The International Office seeks to provide all foreign students spending a period of studies at the U.Porto with assistance in finding accommodation.
There are four types of accommodation:
The SASUP – Serviços de Acção Social da Universidade do Porto (Social Service of the University of Porto) provide accommodation in Halls of Residence to some mobility students in 6 Halls of Residence. The International Office is responsible for managing these vacancies, but they are very scarce considering the needs arising from the increase of incoming flows.
Further to students’ requests the International Office also seeks to provide students with information of accommodation at private houses, all over the city. To that purpose, the office manages an up-to-date database with contact details offering flats, houses and rooms for rent. This database is provided to all students who may be interested, as well as to students who asked (but were not awarded) accommodation in the Halls of Residence. Therefore, by means of this database, students may establish direct contact with several accommodation offers and therefore select the opportunities that suit them most.
Every year there is a limited number of rooms available for mobility students at the University halls of residence. Since this number is far below the amount of requests, the International Office cannot guarantee that you will get this type of accommodation.
If you were housed in a University hall of residence, you can go directly there (as far as this has been agreed upon), but it is always necessary to go to SASUP (Serviços de Acção Social da Universidade do Porto), in Rua dos Bragas, 151, 4050-123 Porto, from 9.15 to 11.45 and 13.45 to 16.15 to check in and to inform the Immigration Office (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) on your stay. If you arrive during the weekend or on a holiday, you should go to the services mentioned above the following working morning. By then you will be asked a guarantee in the amount of one month's rent, which will be returned in the end of your stay, except there is a reason to proceed otherwise (in case of debt or damage caused to the facilities). Accommodation of mobility students in halls of residence is co-financed. Therefore, in the academic year 2012/2013 the rent per month is 135 EUR (for undergraduate students) and 190 EUR (for post-graduate students). Cleaning of the room and linen (which students do not need to bring with them) are included in this price.
So as to ensure an adequate processing of the students’ requests, the Application Form with the request for Accommodation should be sent as soon as possible, preferably until the end of May. Any special requests (pets, physical handicaps, family, etc.) should be submitted at this stage. The procedure adopted at the U.Porto for allocation of University accommodation considers the requests only upon approval of the Learning Agreement proposed by the students by the respective Faculty.
Although the University has several halls of residence, only the following house mobility students:
All students requesting accommodation in Halls of Residence are sent information regarding the status of their request. Requests are processed on a "first-come, first-served" basis, after their acceptance by the respective Faculty. Therefore, the sooner we receive the application, the more chances you stand of getting accommodation in a Hall of Residence. Students provided with accommodation in Halls of Residence should keep the International Office informed on the date and time of their arrival.
Choosing accommodation in a "family home" is not very common nowadays. Although sometimes this is slightly cheaper than sharing a flat with other students, the disadvantage is that restrictions usually apply (sometimes you cannot use the kitchen or the living room as you please, and you are not allowed in the house after certain times, besides there being a limited privacy).
It is nowadays more common to rent a flat and share it with other students. This is usually more comfortable, since it allows the students more freedom and flexibility, especially in terms of timetables.
A possible alternative is that you stay for a few days at a youth hostel or at a hotel and find suitable accommodation after your arrival. It's quite common to find flats for rent all over the city, and the prices vary according to the location or the conditions being offered. In Porto the Youth Hostel is located in Rua Paulo da Gama, 551 – 4169-006. Reservations can be made by phone (+351 22 617 72 57) or e-mail.
When reserving accommodation in “family homes” and flats, students are sometimes asked to pay for two-months rent in advance. Sometimes landlords only rent a flat or a room after they speak to the students – this being one of the reasons why the International Office only provides students with the contact details of the landlords, so that they can make a pre-reservation. Students who booked accommodation in a flat or in a “family home” should contact the landlord prior to their arrival so as to confirm the booking and agree on the handing of the key.
Houses or flats for rent can be found in newspaper adds or through licensed real estate agents. The leasing contracts normally are for a minimum of 6 months. In the beginning of the renting, it is common to be asked for a 2 months rent payment in advance, which correspond to the first and the last months rent.
In larger cities, flats are more expensive.
Most houses and flats are not furnished, although they may have closets and a furnished kitchen. Apart from new buildings, most houses in Portugal do not have heating.
In the main cities, it is easy to find furnished rooms for rent in family homes. The rent does not usually include water supply, electricity, telephone and gas expenses.