Cost of Studying and Living in Portugal
Portugal uses the Euro (€) as its currency.
Institutions in Portugal are highly supported by the government. This means that tuition fees are lower than some other European countries. Both public and private institutions are allowed to set their own tuition fees, but a public institution will be less expensive. If you study at a private university, you will most likely pay monthly fees, and at a public university you will most likely pay annual tuition fees. EU and international students should expect to pay between €950 and €1,250 per year for bachelors and masters degrees, and between €2,500 and €3,000 for doctorate degrees. You may be eligible for a scholarship, check with your institution for scholarships on offer.
It is recommended that you budget between €8,000 and €10,500 per year for living costs, but living in a bigger city such as Lisbon will make your living costs more expensive. If you choose to live in university accommodation, it will cost between €150 and €250 per month, with private accommodation costing around €400 per month.
EU students are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during term-time and full time during the holidays, so you may be able to supplement your living costs. This should not be relied on to finance your studies however. If you wish to get a job, some knowledge of the Portuguese language would be helpful.
Depending on your home country, you may need to apply for a visa in order to study in Portugal.
If you are from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you will not need to obtain a visa. All you will need to have is your ID card. You should ensure that you have an EHIC card, to allow you access to the same healthcare as Portuguese citizens at the same rates. If you do not hold an EHIC card, you should make sure to acquire one before you travel to Portugal, otherwise you will have to pay for health insurance.
If you are from any other country, you will need to apply for a student visa. You can do this at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country. To obtain a visa, you will need to provide several documents. These are; a valid passport, a completed 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. If you do not have a health insurance policy, you need to purchase one before you apply for a visa. Your institution will be able to recommend appropriate insurance providers.
The official language of Portugal is Portuguese. The country also has a recognised regional language of Mirandese.
The majority of undergraduate degrees are taught in Portuguese, and it is more common to find postgraduate degrees taught in English. If you choose to study in Portuguese and it is not your native language, you will need to prove your proficiency. You are able to take Portuguese language courses if you need to improve your language skills. If you choose to study in English and it is not your native language, you will also need to prove your language skills meet the teaching requirements. Some institutions offer English language courses to help you improve.
If you do study in English, you should still try to learn as much Portuguese as possible. This will make your everyday life easier and more enjoyable, as well as looking great on your CV/resume!
The capital and largest city in Portugal, Lisbon is home to over 500,000 people. Lisbon is an alpha-level global city because of its importance in finance, commerce and education. The city is one of the oldest in the world, predating cities such as London, Paris and Rome by centuries.
Located in the city you will find three public universities and one university institute, as well as several private institutions. One of the public universities is the University of Lisbon, which is the largest university in Portugal.
The second largest city in Portugal, Porto has a population of just under 250,000 people. The city is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Port wine, one of Portugal’s most famous exports, is named after the city. In both 2014 and 2017, Porto was elected ‘The Best European Destination’.
You will find the University of Porto located in the city, which has around 28,000 students enrolling each year. Also located in the city is the Instituto Politecnico do Porto, which is a public polytechnic institute offering degree programmes in a wide variety of subject areas.