Despite being a small country, Portugal has some of the best universities in the world. Among them, there are two that stand out: the University of Lisbon and University of Porto. Both universities are located in the metropolis, are in the top 250 world’s best universities according to Center for World University Rankings, and were established in the year of 1911. Here, at EDUopinions, we are going to have a further look at them!
Additionally, both of these universities have a very strong academical tradition dating back to the 14th century, and that still is used until this day, called the Praxe. Praxe is intended to make students closer and to welcome the new students to the university so they can feel at home and engage with life on campus.
Living in Lisbon
With a very affordable cost of living, you can live in Lisbon with €500 per month, considering you will go out to the very famous Bairro Alto or in Arco do Cego, where students usually go after classes to relax. There are also various free events, such as concerts and local parties happening all year long.
With good weather all year long and beaches one ride of a train away, Lisbon is a place where many students go on Erasmus programmes.
University of Lisbon has its schools spread across the capital, and all of them are very independent of one another. Despite being separated, there is a good community in the university, and it is very common to have events in one school, with students from other schools taking part.
Currently, University of Lisbon is comprised of eighteen schools, each one focusing on one area of studies. The schools that stand out the most are ISEG (for business and economics students), IST (engineering school), ISCSP (social sciences and humanities school) and FMUL (medicine school). Despite having great schools, it is not easy to enrol as the competition is very high. Therefore, the GPA is rather high.
In addition, the university also has a stadium to be used by any of its 47,000 students, and a big study space exclusive for its students, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in the heart of Lisbon.
Students’ Point of View
About 3 months ago, Jéssica, a student who has just finished her freshman year in the management school, wrote her review about University of Lisbon: ‘People are so nice that your heart will literally melt and there is a great deal of help among the students. As for internationalization, we receive annually several students of erasmus. The location is amazing because is near to Baixa-Chiado and bars if you would like to go out on a Friday night with your friends.’
Sofia, another student, also wrote her genuine opinion about University of Lisbon:
‘I like my university because I know I’m getting a top education in terms of learning. ULisboa allows me to pursue my education and still be a part of student life. I feel like a made a great choice by choosing this university.’
Living in Porto
Like Lisbon, you can also live in Porto with a very limited budget, just under €450 per month, also considering you will go out with colleagues and drink some Port wine in the cellars or go to a bar and drink beer.
With the Douro river crossing, on one side of the shore, you have Gaia, and on the other you have Porto, and the view is one of the most unique on the planet. Porto is also the city where J.K. Rowling wrote the first book in the Harry Potter series, where she got inspired.
Despite being colder than Lisbon, Porto also has good weather and beaches rather close to the city, so it is as well a popular destination for Erasmus students.
University of Porto has 14 schools spread out in the city, and a postgraduate school for business students as well. Each school, as in Lisbon, is specialised in one area, and is very independent of one another.
The schools that stand out the most in Porto, similarly to Lisbon, are the Medicine, Business, Engineering and the Social Sciences (Law) schools: FMUP, FEP, FEUP and FDUP respectively. With great competition as well, it is required to have a high GPA to enroll in the best schools of this university.
With over 30,000 students, University of Porto is the second biggest university in Portugal, and it has a great amount of events for the whole year, and its students are usually very warm to the new students there.
Students’ Point of View
Gonçalo, a graduate student at University of Porto, wrote a review on our website, talking about his experience:
‘I completed a Master in Civil Engineering. At first glance, the Faculty of Engineering is imposing and attractive. The inside of the book didn’t disappoint, matching the quality of the cover. The body of teachers often includes some of the best professionals in their respective fields. They are approachable. Courses and exams are demanding.
On the other hand, I feel that the syllabus needs a reorganization to include more programming and a more practical approach.
Outside of school, students can enjoy multiple social and cultural activities, usually brought by the Students’ Associations of the different faculties.
Overall, the experience was very positive. University of Porto is well respected in Portugal and abroad, which has given me a favorable professional outlook.’
Another student also wrote a review a couple of months ago, being honest about the academic experience there:
‘As for the University of Porto overall, it’s one of the most wanted in Portugal, which shows its value. As it was my first option, in general, I’m pleased with my course. However, the courses in Social Sciences tend to be over theoretical, with little field experiences until entering the Master’s Degree. As Porto is such an up and coming city, the accommodation is very expensive.’
The University of Lisbon and the University of Porto are both excellent universities for any student who aims high for their future, while having an excellent social life, bonding with students. Moreover, both of the cities have a more than affordable cost for a student lifestyle and have some of the best schools in Europe in terms of Engineering, Medicine, Business and Social Sciences. Whichever one you choose, both of these universities will certainly give you the tools to begin your successful career and develop relationships with colleagues that will last for a lifetime!