FAQ

GENERAL QUESTIONS 

WHAT IS IRO?

It is the International Relations and Mobility Office that is in charge of the promotion, monitoring and operational support to cooperation and internationalization activities, in line with the strategy of the University of Algarve (UAlg). It is also responsible for ensuring the reception and logistical support to international students, teachers, and researchers who choose to come to UAlg.

WHAT IS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT?

An International student is one who does not have Portuguese nationality (nº 1, Art. 2º, Regulamento nº 934/2019).

WHAT IS A “FULL STUDENT”?

They are international students, nationals of a Member State of the European Union, or of a Third Country, who have been admitted to take a full degree of Bachelor/ Integrated Master (1st cycle), Master (2nd cycle), or Doctorate (3rd cycle) at UAlg.

I AM A FULL STUDENT AT UALG. WHAT DOCUMENTS SHOULD I TAKE WITH ME?

  • Identification document/Passport (valid);
  • Student visa/Resident card (valid), if applicable;
  • Health and Hospitalization Insurance valid for Portugal and for the period spent at UAlg;
  • Proof of address in the country of origin with the full name and address, preferably authenticated by the consular services;
  • Diploma or academic certificate attesting the previous academic degree. Attention, these documents must be certified with the Hague Apostille or, when the country of origin is not a signatory to the Hague Convention, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • Vaccine bulletin updated.

WHAT IS A “MOBILITY STUDENT”?

They are international students, nationals of a Member State of the European Union or a Third Country, who have been admitted to do a mobility period during one, or two semesters, under the Erasmus + Programme, Cooperation Agreements, National Programmes (Almeida Garrett and Vasco da Gama) or others.

WHAT IS A “FREE MOVER STUDENT” AND HOW CAN I APPLY FOR THIS MODALITY?

They are students who have already spent a mobility period at UAlg, under the Erasmus + Programme and/or Cooperation Agreements, and who can no longer benefit from this “status”; or you may also be a student at a university with whom there is no Cooperation Agreement. Thus, any student enrolled in a Higher Education Institution (HEI) can apply for free mover mobility at UAlg.
For this purpose, the HEI of origin must send its nomination, by email, to international@ualg.pt. Subsequently, the student is informed of the procedures for applying and the amount of the registration and fees to be paid. More information in https://www.ualg.pt/pt/content/unidades-curriculares-isoladas

DO I NEED A STUDY VISA TO STUDY AT UALG?

In the case of an international student, national of a non-European country, you should always present a study visa that you must apply for at the consular services in the country of origin. For more information, we recommend consulting the Community Portal.

In the case of a non-European citizen, residing in a Member State of the European Union, with a valid residence permit in that country, you should check which procedure you should take to stay at UAlg for more than 90 days. For more information on visas, please see https://www.sef.pt/

IS IT POSSIBLE TO WORK WHILE STUDYING?

The student with a residence permit may request a change to be authorized to exercise professional activity. The exercise of professional activity must not conflict with academic activity. This request is made by scheduling for SEF to issue a new card with the mention “Permite o exercício de atividade profissional” (in English: Allows the exercise of professional activity).

I AM A EUROPEAN CITIZEN, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO LIVE IN PORTUGAL?

During the first three months of the stay, European citizens are not required to register to get a document attesting to their right to stay, but they may do so voluntarily at the City Hall of their area of residence.
For more information, check the High Commissioner for Migration.

WHAT IS THE “PORTUGUESE IMMIGRATION AND BORDERS SERVICE” (SEF)?

It is a security service integrated with the Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) whose mission is to ensure the control of foreign citizens, manage travel and identification documents and proceed with the instruction of residence permits and visa extension processes.
More information at: https://www.sef.pt/

IF I NEED TO GO TO SEF HOW SHOULD I PROCEED?

You should proceed with the scheduling through online booking at https://www.sef.pt/

WHAT IS THE TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (NIF)? DO I NEED TO HAVE THIS DOCUMENT WHEN I ARRIVE IN FARO?

The NIF is also known as the Tax Identification Number and this document identifies a taxpayer entity in Portugal. You may need to have this number for various purposes, for example: opening a bank account; celebration of an internet or telephone contract, etc.). To access this document, you must apply to the Finance Service, near your residential area.
More information at: http://www.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt

HOW DO I OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT IN PORTUGAL?

To open a bank account in Portugal, any foreign citizen must present the NIF and the proof of address. As a student at UAlg, to open a bank account in Faro, you need to be enrolled at UAlg (proof of enrollment) and have a permanent address to access the benefits of the university account modality.

