Olá, amigos! Coming to Lisbon for your next Crossways semester? Lucky you! Here is our first post in a series about the city. Find out everything you need to know to get here safe and sound and comfortably settle in during your first days. Have fun 😉
If you are not European, it is quite likely that you will need a Schengen visa before travelling to Portugal. Make sure you apply for it at a Portuguese Consulate at the country you currently live in, around 2 or 3 months in advance.
Once in Portugal, you will probably have to renew your visa. You will need to schedule an appointment at SEF – Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (Foreigners and Borders Service). This could be done via phone: +351 808 202 653. Yeap, get ready to wait a lot!
When you schedule your appointment, make sure you confirm all the documents you will need to bring with you to the interview. This may include an application form, proof of studies, proof of funding, proof of accomodation, police registration, return ticket, health insurance and passport-sized photographs. Good luck!
Lisbon has a 2-terminals airport right in the middle of the city. You can get there by metro (red line, final stop Aeroporto). If you decide to take a taxi, please notice drivers will charge you €2 for your luggage; a regular ride to most touristic places should cost no more than €15.
Once in the Portuguese capital, you can get most places by metro, bus (autocarro/carris), tram (eléctrico) or urban train (comboio). One metro ticket costs €1,40; one bus ticket costs €1,80; and one tram ticket costs €2,85 (it is always very busy). Check out all lines in this map. The Moovit app is also quite useful for hours and routes.
You could get a regular transportation card, called Viva Viagem, at any metro station. The card costs €0,50 and you can charge it with any amount you would like. However, it might be worth getting a monthly transportation pass if you travel a lot. You will need a Lisboa Viva card for that; the pass then costs €42 for the whole urban circuit for 30 days.
To get this special card, you will have to fill out a form and hand in a 3×4 photograph. We recommend going to Marquês de Pombal or Campo Grande metro stations, but make sure you get there early (they open at 7h45) as the queue could get quite long. Your card should be ready in 10 working days and it costs €7. You could also pay €12 for the urgent card and pick it up the following day.
For the past 10 years, Lisbon went through massive tourism growth and some people argue that there is a gentrification process happening at the city centre (watch this great documentary for more info). For that reason, it may be a bit hard to find a private room – especially if you arrive in September, when it is still high season.
Don’t be scared though! Most students find their lodging either through UniPlaces (they charge a few extra fees) or facebook groups such as Casas/Quartos para Arrendar até 300 Euros. You could also try OLX.com or the university board. Prices could vary between €250 and €350 for a room in a shared house; bills usually go up to €35, if not included. And FYI, quarto interior means a room with no window.
If you would like to live at the student residence Lumiar, make sure you apply as soon as possible. The selection process could get quite competitive, as there are only 68 spots! A private room with a shared bathroom should cost around €240.
Most Crossways classes are held at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa’s FCSH campus (Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities). The address is Avenida de Berna, 26C. Closest metro stations are Campo Pequeno (yellow line) or São Sebastião (blue and red lines). The 716, 726 and 756 bus lines also have stops right in front of our campus.
First thing to do at UNL is to meet mr. Ricardo Esperanço. He is the current administrative officer for our programme and will be able to help you with registration procedures, module choices and scholarship documents, if necessary. You can find him at B1 building, ground floor, Secretariado de Línguas e Literaturas Modernas office.
Relevant living costs
Cup of coffee – €0.60
University lunch menu – €2.65
Restaurant lunch menu – €7-10
Movie ticket – €6
30cl beer (imperial) – €1-1.50
Phone service – €12-18 per month