visited Lisboa, Coimbra, Aveiro, and Porto. We’re pretty decided on moving to Porto and have visited there twice now. We had hoped to return there for Christmas this year but alas COVID.

At this point we are about two years out from our move. I’m self employed and can work remotely. My wife has two years until she is vested in her pension with her work so that is the limiting factor.

We both started learning Portuguese first through Memrise and then through Gabe Wyner’s Fluent Forever model which we really liked. After learning the basic 625 word vocabulary, I joined PP.

We’re both anxious about the whole process of immigration, mostly jumping through all the hoops. I also worry as I am Trans and while I know Portugal has wonderful non discrimination laws, (and we’ve never experienced any hint of discrimination in our visits) discrimination does still exist and could potentially pop up in dealing with bureaucracies. We’ll probably hire an attorney in Porto to help facilitate the process.

I know I’ve been long winded. Thanks for reading this and thanks for all you do for this site.




Bem-vindas Paula e Serafina! :slightly_smiling_face: By the way, I graduated from UT Austin School of Library and Information Science (during the age of the dinosaurs!) :nerd_face: Glad to hear that you and your wife are enamored of Portugal! My spouse, Antonio, and I visited Porto once, and we liked it. I, also, started learning Portuguese with Memrise, but, as you probably know, they don’t offer any advanced lessons like PP does. My spouse (who is Brazilian, but also a Portuguese citizen) and I have been also working toward possibly moving to Portugal, and I am in the process of obtaining my citizenship through marriage. The process is moving along, albeit slowly.
Please keep all of us informed as to how things progress for you!
Muito obrigado!

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Olá David,

Serafina got her degree in Computer Science from UT back in the age of dinosaurs as well. I practically grew up on the 40 acres having moved to Austin in 1972 when I was 13 and my mother entered UT to complete a Master’s in Nursing. I myself am a double winner having both my undergraduate in Psychology and a Master’s in Clinical Social Work both from UT.

You might get this having lived in Austin. We visited both Lisbon and Porto. To us Lisbon had more of a Dallas “vibe” and Porto more of an Austin vibe.

Thanks for the warm welcome. We look forward to seeing you around the forums!

Muito obrigada,

Paula e Serafina


Olá, @Paula, sê bem-vinda :slight_smile: Portuguese bureaucracy can be messy, so an attorney could be helpful if you don’t want to navigate all that by yourselves. Here’s a topic where people have been sharing some of their experiences: Experiences with Portuguese Bureaucracy . In any case, I’m sure you’ll be able to make your move to Portugal and enjoy a pleasant life in Porto. Those two years will go by fast!


Welcome @Paula, very glad to have you with us! :heart::rainbow_flag:

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Hi Paula,

Joseph is correct, use an attorney. The attorney my husband and I used walked us through every step. Attempting to do this without an attorney will be a giant headache. Moving across the pond is stressful enough, being organized makes all the difference.

As a gay couple living in Porto, I can honestly say we have never felt any discrimination. It’s just a non-issue. I started an LGBT group on InterNations. Unfortunately, because of COVID, the group has been suspended for the last several months. Last I checked I have 26 members.

Best of luck to you and if there is anything I can help you with, please ask.


Stephen Ruffin


Thanks all,

Yes, in our trips we have never experienced an iota of discrimination. I feel far safer there than I do in my hometown of Austin (which is a very, very progressive city). And, it only seems to be getting worse for us in the states. I’m a clinical social worker and psychotherapist. In 2012 I was instrumental in getting gender identity and expression added to our Texas Social Worker code of conduct. (Sexual orientation had been added in 2010.) This week Governor Abbott stripped both of those from our code of conduct non-discrimination clause (as well as disability!).

I can’t wait for travel to open up again so we can return to Porto.



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