For this purpose, we recommend you go to a Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) desk with all the documents listed in the checklist. CGD offers a fee waiver to university students, however, students over the age of 25 years old, should check the conditions and fees. For more information, please see https://www.cgd.pt/ However, there are other banks in Portugal where you can open a bank account.

Document Checklist:

  • Identification document/Passport/Residence permit (if applicable);
  • NIF;
  • Proof of registration;
  • Proof of residence*.

*Important note: this proof may be of residence in the country of origin, however, if you are a European citizen, the document must be in Portuguese, English, French, Italian, or Spanish. In the case of a non-European citizen, the document must be translated into Portuguese or English, and it is highly recommended that it be authenticated by the Consulate.

HOW DO I CHANGE MONEY?

The currency used in Portugal is the Euro (€) and if you need to exchange money, you can go to a bank or exchange offices.

WHAT DOES THE ACRONYM “ECTS” MEAN?

Its acronym for European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. The ECTS system was designed to facilitate the students’ movement between countries and the recognition of their academic qualifications and periods of study abroad.

WHAT IS A “STUDY CYCLE”?

Refers to the level of studies as defined by the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education (EQF):
  • First cycle (graduation or equivalent) EQF 5/6; 
  • Second cycle (masters or equivalent) EQF 7;
  • Third cycle (doctorate or equivalent) EQF 8.

WHEN DOES THE ACADEMIC YEAR AT UALG BEGIN?

The academic year usually starts in September and ends in July. The 1st semester starts in the first weeks of September and ends in January; the 2nd semester starts the beginning of February and ends by the end of June. You should be aware that between school semesters there are three vacation periods: Christmas, Easter, and summer (full August).  However, you must always consult the academic calendar, as there may be adjustments.

WHAT DOES “PROPINA” MEAN IN PORTUGAL?

In Portugal, “propina” means the amount of money students have to pay to attend a Portuguese Higher Education Institution.

HOW MANY CAMPI ARE THERE AT UALG?

UAlg has three campi: Penha, Gambelas, and Portimão. More information at: https://www.ualg.pt/pt/content/localizacao

HOW CAN I BORROW BOOKS IN THE LIBRARY?

There is a library on each campus and in order to order books, you must register. For this purpose, you must be enrolled (have a student number) and go to a library desk with your student ID and student card.

IS THERE A SPACE AT UALG CAMPI WHERE YOU CAN STUDY?

Yes, on campi you can use the study rooms that exist in the libraries. For example, at the Gambelas campus, there are 368 places and 26 study offices and at the Penha campus, there are 163 places and 8 study offices. These spaces have computers available to students. There is also, at Campus da Penha, a 24-hour study room for students who need to study until late at night.

HOW DO I GET TO FARO?

There are several ways to arrive in Faro, located about 3h30min by plane from the main European destinations: about 2h30min from Lisbon, via the A2, and less than an hour from Andalusia, via the A22. You can reach Faro by several routes: air, road, rail, and sea.
More information at: http://faro.pt/menu/477/como-chegar.aspx

CAN I DRIVE IN PORTUGAL WITH A VEHICLE WITH FOREIGN REGISTRATION?

According to Law no. 22-A/2007 (art. 34), the application for temporary admission to Portugal (studies, internships, research, etc.) must be submitted to the General Directorate of Customs and Special Taxes on Consumption (Customs in the residential area of the interested party), via the Finance Portal or face-to-face service (scheduling by phone).

Necessary documents:

  • Identification document;
  • Portuguese Tax Identification Number (NIF);
  • Vehicle documents (with make, model and respective registration number);
  • Declaration by the University mentioning the type of link and the due duration;
  • Document proving address in the country of origin (official);
  • Fill in the appropriate form

If the vehicle is not in your own name, there are other documents that must be presented (for example residence certificate of the vehicle owner; owner passport/identification document; statement authorizing the use of the vehicle, etc.), pay attention to this and always confirm with the competent authorities.
More information at: https://info-aduaneiro.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt/pt/informacao_aduaneira/...

HOW IS PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN FARO?

There are buses from “Próximo” corporation that provides transportation within the city of Faro, and during classes from Monday to Friday. However, be aware that on weekends and holidays, circulation is reduced. To go to Gambelas, the buses used are numbers 18 and 19. Please always check the schedules and routes, as they may change. If you use the bus regularly, we recommend that you purchase the monthly “Próximo” pass that gives you discounts, or alternatively that you purchase a prepaid pass.
For more information, please consult the prices at https://www.proximo.pt/pt/tarifario/.

HOW DO I GET AROUND IN PORTUGAL?

