VISA INFORMATION

Portugal is a EU member state and grants visa-free entry to all EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, as well as certain family members and relatives even if they are not from the EU themselves. EU nationals can then enter the country for up to three months with the aim of finding a job or setting up a business and, therefore, RobotCraft, being a 2-month programme, falls within that category.

Portuguese immigration policy includes several international agreements with non-EU countries, for example, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which allows such nationals to enter and stay in Portugal for 3 months within a six-month period without needing any visa for Portugal. A list of countries that require a Portuguese visa to enter Portugal can be found here.

All visitors to Portugal other than the previous exceptions must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Portugal. Take a look at this guide for more information. Also, in case you need a visa, contact the Portuguese embassy in your country (or alternative) as soon as possible. The embassy will then contact Serviços de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) and they can be very demanding. Have all your documentation prepared, which should include:

  • Personal identification documents
  • Acceptance letter in the RobotCraft programme signed and stamped by Ingeniarius
  • Address where you will stay in Portugal, preferably signed by your landlord or directly retrieved from the platform you booked your room from (e.g., Uniplaces)
  • Proof of the income necessary to be in Portugal for two months, which should prove that you will have, at least, 1.114,00 € (twice the Portuguese minimum wage)
    • In case you have a grant (e.g., Erasmus Internship Grant), you will need to submit a document highlighting the monthly value you will receive which should be, at least, 557 €/month – if the grant is bellow that monthly value, you can prove that you can cover the remaining €/month with the balance of your bank account.
    • In case you do not have any sort of grant, you will need to provide the balance of your bank account, which should be superior to 1.114,00 €.

We had situations where robotcrafters waited more than 3 months for their visa, so do not waste time!

Also, take a look at the following guide prepared by our Jordan NCP, Marwa Tarawneh, and this guide prepared by our Portuguese NCP, Muhammed Yavuz.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

Getting to and around Coimbra

From the airport

There is no airport in Coimbra, but there are several ways to get there:

Lisbon Airport

Coimbra by Train

Take the metro from the airport to “Oriente” or you can take a taxi to “Gare do Oriente”, then take a train to Coimbra.

Coimbra by Bus

Use the metro to get to “Sete Rios” and get the bus to Coimbra.

OPorto Airport

Coimbra by Train

Take the metro from the airport to “Campanhã” and get the train to Coimbra.

Coimbra by Bus

Go to “S. Bento” and look for the bus station, at Rua Alexandre Herculano, in Praça da Batalha, and get the bus to Coimbra.


To check train and bus schedules:

Comboios de Portugal (Train)
Rede Expressos (Bus)

Getting around Coimbra

The course will take a place in 2 difference places:

Buses

Explore Coimbra’s neighbourhoods through a comprehensive bus service that runs throughout the city, connecting the outer and inner suburbs to the Faculty, Ingeniarius, major shopping centres, entertainment and dining precincts in Praça da República and Baixa de Coimbra and railway stations (Coimbra-A and Coimbra-B). You can easily search the SMTUC root here, which also include a mobile app.

Taxis

Take a taxi and be there in a flash. Taxi services are available at Coimbra. Jump in a taxi to be assured of a quick and efficient way of getting around. A standard taxi will cater for four passengers or less.  For wheel-chair access, or to transport five to 10 passengers, it is best to order a multi-passenger taxi. You can contact taxi companies by phone or use the Táxi Digital appPOLITÁXIS +351 239 499 090 | Taxis de Coimbra +351 239 715 445

Bikes

Make the most of Portugal’s wonderful climate by biking around Coimbra and surrounding cities, through the existing cycling infrastructures. There are bicycle paths running throughout the city and peddle-power offers a healthy and inexpensive way of getting around. You can buy cheap bicycles at olx.pt for less than 100€, which you will be able to resell on the same platform in the end.
 

VISITOR INFORMATION

Banking and Money

Banks: As a general guide, banks across the city are open for business Monday to Friday 8.30am-3pm, which includes Santander Totta bank right at FCTUC. Some banks in local shopping centres are also open Saturday and Sunday (with varying opening hours).

