When does the program start?

beginning or mid September (17.09.2012, 09.09.2013)

What do I need to study before the start of the program?

General cellular and molecular biology, basic neurobiology concepts, neuroanatomy. But you do not really have to study all this in advance.

Which books do you recommend me and for which classes?

Cell Regulation: Molecular Biology of the Cell - Alberts; Neurobiology: Basic Neurochemistry - Siegel, Neuroscience - Purves, from molecules to networks.

Are there any libraries? How can I get access?

There are several in campus and as students we have complete access to them (presenting the student card). However, books will be borrowed for 1-2 days max. It is better to get the digital version of books. And be aware that libraries close during lunch time.

What courses are available?

How many courses can I choose (minimum/maximum)? Do I have a choice?

You need a total of 60 ECTS at the end of your stay. Each course is 6 ECTS, with the exception of Seminar I and II, which are only 3 ECTS each (but both are mandatory). There is no maximum of courses you can take. You must take at least 2 lab rotations of 4 weeks each. In total you can take a maximum of 3 lab rotations. You may also be able to take PhD courses (for example,

What is the schedule of the classes?

Courses are organized in modules of 4 weeks. Classes are normally between 9-5, with coffee breaks every hour and a big lunch break. Depending on the course there could be some free afternoons (supposedly for the preparation of group works, etc.). Normally, the 4th week of a course is free from classes for exam preparation and the final exam.

Where is the university located?

The classes are taught in Polo I which is the old historic part of the university. It is located on a hill

What about the exams?

The exam for each course is scheduled for the last day of each course module. Depending on the course you may have some free days before it.

Do we have language courses?

There is a 3-week intensive language course before the beginning of the program (starting end of August-beginning of September). When the courses start, there are normal language courses, 2hx2 times a week.

Do I have to do lab rotations? How many?

Minimum 2 (supposedly one each semester), maximum 3.

Where can I find labs?
You are also allowed to do your lab rotation(s) outside of Coimbra, e.g. in Porto or Lisbon (e.g. check out the Neuroscience Programme at Champalimaud Center for the Unknown or the centers in the universities).
And you can always ask Emilia because she knows what kind of research is performed in which lab.

Are there any scholarships available?

Life in Coimbra

Is there university housing provided? How much does it cost? Details?

Student residencies can be booked before your arrival, in order for you to have some place to stay, while you look for something more permanent (in case you don't fancy living in a dorm). You will receive emails regarding this from the university.

What about the private market? Is it worth it?

Prices may vary between 130-220€ with without utilities (and utilities should be no more than 30€), depending on the location. It is worth it, since you pay more or less the same for both.

Where can I find an apartment/flatshare?

- Diario de Coimbra
- in the streets (you will see advertisements for rooms on windows, doors, walls)
- internet:,,,,,
You are looking for a room (quarto) para alugar. The "T" in the advertisements means the number of rooms in the apartment.
Some people don't speak English, so signing up for the buddy program could be a good idea. If you don't hear anything about the buddy program during the summer, possibly contact Emilia (for me it was too late to register at the end of August).


Serenata Hostel
Posada de Juventude

Which neighborhood/areas are better for students?

Near Praça da Republica and the University there is constant party and it could be loud during the night. If you prefer a quite but nice neighbourhood you might consider living in (both 15-20min walk from University). I would not advice students to live in Baixa.
Within 10 minute-walk to the uni, you have Praça de Republica and Baixa. Praça de Republica (and the close streets around) is the party place of the city so it can be very loud (especially on Tues/Thu/weekends) so you may want to look for something not directly at the spot. Celas or Santo Antonio dos Olivais have nice and quiet places but Santo Antonio dos Olivais may be a bit further away from the uni. In Baixa I would not advise to live too far to the train station Coimbra A or parallel to Rua da Sofia; other places in Baixa are fine. Rua do Brasil can be quite cheap but is a bit further away from the uni (20 min).

What about the transportation (public transport cards, tickets, bikes etc)?

Monthly cards for students are around 22€. An 11-trip card can be purchased for 6,40€. This is a nice option because even if you live in Celas, almost everything is within walking distance. Coimbra is a very hilly city, bikes are sort of out of the question.

Are there any useful websites (buy/sell, cultural events etc, cheap mobile phones)?

For a mobile phone plan you should go to ESN (the Erasmus student network:; they also have a facebook group to which you can be added). They normally hand out SIM cards with the cheapest and most useful plan.

Where can I buy stuff for my new home?

In Baixa there are a lot of cheap Chinese stores, where you can find literately everything. Then there is Forum and Dolce Vita where they also have electric markets and big supermarkets.

Are there any flea markets?

Yes (I will post information later).

What about grocery stores?

Pingo Doce at various places. Continente and Jumbo are in the malls a bit further away from the center.

Can I eat at the university? Are there other places you recommend?

Around university there are several "cantinas". As a student you pay 2,40€ for a full meal. There is one vegetarian cantina, too.

Where can I get extra language courses?

What about entertainment (theater/cinema/bars/clubs)?

Salão Brazil, TAGV, Theater Sao Bernado
cinemas are in the malls
Galeria Santa Clara (artsy café), Luna
NB, RockPlanet, CCB

What about sports (in the university and outside)? handles everything related with extra-curricular activities.

Which banks do you recommend? Any traps I should be aware of?

Banco Espiritu Santo.

Where can I go out of the city for an excursion?

Figueira da Foz, Buçaco, Serra da Estrela, Lisboa, Porto, Batalha, Fátima, etc.

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