You can travel in the national territory with “Rede Expressos” buses and “Transportes EVA”. There are also trains operated by “Comboios Portugal” (CP) corporation that ensures national routes. In addition, there is Faro Airport.

IS THERE A STUDENT BENEFIT IN RELATION TO TRANSPORTATION?

Yes, there are some benefits offered by CP Portugal: 25% discount on youth ticket, promo ticket – pre-purchase, discount EYC youth card. To find out about all the benefits and how to join, see https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/pt/descontos-vantagens/descontos

In addition, there is the “Comboio do Conhecimento”: an initiative promoted by the Government of Portugal for students of higher education who are enrolled in the first year in any Higher Technical Professional Course, Graduation or Integrated Master, and who have at least 36 ECTS. The “Comboio do Conhecimento” gives students a unique opportunity to travel for seven days, free of charge, through Portugal, benefiting from discounts at “Pousadas de Juventude” (Youth Hostels) managed by Movijovem.

WHERE CAN I HAVE MEALS AT UALG?

There are two university restaurants/canteens at UAlg (Gambelas and Penha), as well as canteen bars (learn more at: https://www.ualg.pt/pt/content/barescantinasrestaurantes). The university canteens serve lunches and dinners from Mondays to Fridays. On Saturdays, lunches are only served at Penha Canteen. You can access the weekly menus here: http://www.ualg.pt/pt/ementas-menu-sas.

Microwaves are also available in some places on campuses for students who prefer to bring food from home and need to heat it up.

DOES UALG PROVIDE STUDENTS WITH ACCOMMODATION?

Yes. The Social Services of the University (“Serviço de Ação Social” - SAS) provide 9 university residences, with 558 beds for undergraduate and master students. Priority is given to national students with social grants, which are mandatory by law, which means that places for international students are always a little more limited.

The university residences are located in Faro, Gambelas, and Portimão, and are organized in apartments and residential buildings.

Housing in the residences is not free, and is subject to the monthly payment of an amount fixed annually. All students must comply with the regulation of the university residences under penalty of expulsion.

IF I CANNOT FIND ACCOMMODATION IN A UNIVERSITY RESIDENCE, HOW SHOULD I PROCEED ON ARRIVAL?

We recommend that for the first few days in Faro, and while looking for accommodation, you make a reservation. For this purpose, you can do it in a hotel, hostel or, “Pousadas de Juventude” (Youth Hostel).

HOW CAN I ACCESS HEALTH SERVICES IN PORTUGAL?

All admitted students must present a health insurance, which may be PTBR-13 (formerly PB4), the European Health Insurance Card, or a personal insurance. In a Full Student situation: you must request the user number and for that purpose, you must go to the nearest Health Center, with identification documents to register with the National Health Service (SNS). Through this user number, you can take advantage of user fees if you need to go to a public hospital and/or health centre for assistance.

DOES UALG HAVE MEDICAL SERVICES?

Yes. Medical assistance is available to all students enrolled at UAlg in various medical intervention areas: general practice, nursing, psychology, and nutritional counseling, upon payment of €1 and prior consultation. At the same time, UAlg has contractual agreements in the areas of dental care, physiotherapy, and chiropody. More information at: http://www.ualg.pt/pt/content/servicos-saude-do-sas.

DOES UALG PROVIDE STUDENTS WITH BICYCLES?

Yes. UAlg embraced the Eco Bike project which, upon a deposit payment, provides free and temporary use of bicycles whose main objective is to promote physical, and sporting habits, encouraging sustainable mobility forms.
Please see the conditions: https://www.ualg.pt/pt/content/ualg-eco-bike

WHAT ARE THE EMERGENCY NUMBERS IN PORTUGAL?

IS THERE A STUDENT SUPPORT PROGRAMME?

UAlg offers support to the student integration through the “Interculturality and Mindfulness Programme” which aims to promote a positive intercultural attitude, stimulate mindfulness skills, develop communication abilities and facilitate the expansion of the social support network. There are two formats: face-to-face and online.
More information at: robertogrupoterapia@gmail.com

ARE THERE VOLUNTEER PROGRAMMES AT UALG?

Yes. There is “Voluntariado V+” which is a working group involving UAlg students, teachers, employees, and researchers who organize voluntary activities to help the community.

I WANT TO DO A SPORT. DOES UALG OFFER ANY MODALITY?

Yes. The Sports Office organizes an annual activity programme called “Faz Desporto” (Do Sports) for the entire academic community.
For more information, please see http://www.facebook.com/AAUALGGabineteDesporto

ARE THERE STUDENT ASSOCIATIONS AT UALG?

