Studying in Portugal

Population: 10,000,000
Currency: Euro (EUR)
University Students: 350,000
International Students: 50,000
English-taught Programs: 200+

Portugal is the westernmost country in Europe and one of the oldest nations on the continent. The warm climate makes this country a desirable location for students looking to soak up the sun while they study. The weather is definitely a plus point, and when combined with the relatively low cost living in comparison to other European countries, makes Portugal a desirable location for students.

Portugal provides the atmosphere of a vacation but while you’re studying to become an expert in your field. No wonder around 50,000 students from all around world decide to study there. That’s around 13 percent of the total number of students in the country.

Universities in Portugal

There is a total of 47 universities in Portugal. As well as over 70 polytechnics and 6 police and military academies. During recent years, virtually all disciplines are being offered by Portuguese universities, making it a desirable choice for students. The polytechnics provide a more practical style of learning, as opposed to the traditional degree courses offered by universities. There’s something available to suit all kinds of student’s requirements.

Tuition Fees in Portugal

In Portugal public universities are generally the cheapest option for students with fees averaging 950 – 1250 EUR per academic year. Some private universities may even provide you with a discount on your tuition fees depending on your grades.

At a public university, you are required to pay for your fees on an annual basis. At a private university fees are usually paid on a monthly basis. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between €950 and €1,250 annually. PhD courses are quite a bit more expensive and generally cost around €2,500 and €3,000 a year.

Scholarships in Portugal

There are a number of scholarships available for students who wish to study in Portugal. Some of these are completely funded by the government and others are only partly funded. Universities provide undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in a wide range of disciplines.

Cost of Living in Portugal

Portugal is one of the cheapest countries in Western Europe when it comes to costs of living. The country provides a comfortable way of life for a relatively modest price. The cost of living in Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, is around 48 percent cheaper than New York and 45 percent cheaper than London.

Food is relatively cheap throughout Portugal and shouldn’t cost more than €200 – 300 a month. Fresh fish is reasonably priced as is chicken, and there’s not much that you should expect to pay more than what you’re used to at home. An average restaurant meal accompanied with a glass of the house wine should cost around €7.

You should be able to rent an apartment for less than €600, even in built-up city areas. It’s common for citizens of Portugal to live off around €750 a month.

Internships and Company Placements in Portugal

Internships and company placements are popular throughout Portugal and you should be able to find one with minimum fuss. The same goes for company placements. There are a number of organizations that help students find the internship or company placement that’s right for them.

Working in Portugal

Students are permitted to work in Portugal once they have obtained permission from the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF). Provided that you have the necessary skills and / or qualifications, if necessary. Once you have permissions from the SEF you are able to pursue a variety of kinds of employment as well as undertaking research work.

You can also apply for permits that allow you to work as an unpaid trainee or as a volunteer. To access this kind of work it is necessary for your potential employer to contact the SEF with your details so that they can issue them with the appropriate permit. It is generally easy to get the appropriate documentation that you require to work in Portugal.

Applying For a Student Visa to Study in Portugal

Students who are travelling to study in Portugal from non-EU countries will need to apply for a student visa as well as a residence permit, if they’re planning on being in Portugal for over three months.

Applying for Portuguese student visa and residence permits should be done before you leave your home country. To apply for them you need to contact the Portuguese embassy in your home country. It is sensible to do this a considerable amount of time before you plan on travelling, as it may take longer than you expect to be issued with the necessary documentation.