Tempo de leitura: 3 minutos

Lisbon is by far the most expensive city to study in. Coimbra is one of the cheapest places to live, but Covilhã has the lowest living costs. Although with a margin of error, the estimates speak for themselves.

Lisbon and Porto are the cities that annually receive the most university students (around 49 thousand) – but that doesn’t mean they’re the most affordable. Quite the opposite. Lisbon is, by far, the most expensive. And Porto battles in second place with Faro. Coimbra is one of the cheapest places to live as a young university student, but Covilhã is the cheapest Portuguese city to study, according to an analysis made by the newspaper “Expresso”.

Since the cost of living for a student depends directly on their habits, the Portuguese newspaper chose to simulate the expenses of a young university student in nine Portuguese cities that have public universities. In this case: Faro, Évora, Lisbon, Coimbra, Aveiro, Covilhã, Porto, Braga and Vila Real.

There is already a monthly fee that you can settle for if you plan to study in any of these cities. But we’ll get to that in a minute. The amount that each one spends on leisure activity is relative, but there are expenses that are common to any student. That is why, the newspaper “Expresso” simulated the value that a young man tends to spend on tuition, transport, food, gas, water, light, internet and, of course, accommodation.

As for the tuition fees, there is no doubt. It is 697 euros per year, since it is the amount stipulated by the government for all public universities. So, it is in the other expenses that the discrepancy is accentuated.

Since the expenses depend directly on the lifestyle of each student, when it comes to food, the newspaper was guided by the price of the meal in school canteens. Accounted for ten meals per month in the canteen with the value of the social meal, finding that Faro has the most expensive value (€29) and Covilhã and Braga the cheapest price (€25).

When it comes to transport, the newspaper says that, both in Lisbon and in Porto, a student of higher education can buy the pass for 22.50 € (with the student discount), while in Covilhã the value exceeds 25 euros. In this sense, students in Braga are the ones who can save more in travel, and can buy the student pass (for students under 23 years old) from 7.05€, depending on the scope of it.

The biggest slice of a student’s expenses is still accommodation – which includes the room or apartment and respective expenses. Although many students have the house expenses included in the price of the rooms, for the purpose of this analysis, the newspaper “Expresso” simulated the value of water bills, gas, electricity or internet and television, thanks to the simulators of the National Communications Authority (Anacom), Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE) and Regulatory Authority of Water and Waste Services (ERSAR).

The price of gas and electricity does not change substantially between the nine Portuguese cities, with the amount being around 20 euros per person. However, the value of the water bill doubles between regions. In Aveiro, it is estimated the value of 16 euros per person and 32 euros in Covilhã.

The price of the internet and television package depends on the number of channels, the internet speed and the extra services offered by each operator. However, in general terms, the cheapest internet and TV package varies between €21 and €31 per month.

Coimbra, Vila Real and Covilhã are the cities where you can find the cheapest rooms

So far, Lisbon has not proved substantially expensive, however, what makes it catapult into first place in the ranking of cities with the most expensive costs of living is the value of the room or apartment. According to the Student Accommodation Observatory, each room (in Lisbon) was being rented in September 2021, on average, for 326 euros per month. While in both Porto and Faro, there is an average of 250 euros per month for a room.

Évora, Braga and Aveiro occupy the middle places, with values between 200 and 223 euros per month. Finally, the three cities with the cheapest rooms are Coimbra, Vila Real and Covilhã, where you can find spaces from 150 euros per month.

In practical terms, the newspaper concludes that to live and study in Lisbon, a student needs a budget of about 518 euros per month. In Faro, a young person can count on expenses totaling 442 euros and 432 euros in Porto.

This is followed by Braga, where the total value is around 367 euros. At the end of the list is Covilhã, where total expenses are around 340 euros.

The newspaper “Expresso” makes it clear that the room or apartment embodies more than 60% of the total value of expenses. It is important to ensure that the space fits your needs. And, no, you do not need to sign a lease “blindly” just because you live far from the city where you will study.

There are already platforms, like Inlife, where you can visit your future room via video call. In about 15 minutes, you understand if that space works (or not) for you. This way, you can rule out possible unpleasant surprises.

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