Sat. Jul 20th, 2024


Portugal is little known among foreign students as a place to study abroad. However, parents and students from different countries who carefully study the international market for educational services and who do not want to miss the opportunity to get a quality diploma abroad, are increasingly choosing Portugal, and in this article SMAPSE experts will tell you why.

Portugal’s schools, colleges and universities are not inferior to British and American prestigious colleagues in terms of educational services – all programs comply with high European standards. But the cost of education is lower than in England, the United States or other countries where people often go to study English.

Another plus of Portugal is the study of the Portuguese language, which is registered as mandatory in most educational courses. Studying in Portugal is a worthy alternative to studying at eminent and top European universities and colleges, if you carefully approach the choice of educational institution.

5 important things you need to know to send your child to study in Portugal

  • The compulsory age for education in Portugal according to the Constitution in force in the country is from 6 to 15 years. Local residents are required to receive pre-school and secondary education, and further education is an independent decision for everyone. Another interesting feature of local legislation allows teachers and students to be involved in the management of educational institutions – all educational institutions in Portugal have full autonomy, while general rules for schools, colleges and universities are established at the national level.
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  • Private schools of Portugal are very popular among foreign students of the country – in such institutions, Portuguese and visiting students receive education on a fee basis. Studying at universities is a similar situation, however, in this case, students have the conditions to combine the educational process and part-time work. This allows you to partially reduce financial costs already at the stage of obtaining a diploma.
  • Each period of study in Portugal for children or students has its own characteristics. Regardless of the type of educational institution, the policy of loyalty to foreign students invariably operates and helps students of all ages to successfully adapt, overcome the language barrier, as a result – get a quality education.
  • An advantage that will be interesting for foreign students: after receiving a diploma, a graduate can practice for a period of six months by profession in one of the European countries. Under such conditions, the probability of finding a good job is very high. During this period, a foreign student will also be able to freely move around the EU countries.
  • The conditions for admission for international students do not differ from the requirements for local residents. After collecting a standard package of documents and translating them into Portuguese, a foreign applicant is allowed to take entrance exams (which also take place in Portuguese). Most universities organize language courses in Portugal to help foreign applicants better prepare for entrance examinations.

The education system in Portugal: learning conditions for foreign students

As in other European countries, in Portugal for local students, foreign students, all the basic levels of education are available: pre-school, secondary and higher.

1. Preschool education

In institutions of this type of children can be given, starting from the year. The youngest students are always under the supervision of teachers and educators, who gradually teach them the basic skills of independent living – learn to dress, use dishes and so on. Upon reaching the age of 3 years, the child moves to the older group, where he is already waiting for reading, writing, dancing and drawing classes.

Portuguese kindergartens – Jardins-de-Infância – depending on the payment, there are three types:

  • Free

Only candidates who managed to register in advance and reserve a place (at least 9 months in advance) fall into the first category of educational institutions.

  • Partially paid

The amount of financial costs in the second category of educational institutions largely depends on the income of the parents. Usually, the costs are small even with the separate insurance and registration fees.

  • Fully paid.

Preschool institutions of the third type are similar to our domestic kindergartens.

For young students, another educational option is available – Santa Casa. This is a social nanny provided to a foreign student at the request of the parents.

Without exception, all kindergartens in Portugal have one peculiarity: there are no separate rooms for sleeping here. In Portugal, each child has his own crib, and when the time comes, they take them out to the recreation center, where they attend the main classes, and there they all relax. 12 months before the start of schooling, children are transferred to the Pre-escola preparatory class, therefore, by the first grade of the secondary school they already know the basic reading and writing skills.

2. Secondary education

This step begins at age 6 and ends at age 15. During this period of study in Portugal, students receive a standard set of knowledge. Such a diploma after completion is considered complete and is quoted in all educational institutions.

Educational institutions of secondary education in Portugal are divided into several types:

  • state (without food)
  • private (this is more than 100 schools, partially paid by the state)
  • corporate (art school, where the state pays for studies under a sponsorship agreement with the institution).

Also, Slavic schools began to open more and more often in the country – they now exist in almost every region and work for migrant families on weekends. The educational course at such a school is not based on the Portuguese program, but is aimed at helping the student preserve the historical memory of his native country + master one of the foreign languages.

Secondary education in Portuguese institutions ends with a conditional second stage – this is the receipt of educational qualifications in schools with a specialization: general, technological or professional.

Type of high school Theme
Comprehensive schools
  • economics and social sciences,
  • social Sciences,
  • natural Sciences,
  • creative specialization.
Technological schools
  • electronics and electrical engineering,
  • computer science,
  • civil Engineering,
  • land management and ecology.
Vocational schools
  • multimedia,
  • marketing and administration,
  • social work,
  • sport.

Higher Education in Portugal

According to experts of the European Union, the best education in Portugal related to higher education is programs in economics, management and tourism.

Local universities, like Portuguese schools, can be public, private and corporate. Municipal institutions are trying not to push up the price of educational services too much, but private educational institutions have their own pricing policies. Foreign students go mainly to private universities in Portugal.

The most prestigious and oldest universities are located in Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto, as well as in Braga, Faro, Evora and the Azores. Many Portuguese universities are known as educational institutions that specialize in certain areas: at the University of Porto, this is the Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Aveiro a strong electronics department.

At universities in Portugal, foreign students can get a quality education in the following areas:

  • natural Sciences
  • agriculture
  • engineering
  • management and business
  • art
  • design
  • medicine and more.

The Bologna system of higher education “bachelor-master-doctor of sciences”, operating in all European countries, is also relevant for Portugal, so students from all over the world can study here at any level of higher education or transfer from a domestic university.



By Lala