Portugal has a long history of higher education, spanning centuries, and a wealth of experience in providing high-quality degree programs. When you combine that with the welcoming culture of the Portuguese people, you have the ideal location for an international student to pursue a degree.
Portugal is one of Europe’s oldest countries, situated on both the continent and the Iberian Peninsula. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire. They became one of the world’s major economic, military, and political powers as a result of this. Portugal became a democratic state after a revolution deposed the monarchy in 1910. The exploration of Portugal has left traces of its culture all over the world.
Portugal is a member of the European Union and the United Nations, as well as NATO, the Eurozone, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy and high standards of living. It is known for being peaceful and stable, with high rankings in terms of democracy, social progress, moral liberty, and prosperity, among many other desirable characteristics.
Portugal has worked hard to ensure that their higher education is of a high standard since adopting the Bologna Process. Both public and private higher education institutions can be found. Universities and polytechnics are the two most common types. Universities are research-intensive institutions that offer degrees in medicine, natural sciences, and law. Polytechnics offer vocational training in fields like nursing, accounting, and teaching. Licenciado (bachelors), Mestre (masters), and Doutor are the three awards offered by both types of institutions (doctorate).
Entrance to Portuguese universities can be difficult, as all applicants must take an entrance exam. Four Portuguese universities are among the top 500 in the QS World University Rankings for 2022, with the University of Porto ranking highest at 295th. The University of Coimbra, Portugal's oldest university, is ranked 455th in the world.
Portugal's location, combined with its successful higher education system, has made it an appealing destination for students seeking an exciting and vibrant experience.
Portugal's government is very supportive of its institutions. As a result, tuition fees are less expensive than in some other European countries. Tuition fees can be set by both public and private institutions, but a public institution will be less expensive. You will most likely pay monthly fees if you attend a private university, and annual tuition fees if you attend a public university. Bachelor's and master's degrees will cost between €950 and €1,250 per year for EU and international students, and doctorate degrees will cost between €2,500 and €3,000 per year. You may be eligible for a scholarship; inquire about available scholarships at your institution.
Living costs should be budgeted between €8,000 and €10,500 per year, but if you live in a larger city like Lisbon, your living costs will be higher. If you choose to live on campus, it will cost between €150 and €250 per month, while private housing will cost around €400 per month.
EU students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during the summer vacation, so you may be able to supplement your income. However, you should not rely on this to fund your studies. Some knowledge of the Portuguese language would be beneficial if you wanted to get a job.
You may need to apply for a visa to study in Portugal, depending on your home country.
You will not need a visa if you are from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland. All you'll need is your identification card. You should obtain an EHIC card so that you can receive the same level of healthcare as Portuguese citizens at the same cost. If you do not have an EHIC card, you must obtain one before travelling to Portugal, or you will be required to pay for health insurance.
You will need to apply for a student visa if you are from another country. This can be done at your home country's Portuguese embassy or consulate. You will need to provide several documents to obtain a visa. A valid passport, a filled-out application form, a letter of acceptance from a Portuguese institution, academic transcripts, passport photographs, proof of funds, and a copy of your health insurance policy are all required documents. You must purchase health insurance before applying for a visa if you do not already have one. Your institution will be able to suggest suitable insurance companies.
Lisbon, Portugal's capital and largest city, has a population of over 500,000 people. Because of its importance in finance, commerce, and education, Lisbon is considered an alpha-level global city. The city is one of the world's oldest, dating back centuries before cities like London, Paris, and Rome.
Three public universities and one university institute, as well as several private institutions, are located in the city. The University of Lisbon, Portugal's largest university, is one of the public universities.
Porto, Portugal's second-largest city, has a population of just under 250,000 people. The historic city centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it one of Europe's oldest cities. The city of Porto is named after the port wine, one of Portugal's most famous exports. Porto was named 'The Best European Destination' in both 2014 and 2017.
In the city, you'll find the University of Porto, which enrols around 28,000 students each year. The Instituto Politecnico do Porto is a public polytechnic institute in the city that offers degree programs in a wide range of subject areas.