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Falling in love with Portugal

Published by Miriana Indelicato — 3 years ago

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal


Why did you choose to go to Coimbra, Portugal?

The first time I saw the Erasmus destinations, Coimbra intrigued me immediately. I looked on the courses, the pictures of the city, the opinions of other Erasmus students. Then, I don't know why, I was going to change my mind, and choose another destination as the first one. On the day of choice, however, something made me say: Coimbra! As of today, I think it was the best choice I have ever made.

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How long is the scholarship? How much money do you receive to help you with living costs?

I received 230 euro monthly from the Erasmus program, and an additional sum from the university, also monthly, around 150 euro.

What is the student lifestyle like in Coimbra?

In Coimbra the atmosphere is magical. The first few days I was surprised by all these students dressed in their black mantle which they also wore to go out at night, sometimes. It seemed that we were at Hogwarts. There are so many things you can do both during the day and at night. Coimbra is a young city, it is the student town par excellence.

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You can find activities to do both if you're a quiet person, and if you are a party mode.

What is the food like?

I really like the Portuguese cuisine. The bakeries are full of delicious desserts, and trust me, I've tried almost all of them!

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Try the bacalhau and the francesinha.

Did it cost you to find your accommodation in Coimbra?

No, I found it on Facebook through the page for Erasmus.

How much does it cost to live in Coimbra?

Life in Portugal is not expensive. You can find a good coffee at 60 cents and go out to dinner, eating plenty of fish, even for 10 euro!

In a canteen with 2. 40 euro you can eat bread, soup, a dish with meat or fish usually with rice and various salads, and you can choose from fruit and sweets, paying only 40 cents if you take them both.

As for the rooms, they range from 130 to 230 euro, depends on the zone, if it is central or not.

Generally, from 400 to 500 euro per month, it depends on what you do.

Is the language easy to get to grips with? Are there language courses available at the University?

There are free courses at the university for Erasmus students. It depends, I'm Italian, Portuguese is not so difficult to learn for me because it is a Latin language and also because I was following university courses in Portuguese, in addition to the language course for Erasmus. I admit it's not easy, phonetics is a bit complicated.

What's the easiest or most economical way to travel to Coimbra from your city?

From Sicily it's really complicated because there is no direct flight! The first flight that I took was not cheap, but the return yes, because I booked two separate flights with Ryanair, the first Porto-Milan, the second Milan-Comiso. It was 'a bit' stressful but Ryanair is really economic.

And for eating? Can you recommend some good restaurants in Coimbra?

Atenas for the francesinha, and close to Portagem there are a lot of good restaurants for everything.

Would you recommend the city and the University of Coimbra to other students?

Absolutely yes!

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Is there any other advice that you could give to students going to Coimbra in the future?

Go to Coimbra, you will not regret. Coimbra will become your new home and you will get to know a lot of people, the atmosphere that you will live in will be truly international. Visit Portugal, it is a really beautiful country. After going away it will be as if you lost a piece of your heart! You'll learn about the saudade and you will want to return. I'm already thinking about how to get back there!


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