Spending a semester or a full course in a foreign country is an important milestone in life and a source of emotional experiences that exceed both the academic and the playful-festive realm.
Universities offer excellent opportunities to meet new people from various countries, but they are not the best place to deepen relationships beyond academic and professional aspects. Party rooms, pubs, and bars are better for meeting many people, but they are quite poor in terms of opportunities to dig deeper.
Conversations until dawn, lifelong friendships, romances, projects, dreams. All this needs its own space and its own time, and cannot be developed in the margins left by academic activity or leisure consumption. That is why in 2010 we launched the BE Coimbra ™ project in order to create student accommodation spaces focused on maximizing opportunities for deep and rewarding social relationships.
It is important to note that we provide the spaces and make sure that everything runs smoothly, but we do not exercise any control over the form or content of such relationships. We do not propose or censor anything in this regard, and we limit ourselves to taking care that the basic rules of coexistence are met.
In our residences, we have opted for the model of single or shared rooms. They may or may not have a private bathroom, but in no case kitchen. The model of independent mini-apartments with bathroom and kitchen we have rejected for being extremely individualistic. The kitchen is a privileged socialization point that, in the first days, allows you to break the ice easily. Diverse dining habits are an open door to conversations about cultural differences. The kitchen is also a very good place to share and collaborate.
Both the kitchens and the rest of the common areas are open 24 hours a day and are accessible without restrictions. Residents can change the arrangement of furniture in the common rooms according to their needs. They can also intervene in the decoration of spaces, as long as such interventions are not destructive and are easily reversible.
Our visitation policy is very open which, on the one hand, expands the opportunities to gather more people because you have the possibility to meet the friends of other residents and, on the other hand, this allows you to spend time cultivating relationships with the degree of intimacy you want, almost like in the house itself.
As for the rules that govern coexistence in our residences, it should be said that they are designed with the aim of guaranteeing a student life experience as interesting and comfortable as possible for everyone, knowing that there will necessarily always be people with different priorities and different ways of organizing their lives. This has led us to consider the intricate problem of freedom and its limits. The regulations that we have adopted have been exposed in an articulated and reasoned way on the following page: