A new article about international students and urban change in Lisbon (Portugal) was published this June in Urban Studies by Daniel Malet Calvo, a member of LXNIGHTS:
Understanding international students beyond studentification: A new class of transnational urban consumers. The example of Erasmus students in Lisbon (Portugal)
“The growing presence of international students in the city of Lisbon attracted my attention ten years ago, when I started my PhD on the occupation by different social groups of the most emblematic central square in Lisbon: Praça do Rossio. As a foreigner, I shared several apartments with international students, at a time when the city of Lisbon was not renowned as a tourist or student destination. I got to know a group of exchange students that had developed a particular alternative lifestyle in the patio where they lived. They organized several meals outside and installed improvised benches to spend time in the patio, as well as sharing a communitarian style of living with their Portuguese neighbours. Next year, when the students left, the next-door Hostel bought those apartments and converted them into suites for tourists. Replicating the students, they installed permanent benches and even imitated their new-age tastes in the decoration. In other words, the hostel reproduced the students’ creative ways, making products for tourists. When I started to study Erasmus students back in 2013, I borrowed the term ‘studentification’ to assess the significance and impact of those populations in Lisbon. However, as an anthropologist, it was unsettling for me to isolate the housing question from the wide variety of practices and relations that students established within Lisbon’s urban processes”.