Saturday, April 10, 2010
Living in Portugal
I am living at the Sociedade Promotora de Residências Universitárias, located incredibly close to the Porto Campanha Interface train station, a major transportation hub in Porto. It a very modern dorm-like facility with 24 hour security guards, internet access built into your monthly rent, private bathroom, study areas, and two televisions in the lounge area. You room also comes with a desk with a lock cabinet, where you can place your valuables. There are also laundry machines on the ground floor (1,50 Euros a load) as well coffee (0,30 euros) by the cup. They also offer a weekly cleaning service to tidy up the bathroom.
Here are some tips before moving in:
Getting here: It is incredibly easy to get to the dorms by the metro. Take the metro from the Porto airport to the Campanha Terminal Station. When you get off make a right. You will see taxis directly in front of you waiting and buses to your right behind the glass. DO NOT take a taxi; walk along that sidewalk going up the hill where the buses are located. When you get to the top of the hill, you will see the residence. This walk is no more than 2-3 minutes.
You will have to pay 50 euros to reserve your month here. I recommend using XOOM (http://xoom.com), since it was cheaper than asking my bank to do an international transfer. I paid 9 bucks, the bank wanted 30 bucks. The director of the campus will email you with the particulars about where to send the money and the codes needed to make sure it gets to the right account. It is a very easy process. When you arrive you will pay for the month upfront, either by cash or bank transfer, since they only use Portuguese debit cards. At the end of your stay, they will check the room, check how much water and electricity you used that month and give you a final bill.
The dorm will provide you with towels, sheets, pillows and blankets during you stay. Feel free to bring your own. You will also get cooking utensils, pots and pans, and have a small kitchenette.
If you want to go with another friend, they do offer dorms for two public, with some having public or private bathrooms.
Also, make sure to bring an international converter.