Here are the top 10 reasons why to study in Portugal
With its temperate climate, breathtaking architecture, rich history, and surprising affordability, Portugal has become a favored destination for international students studying abroad. Several Portuguese universities hold memberships with the Erasmus program — the European Union’s (EU) student exchange initiative — meaning those who pursue their education in Portugal do so alongside a diverse student body from around the world. Here are 10 reasons why you should study in Portugal.
1. Top-Notch Universities
Students who study in Portugal receive their education from reputable universities that set them up for future success. With a higher education system dating back centuries. Portuguese institutions expect exceptional academic performance from their students. Regardless of the degree program, students should enroll in their study abroad curriculums eager and ready to learn. The Universidade Europeia, which was founded on the principles of quality and internationalization, is the #1 choice of Beyond Abroad students. Over 200 international students from all around the globe study at the top #5 private university in Portugal.
Studying abroad in Europe can be an expensive venture. Therefore, students on a tight budget will be pleasantly surprised that the cost of living in Portugal is relatively affordable. Portugal has one of the lowest living costs in Western Europe, particularly in its capital city, Lisbon. Students can expect to spend about $9 to $12.50 for a sit-down lunch, while groceries and housing accommodations are generally inexpensive. There are also plenty of options for students to buy the necessities at an affordable price, including cities’ thriving outdoor markets.
3. Language Immersion
If you’re looking for an excellent reason to study in Portugal, the country is beaming with culture and history — the perfect destination for students interested in language immersion. About 200 native speakers rank Portuguese as the fifth most spoken language worldwide. It’s also the native language spoken in countries like Brazil, Angola, and Mozambique. While studying abroad in Portugal, you can take courses spoken entirely in Portuguese to gain in-depth linguistic proficiency. Just be sure to also enroll in some classes that are taught in English.
4. Welcoming Community
Studying in another country is as daunting as it is exciting, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the culture or have a lousy sense of direction. Fortunately, Portuguese people are known for their hospitable nature and welcoming personalities. Students that study in Portugal can expect locals to greet them with a smile and possibly a hug. Overall, there’s a strong sense of community in Portugal that you’ll quickly adapt to when you arrive.
5. Pristine Coastlines
Those who hope to explore their surroundings after a busy week at school might opt for a relaxing afternoon on the beach. Portugal’s prime location on the Iberian Peninsula appeals to several beachgoers. The country’s coastline stretches 1,114.1 miles along the Atlantic and is easily accessible from most major cities. Of course, those who’d prefer to get away from bustling tourist spots might venture to the Alentejo region, which boasts the last 40 miles of unspoiled coastline in southern Europe.
6. Optimal Weather
One might describe Portugal’s temperate climate as comfortable, with average temperatures reaching 78° Fahrenheit from June to September. Lisbon, in particular, is hottest in August, with a high of 83° F. Students may prefer studying during the summer, as the days tend to be warm and dry for most of the season. In contrast, Portugal’s winters are much colder, wetter, and windier. With so much scenery to absorb, students will want clear, sunny days to experience the outdoors.
7. Excellent Food
One thing is sure about studying in Portugal — you’ll never go hungry. A sea-faring nation, Portugal’s cuisine is primarily seafood-based, but hearty, slow-cooked meats like pork and lamb are just as common. International students might want to try Portugal’s traditional dish, bacalhau — salted cod. Today, Portugal imports about 25,000 tons of bacalhau from Norway and has nearly 1,000 recipes for preparing it. Of course, Portuguese cuisine is known for its versatility, and vegetarians will find plenty of foods that satisfy their appetites.
8. Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences
From taking a stroll through historic neighborhoods to snapping photos of Lisbon’s vibrant ceramic tile facades, students that study abroad in Portugal never run out of things to do and see. The country’s cities are bustling with trendy eateries, rooftop bars, shopping, and music festivals to fill your downtime. Those looking for a slower pace might want to visit one of its many museums instead, such as the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology or the Museu do Fado — a traditional music genre dating back to the 19th century.
9. Low Crime
Sending your college-age student to an international study abroad program is enough to put any parent on edge. However, they’ll be happy to know that crime is low in Portugal. Portugal is ranked the sixth safest country in the world, according to the 2022 Global Peace Index by the Institute for Economics & Peace. The country’s strong military force and heavy police presence are felt throughout its cities. It also has a peaceful political climate with little volatility among citizens and fellow governments.
10. Future Opportunities
College students face a challenging job market after they graduate. However, studying abroad in Portugal may deliver ample employment opportunities and professional growth. Students who’ve studied in another country demonstrate leadership, adaptability, interpersonal skills, and cultural awareness. Job applicants that speak another language are also in high demand, with recent data from FlexJobs indicating a 30% increase in bilingual remote job openings.
Studying in Portugal Is an Opportunity of a Lifetime
There’s much to consider when applying to a study abroad program. Cost of living, academic programs, and what sort of experiences you’re looking for should ultimately play into your decision. However, for those interested in a stellar education, a friendly community, good food, and some of the most remarkable cultural excursions of a lifetime, you’d be remiss not to add Portugal to your list of options.
Beyond Abroad is a is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Latin America and Europe for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.