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The University of Wisconsin-Madison program in Coimbra, Portugal provides students the opportunity to attend the Portuguese Language and Culture program for international students at the Universidade de Coimbra as well as the option of directly enrolling in up to two regular Universidade de Coimbra courses.
Coimbra features many exquisite cathedrals, monasteries, parks, and gardens. The city is famous for its twisting streets, terraced houses, and fado music. With a population of approximately 100,000, Coimbra provides both an intimate and a stimulating environment in which to live and study. Coimbra is located in Portugal's Costa de Prata, "Silver Coast," which offers a variety of beautiful beaches, charming towns, unspoiled villages, monuments, temples, castles, palaces, and museums. Lisbon, Portugal's capital, is 125 miles south of Coimbra. It is a lively, international city with a population of about one and a half million, and offers a fascinating combination of the old and the new.
Coimbra, Portugal's third largest city, 100,000 population, a two-hour train ride from Lisbon. Atlantic beaches are less than 30 miles away.
Getting to Your Program
Students make own travel arrangements.
A student visa is required. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program. You will apply for your own visa. IAP will provide you with visa information.
Students receive an orientation in Madison prior to departure and an orientation with the resident director after arrival in Coimbra.
Students may live in a residence hall, rent a room from a family, or rent a private apartment. If students are interested in living in the residence hall upon arrival, the local resident director makes these arrangements on behalf of the students. Residence halls have month to month leases and provide students the opportunity to become acquainted with the university and city as well as Portuguese students. Students can then decide whether or not to find other housing options in Coimbra.
Excursions and Activities
The program includes one or two excursions to places such as Oporto and Lisbon each semester. The university offers a wide range of student activities. Bulletin boards throughout campus publicize a variety of social and cultural events. Students have access to the university stadium that includes a gymnasium, soccer fields, rugby grounds, a sports track, and tennis courts.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
Ana Paula Arnaut, a faculty member from Coimbra
Use the links below to find out more information on academics, daily life and student impressions for this program.Coimbra, Portugal 2013-2014 Student Handbook
(Year - 2013-14)Coimbra, Portugal Student Handbook
(Spring - 2013-14)
Returned Student Network
to contact a returned student.
Check out student profiles to learn more about their experience abroad.
"Coimbra's thriving student life allows you to get involved in all of the traditions and the Portuguese way of life!"
How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. The following supplemental application materials will become available to you through the application portal:
IAP Foreign Language Report
Passport ID Page
Portugal FBI Background Check: Submit
Unofficial Transcript (Student Record)
Unofficial Transcript - OPTIONAL - Additional File
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make the final admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email.
King Dinis founded the Universidade de Coimbra in 1285. After moving back and forth between Lisbon and Coimbra, the university settled permanently in Coimbra in 1537 in the Alcacoba Palace. Today, approximately 17,000 students take classes at the university's hill-top campus overlooking the Mondego River. The University of Coimbra was recently inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Coimbra offers an outstanding example of an integrated university city with a specific urban typology as well as its own ceremonial and cultural traditions that have been kept alive through the ages.
The Portuguese Language and Culture program has three different levels: elementary, intermediate, and advanced. These courses are designed specifically for students learning Portuguese as a second language. Upon arrival, a placement test is given to determine the student's appropriate level placement. The elementary levels include courses in Portuguese language, conversation, and composition as well as a language laboratory. The intermediate levels add courses in Portuguese history, geography, and art to the language and composition and conversation courses. The advanced levels offer a language course, as well as courses in linguistics, Portuguese literature, contemporary Portugal, art history, and geography.
Students with advanced Portuguese language skills are encouraged to directly enroll in one or two regular Universdade de Coimbra courses with Portuguese students. Students are able to choose from courses in the Faculty of Lettters. Regular university courses may start several weeks prior to the Portuguese Language and Culture program.
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
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