I am an undergraduate student from Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto in Computer Science since 2017 and so I thought I would write a post about the experience. Most of the information below is available in U.Porto's official website and Wikipedia, all I've done was to sum up and translate some bits.
The University of Porto is the most sought-after university in Portugal and one of the world top 500 universities (according to CWTS Leiden Ranking) for the field of Mathematics and Computer Science regarding scientific impact (PP(top 10%) = 9.4%). Close to 32,000 students and 2,000 teaching and research staff attend its 15 colleges and nearly 50 research units, covering the whole fields of knowledge and all levels of higher education.
Representing itself as a leading research university, the University of Porto is responsible for almost 25% of all Portuguese scientific production and for some of its greatest innovations. The Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto, with its 180 startups, is the center of Porto’s innovation ecosystem, considered one of the strongest in Europe.
Embedded in a city classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and elected as Best European Destination for the third time in five years, the University of Porto offers a vibrant and multicultural environment, to which more than 4000 international students, comprising 167 nationalities, contributes each year.
About Porto City
Porto is one of the oldest cities in Europe and thanks to its fierce resistance during two battles and sieges in history, it has earned the epithet of ‘Cidade Invicta’ (Invincible City). Unique, hospitable and cosmopolitan, the city of Porto is situated in the north of Portugal. It is the second largest city in the country, with approximately 237,000 inhabitants and, in total, the district of Porto has 1,300,000 inhabitants. It lies in a very special geographical setting, between the river and the sea, and can easily be described as the amphitheatre overlooking the Douro River, beside which it was born and presides.
The city has good public transports and concert halls of a rare beauty and elegance such as the "Coliseu do Porto" by the Portuguese architect Cassiano Branco; an exquisite example of the Portuguese decorative arts.
Porto's most popular event is St. John ("Festa de São João") on the night of 23–24 June. In this season it's a tradition to have a vase with bush basil decorated with a small poem. During the dinner of the great day people usually eat sardines and boiled potatoes together with red wine.
Another major event (and more academical) is Queima das Fitas, that starts in the first Sunday of May and ends in the second Sunday of the month. Basically, before the beginning of the revision to exams period preceding the college year’s last exams, students tries to have as much fun as possible. The week has 12 major events, starting with the Monumental Serenata on Sunday, and reaching its peak with the Cortejo Académico on Tuesday, when about 50,000 students of the city's higher education institutions march through the downtown streets till they reach the city hall. During every night of the week a series of concerts takes place on the Queimódromo, next to the city’s park, an average of 50,000 students attend these shows.
Due to its long history, the city of Porto carries an immense architectural patrimony. From the Romanesque architecture of Porto Cathedral to the Social Housing projects developed through the late 20th century, much could be said about the surrounding architecture.
Porto is also home to a number of dishes from traditional Portuguese cuisine. The ''Francesinha'' – literally Frenchy, or more accurately ''little French'' (female) – is the most famous popular native snack food in Porto. It is a kind of sandwich with several meats covered with cheese and a special sauce made with beer and other ingredients. Porto wine, an internationally renowned wine, is widely accepted as the city's dessert wine, especially as the wine is made along the Douro River which runs through the city.
I'm studying Computer Science so I've been most of my time at DCC-FCUP (DCC stands for Department of Computer Science and FCUP stands for Faculty of Sciences of U.Porto).
The department has quality modern infrastructures with wifi and 10 labs (more than 200 workstations). It is a small department, which results in a informal environment that encourages contact with the professors. DCC is close to U.Porto's Botanical Garden which is one of the most beautiful spaces of this University. The department itself and the Faculty of Sciences are also surrounded by many green spaces.
The professors at FCUP promote international high quality research and are known and respected by their contributions. This leads to trust on what is being taught. Furthermore, and thanks to how active the professors are, DCC features a large curricular offer with flexible study options allowing students to have a personalized and always updated training according both to nowadays academical and industrial needs.
U.Porto has various student societies, (I've already counted over 15 in FCUP), which helps the integration of newcomers and allows exploring other extra-curricular activities that would be harder otherwise. I'm myself the founder of one, Hackers at Porto, which is hosted at DCC-FCUP.
DCC Talks is another important aspect of DCC-FCUP, organized by the department's professors, local and foreign reputed lecturers are invited to talk about their current research and/or work. This allows students to make important connections and opens interesting research opportunities.