Veronika Gergócs and Norbert Flórián took part in a course in Coimbra titled: „The Use of Trait-Based Approaches in Community Ecology and Stress Ecology”. Our little enthusiastic group learned about how to apply different types of traits instead of species lists to reveal ecological patterns and processes. Our teachers, Francesco de Bella, Matty P. Berg and Lars Götzenberger introduced us into issues of response vs effect traits, community assemblying based on traits and phenotypic plasticity. They showed us how to calculate community weighted mean of traits, functional diversity and how to compare ecological trait patterns with phylogenetical relationships. During 5 days of the course, we experienced the traditional and noisy student life of the famous University of Coimbra.