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Escola Superior de Educacao

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University in a mansion

Published by Martha S — 3 years ago

Escola Superior de Educacao de Lisboa is situated in Benfica, a walking distance away from the famous Benfica stadium. I was doing my Erasmus exchange there last year. The campus consists of three universities, which are the following: School of education, School of music, and School of communication and media studies

The university looks really nice, and it is quite small, comparing to the other universities in Lisbon (but comparing to my home university, it is big). The building itself is quite old, with nice wall paintings and decorations on the walls, and its appearance somehow fights with the modern – looking universities, that surround this one. I simply loved how well the surrounding park and gardens were maintained. There are big palm thees in front of the building and it almost makes you believe that you are on some tropical beach, and not at the university.


On the front side of the building, there is a bar with neon – green coloured chairs on the outside, which also serves snacks. It is very popular among students to go there during breaks and have a coffe or have a snack. They have a good choice of snacks – pizzas, sandwickes, pastels de nata, to list only some of them, and if you want, they will warm it up in the microwave for you. Sandwiches cost from two to four Euros and they are made freshly every day.

If you go to the back side of the building, the first thing you will see, is the top of the famous Benfica Stadium, with its impossible-to-miss bright red colour. From the back side, you can also access to the International Relations office, which will be a place you will be visiting on regular basis, if you are an Erasmus student. The employees here will help you fill all the necessary papers on your arrival and before your departure, for example learning agreements and certificates of attending classes.


You can also get there if you have any problems or questions, regarding your studies, although sometimes they can be a bit impatient and rude. I guess this is because a lot of students are going there every day and they have to answer same questions again and again. You can also access this office through the amfitheatre – from inside the building, but sometimes they have Theatre classes there and the passage is closed.

If you own a car, there is a big parking space in front of the university, but you have to buy a monthly pass, and I do not think that it would pay off to have a car while doing your Erasmus exchange in Lisbon, because the public transport system is excellent and cheaper than owning a car. Also, having a car is bad, because there can be big traffic jams during rush hours twice a day, and you get home quicker, using either the underground or the train. Buses get caught in traffic jams, too.

The interior of the building looks almost like the interior of a mansion. After the main entrance, there is a janitor on the left. When I was there, I found it a very good idea, because in my first days at the university, when I did not know when a certain classroom is, he did not only tell me how to get there, but he went with me. On the right side of the janitor's desk, there is an atm, which I found extremely useful. When you continue to walk inside the building, you will come to a junction – looking like place. There are two corridors on your left and right, where some classrooms are, and at the end of each corridor, there are stairs to the next floor.


Close to the beginning of the left corridor, there is an office for academic matters. The staff there is very friendly, and English – speaking, although they can be quite impatient from time to time. From there, you can also reach the bar I previously mentioned, and there is also a place where you can print and copy various stuff, and it is not very expensive, although the opening hours are a bit unreasonable.

 If you continue walking straight instead of turning to the left or to the right side, there is a hall with a couple of vending machines and another set of stairs to the next floor. If you choose those stairs, you will reach a lobby, whose front walls are made out of glass. The place itself is really nice, and students often choose this place to do their assignments, although it can be very hot there close to summer, because there is no air conditioning. On the left side of the place, there is a library, and on the right, there is a computer classroom. I especially liked, that even if there were classes going on in the computer room, you could use the computer, if there was any available. In the library, they have a wide variety of study literature even in English.

If you head to the main corridor, there are classes, numbered with two hundred and up. Again, on the left and the right side, there are stairs to the third floor. Although there is a bit dark at the corridors, the classes are very bright, and there is plenty of natural light inside. On the third floor, there are classes with numbers three hundred and up. There are toilettes in each floor, too.


On the corridors in each floor, there is always an exhibition of students'work that they do at art classes, and most of them are really amazing.

Because this university is quite small and it has a lot of students, the main building is not big enough for all the classrooms. Therefore, there are two smaller buildings in front of the main building. The first one has classrooms for mathematics and art classes, and in the second one, there is a small gym.

How to get there?

It depends from which part of the city will you start your journey, but you have three options of public transport to choose from – bus, underground and train.

