Cost of livingIn a recent European study, Bragança was considered one of the best cities to live in, reaching the highest score in terms of housing, security and quality of natural environment. The Polytechnic Institute of Bragança receives students from all the regions of Portugal and from several countries. 10% of its students are international students. Thus, the region has an enlarged capacity for knowing how to receive and accommodate its students from the economical point of view (accommodation and meals), as well as from the social and cultural one. The IPB represents an academic population of about 8000 inhabitants, who act as an important social, cultural and demographic agent for the region and transform the cities of Bragança and Mirandela in young urban centres and gives them an academic atmosphere.
The quality and the low cost of living in Bragança and Mirandela are fulfilled by the policies of fee payment conducted in the institution. The tuition fees are the lowest in the Portuguese system of higher education. In 2012/2013, the annual tuition fee (full-time) for the Technological Specialization Courses (CETs) amount to 380€, for the Undergraduate Courses 755€ and 995€ for Master Degrees. It is also important to emphasise the introduction of a part-time system with an adequate payment of tuition fees. Erasmus mobility students, as well as the other students under mobility programmes from foreign institutions of higher education, are not charged any tuition fee at all.
AccommodationObtaining accommodation in Bragança and Mirandela is easy and low cost. Both of the cities have modern flats to rent, available for competitive prices. It is possible to rent a room with private bathroom for about 120€ per month. This amount is often lower when the room is shared or when some students decide to rent a flat together.
The IPB has also students’ residence; however they are intended for national students with Social Services’ scholarship. The Social Services of the IPB offer 400 beds, located in three buildings of students’ residences in Bragança and two buildings in Mirandela. Bedclothes, towels, laundry, studying rooms and social rooms are available in the students’ residences. The candidatures for the students’ residence should be done annually after the enrolment is done (More information available on www.sas.ipb.pt).
The international mobility students (Erasmus, students from countries with official Portuguese language and from other foreign institutions of higher education) can ask for help in International Relations Office (IRO) and Association of Support to the International Student, which plays a key role in students’ integration in mobility, such as support in obtaining the accommodation. (For more information, please visit the International Relations Office’ site www.ipb.pt/iro and the Association web page at www.erasmus.embraganca.info).
MealsThe IPB has its own restaurants located in Bragança and Mirandela, which provide about 12 different menus daily and more than 300 000 meals a year. The central canteen of Bragança comprises three rooms with diversified offer of meals. The central room serves lunches and dinners from Monday to Saturday which cost 2.30€. Tickets for the meals can be bought in the automatic selling machines in each school and in the central canteen. On the Social Services website (www.sas.ipb.pt) you can find the weekly menu available in Portuguese and English. The alternative room and the restaurant offer various lunches from Monday to Friday and also follow a weekly menu defined in advance and available on the website. For the alternative room and the restaurant no tickets bought in advance are necessary. The School of Public Management, Communication and Tourism (EsACT), in Mirandela, also owns a canteen, which serves lunches from Monday to Friday and dinners from Monday to Thursday. Tickets are available in the automatic selling machines in EsACT.
The local gastronomy of Bragança and Mirandela is characterized by the high quality of products that are used and also by the relative simplicity of the process of cooking. It is essentially based on typical local products such as pork meat (smoked meat such as “presunto”, “salpicão”, “butelo”, “alheira”), beef (Mirandese breed), chestnut and olive oil, however it includes also fish (the most traditional for the region: trout, octopus, stockfish and conger). The local gastronomy uses also hunted meat such as partridge, hare and wild boar. The beef used in all of the IPB’ restaurants is always Mirandese breed of Denomination of Protected Origin (DOP).
Medical facilitiesThe IPB has its own Health Office, which was created as a result of a protocol with Regional Health Administration and also with cooperation of IPB’s teaching staff. The Health Office offers nursery, dietetics, psychology, social and prevention of dependency services. This Office plays an important role in the academic community of IPB, paying attention to many students from distant places and international students as well. The Office is open from Monday to Friday, however a previous booking is required and can be done in Social Services (273 303 278 in Bragança; 278 263 914 in Mirandela).
Other general medical services: Emergency – 112; Hospital of Bragança – 273 310 800; Hospital of Mirandela – 278 260 500.
InsuranceAll IPB’s students have student insurance valid in Portugal and abroad for school activities. International students in mobility should have identical insurance valid in Portugal. It can be acquired personally or through the Institution of Higher Education of origin.
