Mike Farrer: the headmaster of the Nobel International School Algarve is a fan of Portugal

“Portugal is the Las Vegas of Europe... or the Hollywood of Europe.”

Algarve is a favourite destination for British citizens who come to Portugal. Mike Farrer is the headmaster of the Nobel International School Algarve. Currently living in Lagoa, he says that he has fallen in love with Portugal.

Over the course of his life, however, he has also lived in South Africa. He initially left Britain for South Africa, in what was meant to be a one-year experience, but he ended up staying for 19, during which he married and had three children.

As time went on, he concluded that it was time for a change. A holiday in the Algarve was enough to win his heart, and he decided to move there. “I had been in the Algarve on holiday and fallen in love”, he says.

Being a beach lover, Mike is happy with the place he chose to live. “Now, the beach is no longer a nine hour drive. It’s a nine-second walk”, says Mike.

Another plus, for Mike, is how close Portugal is to the rest of Europe, which allows his wife to travel to the UK regularly, to work on her master’s degree. His picks a curious comparison: “Portugal is the Las Vegas of Europe… Or the Hollywood of Europe”.

Points in favour of Portugal: Culture, people and safety

Despite being headmaster of the Nobel International School Algarve, Mike still has some spare time, which he takes full advantage of. Some of his favourite hobbies are mountain biking and golfing. He’s even had the chance to play with South African expats.

Some of his favourite aspects of Portugal are the culture, the people, the lifestyle, the cuisine and the safety. One of his goals is to learn Portuguese so that he can draw even closer to the culture which has taken him in.

The challenge of running an international school in the Algarve

Mike is currently the headmaster of the Nobel International School in the Algarve. With students from over 41 different countries, the institution is divided into two campuses, one in Lagos and one in Lagoa. It takes students from pre-school through secondary school.

The school itself is divided in two: International and National. The International section follows the British school system whereas the National section follows the official curriculum of the Portuguese Ministry of Education.

For Mike, the biggest challenge of running an international school in Portugal is “making the school grow and keeping it alive”.

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