If you are coming to Coimbra for a period of mobility, this text is for you! Here you have a to-do list before coming to this wonderful city:
1 – Do your homework
You may have not noticed it, but your Erasmus starts before your arrival. If you want a smooth integration, search everything about Coimbra, join the facebook groups and follow the most important pages for Erasmus students in Coimbra.
- - Get to know ESN Coimbra, explore the website (especially this part), like the page its facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ESNCOIMBRA) to get to know a bit more about Coimbra and our activities. If you don’t find the information you need you can always send a private message and our group of volunteers will do the best to help you.
- - Join the Facebook Private group of ESN Coimbrafor Erasmus and Exchange students (https://www.facebook.com/groups/111342423039932/), where you can find other international people and answer all the questions.
2 - Get a buddy!
In the University of Coimbra there is a Buddy Programme available, where lots of Portuguese students volunteer to help you with your arrival to the city. You will receive an email from International Relations Department of your university asking you if you want a buddy, in case you don’t receive the email the best thing to do is to write them asking for one.
For the Polytechnical Institute of Coimbra (IPC) and Instituto Superior Miguel Torga (ISMT), ESN Coimbra is in charge of the programme. Just look for it on our Facebook page or send us a message.
3 – Pay Attention!
Remember that it is not a good choice to transfer money to any landlord or rental company without prior visiting the place and checking out the room/apartment and the surrounding area. If you cannot visit it, ask a friend to do it for you. If you don't have a friend here, wait until your arrival. Although sometimes, many photos are available, there is nothing better than seeing for yourself or someone whom you trust! We always suggest you stay in a hostel for 1 or 2 nights and to look for a room after your arrival. If you want a good hostel you can always choose an ESN partner such as Penedo da Saudade Hostel, where you can get discounts if you are an Erasmus or Exchange student.
You can get more information if you read the Accomodation Section of this Erasmus Coimbra Survival Guide.
4 – Prepare your bags for the best time of your life
Before packing your bags it is better to get to know two things: Coimbra is not as hot as most of the people think, so make sure you bring warm clothes and bring comfortable shoes to walk around the city.
5 – Pay attention to the Bureaucracies
After finding a flat you must go to your University to get everything ready for your studies. Most International students come to the University of Coimbra and those must go to the International Relations Office, at Casa da Lusofonia (the same place of the ESN office). Whether you are a UC student or from another university, check the attending schedule in the university website before going there. To University of Coimbra students, the best way to guarantee that you don't forget anything you need is to visit this page. You must bring some photos, the Learning Agreement, the Acceptance Letter and the Passport or ID card! In summary: bring everything you have that can be useful!
6 – Get integrated into a different culture
There are lots of volunteer associations that you can join and you will still have time to go to parties, to travel and to study. Get involved! And if you have any doubts remember you can always write a private message to https://www.facebook.com/ESNCOIMBRA. You are in Erasmus and, therefore, you must make it the time of your life!
7 – Join the events, write in the ESN Facebook group and enjoy your time in Coimbra!
And with this, the boring part is done...! Now it's time to get surprised by the Harry Potter capes, the wonderful Fado singers, all the traditions… to fall in love with the city and its people!
It is time to be an International student in Coimbra!