Automatic teller machines (ATMs): ATMs are located throughout the city and will recognise cards issued by most banks. You can find ATMs even inside FCTUC campus.

Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club are accepted across the city.

Currency exchange: Licensed money change services are available at both Portuguese Airports (Lisbon and Porto) and at a couple of MoneyGram's located throughout the city, Unicâmbio, and at Forum Coimbra. Most banks also offer currency exchange services.

Notes: 5€, 10€, 20€, 50€, 100€, 200€ and 500€
Coins: 1¢, 2¢, 5¢, 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, 1€ and 2€

Climate

The weather in Portugal is warm and amazingly sunny! Portugal is defined as a Mediterranean climate and is one of the warmest European countries: the annual average temperature in mainland Portugal varies from 8-12 °C in the mountainous interior north to 16-18 °C in the south, while Coimbra falls right in the middle. Portugal has around 2500 to 3200 hours of sunshine a year, an average of 4-6 h in winter and 10-12 h in the summer, being the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, considered the 3rd sunniest city in Europe.

Electricity

Mains supply in Australia is 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz with two-pin plugs used across the country, following the most typical socket outlets found worldwide.

Adaptors from UK plugs or other countries to Portuguese can be bought from the airports and from all good travel stores and department stores.

Emergency Services

In a life-threatening or time-critical emergency, dial Emergency Services 112 The 112 service is an operator-assisted service that connects callers to the most relevant emergency service organisation (police, fire brigade or ambulance). Calls to 112 are free and can be made from all telephones (landline, mobile devices and payphones). When you dial 112 services, the most important thing to remember is to stay focused, stay relevant and stay on the line.

Still, remember that Portugal has been considered the third safest country in Europe.

Value-added Tax

The value-added tax (VAT) is a broad-based 23% tax included in the shelf price of most Portuguese goods and services. The Tourist Refund Scheme allows international travellers to claim a VAT refund (subject to certain conditions) on some goods purchased in Portugal. Read the following VAT refund information.

Grocery Shopping

Most stores and outlets are open from 9:30am to 6:00pm during the week, but all shopping malls, such as Alma Shopping, Forum Coimbra and Coimbra Shopping, stay open until 22:00pm, with even late-night shopping on Fridays and Saturdays to 11:00pm.

All three supermarket chains offer a variety of mixed goods, food, fruit and vegetables.

Health and Medical Services

Portugal has a high-standard healthcare system offering a mix of public and private services, wherein Coimbra is highlighted as having the largest hospital of the country. Coimbra’s public hospital, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra, with accident, emergency and outpatient services is located here. Besides having an excellent network of health centres and hospital units which stand out in the field of assistance and medical care, Coimbra also shines in the area of technological innovation in the field. Long lasting and successful technology transfer programmes for healthcare have been created within the business environment associated with the Instituto Pedro Nunes and BIOCANT business incubators.

Ingeniarius will provide an insurance to all robotcrafters covering personal accidents occurring in the workplace (during the programme schedule). Yet, we strongly recommend that you take out insurance policies to cover medical and travel expenses. If necessary, consult your travel agent, your university or even the Portuguese embassy in your country.

Here is the location of all pharmacies in Coimbra. Be sure to check for the pharmacy guild sign when looking for your pharmaceutical requirements.

Language

Portuguese is the official language in Portugal (obviously), being in the top 10 of the most spoken languages in the world. Nevertheless, many foreign languages are used by local communities, including English, French and Spanish.

Population

Portugal has a population of about 10 million, in which Coimbra is the third largest urban area after Lisbon and Porto, with a population of about 280.000. During the summer, however, as a student city, Coimbra’s population falls below 100.000… Most go to Algarve!

Time Zone

Portugal operates on Western European Time plus zero hour (WET), and, like most European countries, Summer (Daylight-Saving) Time is observed in Portugal, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour - 1 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1). After the Summer months, the time is shifted back by 1 hour (GMT+0), but that does not matter to you as a robotcrafter…