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Information for Students

This page contains information about different facets of the program for students. If you do not see the information you are looking for, please email your question to cmcconnell@austin.utexas.edu. More information will be added to this page over time.

Demographics

We expect approximately 25-30 student participants and 13 faculty members.

The ISDT program students come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some have doctoral degrees, and many are graduate students, from beginning Master’s degree students to PhD candidates with diverse interests including crowdsourcing, digital storytelling, journalism, development, dance, and digital inclusion. This year, students hail from locales such as Portugal, the US, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Travel to Porto

Travelers may reach Porto by train or air. The Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport receives nonstop services many days of the week from cities including London, Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Brussels.

In some cases, it may be less expensive to arrive by plane in Lisbon and then travel by train to Porto, about a 2 hour and 45 minute trip from the Santa Apolonia station in Lisbon to the Campanha station in Porto, costing 27.50 euros.

Information about tickets, reservations, and timetables may be found at http://www.cp.pt/

Additionally, a system of bus lines is available. These include:

Student Lodging

Reservations for faculty have been made at the Eurostars Das Artes in central Porto, near many shops, restaurants, and art galleries. The Eurostars offers free Internet connections via ethernet in its rooms, and free wifi in the lobby, as well as one public computer for guests. Full breakfast is included. The hotel is a short walk from the Reitoria building where most sessions will be held.

More information on the hotel can be found at http://www.eurostarshotels.com/en/hotels-in-portugal-porto.html

Meals

A full breakfast is available at the hotel. Each night will feature a group dinner which all students are expected to attend.

The Praça Gomes Teixeira is surrounded by a variety of inexpensive cafés serving snacks, coffee, and lunch, and in some cases, offering wireless Internet. No group arrangements for lunch will be made.

Getting around Porto

While the old section of Porto is very enjoyable to explore on foot, there are hills and cobblestone streets; please keep this in mind when setting out.

The city of Porto also offers a few different modes of public transportation. The primary system is the Metro do Porto, a light rail line with five major lines, one of which goes to and from the airport. The main website of the Metro system may be found here:
http://metrov1.wiremaze.com/pageGen.asp?SYS_PAGE_ID=873878

And a downloadable system map and timetables may be found here:
http://metrov1.wiremaze.com/pageGen.asp?SYS_PAGE_ID=864044

Information on the city’s bus system may be found at http://www.stcp.pt/ and a good general overview of Porto transportation may be found on Tripadvisor.com at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g189180-s303/Porto:Portugal:Public.Transportation.html

Daily Sessions

The talk and discussion sessions will be held at the Reitoria building of the University of Porto (http://sigarra.up.pt/reitoria/web_page.inicial), located on the Praça Gomes Teixeira.

Students will be responsible for their own lunches, and the Praça is surrounded by a variety of inexpensive cafés serving snacks, coffee, and lunch, and in some cases, offering wireless Internet.

Student-initiated Sessions: Because of the success of the informal “BarCamp” sessions last year, this year the schedule includes time specifically set aside for student-initiated activities. It’s likely that these will break out into multiple smaller groups, but the organizers would like to see everyone participate during these sessions. Independent meetings: On Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday, there are several hours of free time in the middle of the day. The main discussion room at the Reitoria will be available during this time, if participants would like to arrange optional break-out or affinity sessions. Previous ISDT students said that these barcamp-style breakout sessions were among the most meaningful and worthwhile events of the program. The ISDT staff encourages students to develop these sessions in advance.

Guidelines

Although we are very glad that the program is of interest to others, sessions are meant for only faculty members, student-participants, and staff; the School is intended to be unlike traditional academic and professional conferences, and is focused on promoting an atmosphere of collegial intimacy, which is hoped to foster lasting professional relationships among faculty and student participants.

Documentation of the program: Some of you have inquired about documentation of the School’s meetings and events. We’re very pleased for you to discuss the program on Twitter or your blog, but we ask that you observe certain guidelines:

Please use discretion when posting photos—there are some participants who work in sensitive and sometimes hazardous situations, and they would prefer that their identity remain private. If you are posting a photo easily identifying a student participant or posting a full name, consider checking with them first.

Additionally, although we are very glad for others to know about the program, we ask that you do not stream the talk and discussion sessions. This is both for reasons of bandwidth—if multiple people are streaming the proceedings, the network will be badly strained—and because we are concerned that extended streaming and videotaping may change the program’s spontaneous and informal tone.

Please be respectful of the diverse backgrounds and experiences of your fellow participants.

Summer is a very busy time for most people, but we ask that participants commit to attending the entire program, from the beginning on Sunday evening to the end on Friday night. If you believe you will need to miss an entire day during the week, we ask that you please give up your space to a wait listed student.

Emergency Contact

More cell numbers will be distributed once the program begins, but for now please contact Sónia Pinto, the primary Porto coordinator, at 351 22 2094049. This is her office at INESC Porto, and calls will be forwarded to her cell phone when she is out of the office. If the matter is not of immediate urgency, please contact Chris McConnell by email at cmcconnell@austin.utexas.edu

Weather

According to TripAdvisor.co.uk, Porto is usually mildly warm in late July:

July and August are the warmest months of the year in the area, but they are not uncomfortably warm.  The average high temperature during these months is only approximately eighty five degrees.  These two months are also the lowest in precipitation, so it is unlikely that a visit during this time will be marred by rain.