study in Portugal




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About Portugal

In the southwest corner of Europe lies Portugal, a beautiful country that has its own culture, embraces diversity and values its multicultural fullness. An attractive destination, not just for its lifestyle and culture, but also because of its education system, quality of higher education and affordable cost of living.

The country has a temperate, Mediterranean climate, with a distinct wet season in the winter. During the winter, the average daytime weather is about 16°C. With an average temperature of 25°C during the day and 16.2°C in the night, the summer season lasts from May to October. Lisbon, the capital city, is the sunniest European capital. Students can spend a lot of time in outdoor activities like biking, hiking, sunbathing because of the pleasant weather the country offers.

Despite the contraction of the economy after the global financial crisis in 2008, its economic recovery gained traction in 2015 because of strong exports and a rebound in private consumption. GDP growth accelerated in 2016, and reached approximately 2.5 % in 2017. With an economic freedom score of 70.8, Portugal’s economy is the 31st freest in the 2022 index. Additionally, the country is ranked 34th in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2019.

The sole official language of the country is Portuguese, which is also one of the official languages of the European Union.

Moreover, the country is ranked as the 3rd safest country in the world by the Global Peace Index.

It is recommended that students aspiring to study abroad take a deep dive into the entire journey, from the preparation, the courses and the admission process, to the paperwork and the visas.

Why study in Portugal?

  • High-Quality Education
  • Low cost of living
  • A safe and Community Centric Environment
  • Student Friendly High-Tech Campuses
  • A Global Multicultural Environment
Check out the main reasons to study abroad, not only in Portugal.

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Top Courses in Portugal

    • 1 Medicine (Pharmacy, Dental, Nutritional) 7000 - 12500/ year
    • 2 Sciences (IT, Biotechnology, Applied Mathematics, etc) 6000 - 7500/ year
    • 3 Social Sciences 3000 - 4000/year
    • 4 Business Studies 4000 -  5000/year

Portugal : Industry and Economic Outlook

  • Refined petroleum
  • Manufacturing sector retains significant importance
  • Textiles and footwear
  • Progressively shifting to the services sector
  • Known for its fishing industry, it is the oldest canned fish producer
  • Produces half of the world’s cork
  • The world’s largest producer of wood-based panels

Quick facts


Avg Living costs / per year

EUR 11,000


Avg Tuition Fee/Year

EUR 950-5500


Indian students



International students



Avg graduate
incomes / Year

EUR 18,000


Migration possibility






Scholarships Available


Global Ed Process

Portugal FAQ


Knowledge is at the heart of Portugal. Known for universities with excellent track records and reputations, the country offers an accredited network of both public and private universities. What’s interesting is that it promotes close collaboration with higher education institutions of international standing. The Lisbon MBA is one of the examples that was created through a partnership between the Catholic University of Portugal, the Nova University of Lisbon, and the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Studying without travel is no fun!

The capital, Lisbon, has twice won the title of European City of the year in both 2010 and 2012. Also, it was listed as a top Value Destination by London Times.

With over 800 years of history, washed over by famous civilizations such as Romans, Phoenicians, etc., Portuguese architecture is dominated by various artistic styles. And Lisbon being one of the prettiest cities in Europe, has a flourishing arts and music scene. Being a student, you can save up to 50 percent of the costs for museum visits and historic sites by producing your student ID.

That’s not it! The pleasant weather of the country makes it a perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and sunbathing. Lastly, not to miss the Atlantic Ocean that crashes upon the country’s shore. From scuba-diving, yachting, surfing to body-boarding, you can enjoy all kinds of water sports. Not into any of these? Immerse into the beautiful view and have fun swimming.

Learn a new language!

If you’re studying in Portugal, there is no way you will not learn Portuguese. Not just an official language in the European Union, but also spoken widely in South American. What else? You get to mingle and network with other Portuguese people. There’s no better way of exploring the place than doing it with locals. Add on a new language to your skills alongside taking advantage of it!

Cost of living

Portugal is one of the cheapest cities in Western Europe. And among the 35 cities polled by Cushman & Wakefield, the capital city is one of the cheapest cities in the European Union – ranking 2nd and 6th in the years 2010 and 2011.

Additionally, tuition fee is reasonable, especially for English-taught degrees. In smaller cities, a student can manage fairly well under $1000 per month


Are you a foodie? Welcome to paradise! A country famous for its fishing industry, has a lot to offer – from grilled sardines to shellfish. You can also pick from a wide selection of what was caught that day. Do not miss the salted, dried cod – the national dish that can be cooked in at least 350 ways.

If you’re on a restricted diet, you’ll have a variety of good quality products from local producers in town. And not as freezing as Canada, you can spend afternoons in outdoor cafes with friends. Café culture is a big part of Portugal’s national culture.

Students travel to Portugal from around the world to pursue their higher education in some of the world-famous universities of Portugal.

The student visa requirements for studying in Portugal depends on your nationality.

Citizens from the EU and the EEA do not need a student visa to study in Portugal but will have to obtain a certificate of residence from the local city council if they stay in Portugal longer than three months. EU EEA students can work in Portugal without any restrictions.