Yes. UAlg has the Academic Association of the University of Algarve (AAUAlg) made up of several Student Affiliations (organizational structures that represent students). There are also specific organizations for international students, such as the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), and the Brazilian Students Affiliation (BRAAUAlg) that will be able to support you throughout your integration process at the university and in the city.

MOBILITY QUESTIONS - INCOMING

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A STUDY MOBILITY PERIOD AT UALG?

You must pay attention to the application deadlines:
1st semester (September - February) / Year - until April 15th;
2nd semester (February - June) - until October 15th.

Application process:
1. Nomination by of your home university (mandatory);
2. After nomination, the IRO will provide the link to the online form for your application (note: at the time of the online application, you must select in the field INSTITUTION: University of Algarve).

Documents required for application (you must upload the documents in the online application):
1. Transcript of Records;
2. Learning Agreement - Erasmus | Bilateral Agreements;
3. Identification document (valid);
4. Curriculum vitae;
5. 1 Photo.

Attention, you should check with IRO which list of subjects you can apply for as a mobility/exchange student. You can consult the list of subjects offered for the 2020/2021 academic year.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR AN INTERNSHIP MOBILITY PERIOD AT UALG?

If you are interested in doing an internship at UAlg, you should send an email to international@ualg.pt, with the following data:
1. Curriculum vitae;
2. Work area;
3. The period in which you want to do the internship;
4. Type of financing programme (if applicable).

Subsequently, the internship request will be forwarded by IRO to the most appropriate Research Centre. If approved, you will be contacted again to formalize the application.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A NATIONAL MOBILITY PERIOD AT UALG?

If you are a student enrolled in a Portuguese University and/or Polytechnic Institute and wish to take a period of mobility to attend a semester and/or an academic year at UAlg, you can apply through the Almeida Garret and Vasco da Gama Programmes, respectively.

Application deadlines:
• 1st semester (September - February) / Year - until April 15th;
• 2nd semester (February - June) - until October 15th.

Application process:
1. Nomination by your home university (mandatory);
2. After nomination, the International Relations and Mobility Office (GRIM)will contact you to formalize the application.

Necessary documents for application:
a) Identification document (valid);
b) 1 Photo;
c) Application form for Almeida Garrett or Vasco da Gama programmes;
d) Learning Agreement Almeida Garrett or Vasco da Gama.

HOW LONG CAN I DO A MOBILITY AT UALG?

You can do a mobility period for study purposes where the minimum duration is three months and the maximum duration is 12 months. The mobility for internship purposes has a minimum duration of 2 months and the maximum duration of 12 months.

WHAT TYPES OF MOBILITY DOES UALG OFFER?

UAlg accepts applications from students under the Erasmus + Programme, Cooperation Agreements, National Mobility, and Free Movers.

HOW DO I ACCESS THE RESULTS OF THE APPLICATION?

Once submitted, you can follow the status of the application in the UAlg mobility management programme (provided after nomination).

I WAS ADMITTED TO DO A MOBILITY PERIOD AT UALG. AND NOW, WHAT TO DO?

IRO provides a checklist with everything you need to know before, during, and after starting your mobility. Click here to download.

WHAT IS THE LEARNING AGREEMENT (LA)?

The LA it is a mandatory document, where the study plan, or the internship plan abroad, is laid out. This document must be signed before the beginning of the mobility by the three parties involved:
1) student;
2) responsible person at the home institution;
3) responsible person at the host institution.

All parties signing the LA commit to complying with all the provisions included in it, thus ensuring that the period of studies or internship carried out abroad is properly recognized without any additional requirements.

WHAT ARE THE LA “CHANGES”?

The "changes" to the LA are the changes in the unit courses laid out in the study plan initially approved and that can occur during the mobility period. The student may request these changes within two weeks after the beginning of each semester, and they must be approved by the three parties:
1) student;
2) responsible person at the home institution;
3) responsible person at the host institution.

WHAT IS A TRANSCRIPT OF RECORDS (TR)?

It is an essential document in the student file issued at the end of the mobility period by the host institution which, subsequently, sends it to the home institution. The academic results accomplished by the student during the mobility are recognized at the home institution through this document.

WHAT IS A CERTIFICATE OF ATTENDANCE?

It is a mandatory document that proves the student's attendance during the mobility period (beginning and end). It must be signed and stamped by the host institution (UAlg).

WHAT IS A CERTIFICATE OF ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE?

It is a document that some HEIs use and that must be signed by the host institution (UAlg), at the time the student arrives and at the time he leaves the host institution.

 

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