Financial support for studentsNowadays, 2700 IPB’s students receive monthly scholarships from 100 to 400€ (data from 2011). First year’s students should complete their candidature to the social support at the same moment of candidature to the access to the higher education system, following the calendar and norms established by the Directorate-General for Higher Education (DGES; www.dges.mctes.pt).
For updated information visit the Social Services’ website www.sas.ipb.pt or call 273 303 364 (Bragança) and 278 201 340 (Mirandela).
Student affairs officeThe IPB has various student support services and also international student support services. Besides the support offered by Social Services, there are also:
Learning facilitiesThe IPB has sports facilities located in Santa Apolónia Campus, which consist of a football pitch, an open athletic field and locker rooms. The other sports facilities are located close to canteen and consist of a smaller football pitch with illumination and locker rooms. Those facilities are available for IPB’s school activities and can also be used for extracurricular activities. Its booking should be made in Social Services (www.sas.ipb.pt). The IPB campus is surrounded by a bicycle path, a unique situation in whole Portugal.
International programmesThe IPB has a successful internationalisation programme with widely recognized success, which involves the annual mobility of more than incoming and outgoing 700 students and 200 teaching and non-teaching staff members, as the result of the collaboration with several European and non-European higher education institutions (HEI), including the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries. The international students are integrated in the courses units of undergraduate and graduate programmes with support in English. The IPB also offers a list of undergraduate and master course units, as well as degree programmes fully taught in English, particularly devoted to Erasmus and other international students. These course units are available for simultaneous attendance of international and Portuguese IPB students, in a real international academic atmosphere. Please, consult in this Guide the list of degree programmes and course units available in English.
The internationalisation of IPB is also achieved with the organization of Intensive Programmes (IPs) under the Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus). The IPs are short programmes of study, which bring together students and teachers from different HEIs and in this way encourage the multinational education and promote new perspectives of higher education in European Community. The IPB is the Portuguese Institution offering the highest number of IPs, involving European partners from fifteen different countries and an annual mobility of international teachers and students. For more information consult the International Relations Office’s Website (www.ipb.pt/iro).
Practical information for mobile studentsIPB students (outgoing students):
The IPB students enrolled in undergraduate courses (on their 2nd year or posterior) or master degree can apply for a mobility period (one semester or two semesters) for studies (SMS) or training (SMP) under the Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus). The Polytechnic Institute of Bragança has also a long collaboration with foreign HEIs outside Europe. Special emphasis is given to the mobility of students for undergraduate and master programmes who wish to attend course units, develop curricular and professional internships, research and master thesis. Consult the website of IRO (www.ipb.pt/iro) to find all the information about available mobility programmes, application process and student mobility grants.
Students from foreign higher education institutions (incoming students):
The realization of a period of mobility in IPB of a student from a European higher education institution requires the existence of a bilateral agreement between the two institutions and the establishment of an individual learning agreement which defines the course units the student will attend during the period of mobility in IPB. Check the IPB ECTS Guide to get all the information about the courses and the courses units available. The establishment of this agreement is made between the student and coordinators of both institutions. The student interested in spending a period of mobility in the IPB should request information about this programme in the international relations office (or other responsible entity) of the home institution. Consult the website of IRO (www.ipb.pt/iro) to find all the information about available mobility programmes and application process.
Sports and leisure facilitiesThe IPB has sports facilities located in Santa Apolónia Campus, which consist of a football pitch, an open athletic field and locker rooms. The other sports facilities are located close to canteen and consist of a smaller football pitch with illumination and locker rooms. Those facilities are available for IPB’s school activities and can also be used for extracurricular activities. Its booking should be made in Social Services (www.sas.ipb.pt). The IPB campus is surrounded by a bicycle path, a unique situation in whole Portugal.
Student associationsStudents are represented by the Students’ Association of IPB and a Students’ Association of each school. There are also various groups connected to its courses such as:
The Association of Support to the International Student: www.erasmus.embraganca.info.
The Students’ Association of IPB: www.academica.ipb.pt
The Association of Former IPB’s Students: http://aaa.ipb.pt/
The Association of African Students in Bragança: http://www.aeab.alunos.ipb.pt/
The Students’ Musical Group in Bragança: http://rtub.alunos.ipb.pt/
The Feminine Students’ Musical Group in Bragança, Tôna Tuna : http://www.tonatuna.alunos.ipb.pt/
Bragança Student Theatre: http://www.teb.ipb.pt