Bus: I will choose Praca da Figueira as the initial station because it is situated very close to Rossio and everybody knows where it is and you can easily ask people for directions on how to get there. So, at Rossio, you have to take the bus number 714 in the direction of Outurela, which will take about half an hour to get there (depends on traffic conditions), and then switch to 750 at Parque Campismo. Be careful, you have to go to the other side of the road, because if you will wait for the bus number 750 on this side, it will take you to the opposite direction.

You also have to be very careful where you have to exit. At the beginning, when I did not yet know how the station where I have to exit looks like, I checked on Google Maps, how many bus stops are there until my station. But this method is not very good because buses do not stop at every station. When you are on 750 bus, there is only a short ride to the Estacao de Benfica, where you have to exit. You then have to cross the street and you will already see the school, which is few hundred meters away.

Not all the buses in Lisbon are new, but the newer buses are air conditioned and there is a display, where you can see which is the next station, and the voice also says the name of the station out loud. Unfortunately, these buses do not run on this route, at least not very often.

Train: The easiest way of getting to Escola Superior de Educacao is definitely by train. You simply catch the train to Sintra at Rossio train station, and you exit after two stations at Benfica. The way to Escola Superior de Educacao is the same as if you would go by bus and exit at Estacao Benfica. The trains run every 15 or 20 minutes, so the service is good. If you want to get back to Rossio, you wait for the train to Lisboa Rossio at the same station and you get off at the last station – Rossio.

Underground: If you choose underground, you will have to walk about 20 more minutes, or you can simply take the bus right at the underground exit. You can get there with Blue line (Linha Azul), which you can also catch next to Rossio, and exit at Collegio Militar/Luz, where Centro Commercial Colombo is. At the underground exit, you will see the pavement. Just turn left and follow it – where the pavement turns, do not cross the road, but turn. You will eventually reach (after about twenty minutes of slow walking) a Mini Preco supermarket. After you walk past it, you will turn left and you will see Escola Superior de Educacao after about two hundred meters.

Positive things: I have chosen this university for my Erasmus exchange because I heard it has a fairly good reputation and a lot of Erasmus students decide to study there.

  • It is easy to pass exams, but hard to get a good grade, so you really have to study a lot.
  • A variety of subjects that include swimming, martial arts, drawing. I had a great  opportunity to choose a lot of subjects that my home university does not offer.
  • The practical part of some classes takes part in local kindergartens so you can interact with kids and put theory into practice.
  • Unlike my home university, you do not have to attend every class to be able to write an exam at the end of the semester. You choose either to go to classes and do assignments, and if you do everything good, you do not have to take an exam. Or, you can choose 'holidays', do not go to classes and just write an exam at the end of each semester.
  • All of the teachers are very friendly, understanding and you can talk to them about anything.

Negative things:

  • The timetable can be a bit confusing – there are some subjects with a big gap (5 hours or so) between each other, so you have to either wait in the library or go back home. Depends on where you live, but going there two or three times a day just gets tiring and boring after some time.
  • Some of the subjects take place either really early in the morning (7:30) or late in the evening ( I had a Psychology class that lasted from 21.00 to 23.00, I got home at about midnight and the next day I had a Drawing class at 8.00)
  • Classes are mainly taught in Portuguese. Well, if you speat it, it is good. Otherwise, teachers will provide you all the necessary books in English language. You can also write an exam in English. Not many Portuguese students speak English, but the ones who do, will gladly help you with anything you need, and you can help them improve their English.

A thing I found especially interesting is, that it is normal there, that the teachers do not come on time. Sometimes, they do not even show up for classes. And students are always happy if this happens.

Another interesting (and, at the beginning, shocking) thing for me was, that I saw many students from Escola Superior de Educacao wearing uniforms. In Slovenia, there is not a single school or university, where you have to wear uniforms so I felt a bit uncomfortable thinking of it. But then, they told me that wearing an uniform is not mandatory.

Overall, I would totally recommend you to choose this university for your Erasmus exchange. You have to do some schoolwork, but it will still leave you a lot of free time. My ex – roommate was going to ISCTE and they had a lot of assignments to do all the time.


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