However, if you are a non-EU student, you will need a Portuguese student visa along with a residence permit if you decide to stay longer than three months. Following are the two visa types applicable to non-EU international students planning to study in Portugal:

  • Type C: The short-stay visa. With a duration of less than 90 days, this visa type is for non-EU students planning to undertake a course or research project in Portugal
  • Type D: The long stay visa. Lasting longer than 90 days, this visa is for all non-EU students or researchers undertaking studies in Portugal.


  • Before filling the application form for the student visa, one must have his/her acceptance letter from the university, which will be required for the visa application.
  • Having received that, you can apply for a student visa at the Portuguese embassy or Consulate.
  • Thereafter, take an appointment for a visa interview on the website of the embassy.
  • Go through a complete information of the list of documents required before applying – address proof, education certificates, valid passport, health insurance, visa fees, etc.

Each year, depending on the minimum national wage rate, the Ministry of Education establishes a minimum amount of tuition fees (propinas in Portuguese). Students pursuing higher education are expected to pay 1.3 times the minimum national wage rate according to Portuguese regulations. The tuition fee will vary from university to university still, as the public universities and polytechnics are free to decide the amount to be charged.

Average tuition fee for students from EU EEA:

  • For Bachelor’s degrees 550 – 1,050 EUR/year
  • For Master’s degrees 500 – 2,500 EUR/year

However, there are exceptions like University of Aveiro, University of Madeira, where the average fee is 4000-5000 per year. Talking about private universities, the fee is definitely higher but compared to countries like the USA, UK, and Australia, it is cheaper.

Here are the average tuition fees at some of the famous universities:

  • University of Porto – 871-6,000EUR/year
  • University of Coimbra – 900 - 9,000EUR/year
  • University of Lisbon - 3,000-7,000EUR/year

Important to keep in mind though that the tuition fee will vary depending on the course and university you opt for. Additionally, for non-EU students, the tuition fee will be higher than what is mentioned above. Hence, it is advisable to check on the university website from your home country.

Moreover, the best way to study for free in Portugal is finding scholarships for international students, both EU and Non-EU students. Following are the three main institutions that offer public funding:

  • The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) – offers project-based study grants in the field of science and technology.
  • The Instituto Camoes – scholarship for studies in Portuguese language and culture
  • The Directorate General of Higher Education (DGES) – merit-based scholarships for all study programs and study-levels through individual institutions

These scholarships are mostly for Master’s students. However, it is best to check with the university or institution you’re applying to.

International students from the EU EEA area can work without any restrictions and limitations from the government. However, as a non-EU student, you will need authorization from the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) to work, and can work for up to 20 hours per week during semesters, and full-time during semester breaks.

Once you finish your course and have your degree in hand, a good score, healthy network and a decent hang of Portuguese language will open doors for you in both the local start-up scene and in larger international businesses. Even if you don’t speak Portuguese, there are a number of start-ups and small companies who are expanding and trying to grow across the world. They value students who speak different languages. Additionally, in large cities like Lisbon and Porto, a good amount of people speak English.

The work environment is relaxed and students have enough time for their studies. It is both convenient and rewarding to pick-up part-time work. For unskilled work, the minimum wage in Portugal is between €5 to €6 per hour. The good part is that positions are offered to deserving candidates without any discrimination on the basis of nationality or ethnicity. Students pick up jobs in restaurants, supermarkets, grocery stores, etc.

You can also choose to tutor subjects in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine) or teach at Language schools. Additionally, you can look up for on-campus jobs like internships, dormitory keepers, faculty assistants, library assistants, etc. PhD or post-graduate students are considered for the role of research assistant or teaching assistant in their respective department.

Home to several world class universities and business schools, Portuguese universities have created highly renowned international managers and are attracting an increasing number of foreign students.

The higher education system in Portugal is divided into two main subsystems: University and Polytechnic. Students who seek an academic degree can enroll in a university, while students who aim for a technical specialization can apply for a degree from polytechnic. The greater focus of universities is on academic research. Polytechnic, on the other hand, is focused on preparing students for a specific career path.

The country follows the Bologna Process throughout its universities and polytechnics, a European reform process which aims to establish a common structure for higher education across Europe. According to this structure.

Portuguese universities offer three levels of degree:

  • Licenciatura - Bachelor level, which usually takes between three to four years to complete.
  • Mestrado - Master level, which takes one or two years.
  • Duotoramento - Doctorate level, which typically takes three years.

It’s vital to check the language requirements before enrolling in a degree programme.

Universities in Portugal require proof of your English-language skills. Almost all Portuguese universities accept these English language exam certificates - IELTS, TOEFL, and C1 Advanced.

According to QS World University Rankings 2022, following three are the top universities of Portugal:

  • University of Lisbon

    Ranked 356, it is the largest Portuguese university. It has over 100 research units, 4,000 lecturers, 400, degree courses, 18 schools, and is a major centre for teaching, innovation, research, sports, culture and art. The university welcomes more than 1000 foreign students every year.

  • University of Porto

    Ranked 295, the origins of this university date back to the eighteenth century. With 15 schools and more than 50 scientific research units spread across 3 university campuses, this prestigious university covers a whole range of study areas. Also, it offers over 600 training programmes every year.

  • University of Coimbra

    Ranked 455, UC is a national landmark as it is not only the oldest university in Portugal, but also one of the oldest in the world. It has more than 40 research units, eight faculties, and several other services that support the institution's core activities – creation, transmission, critical analysis, and diffusion of culture, science and technology.

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