I have included in this article the list of the top cheap universities in Portugal, tuition fees, living costs, admission criteria, how to apply and much more. Study abroad in Portugal as an international student.
For international students in Portugal, the stunning scenery, the thrilling combination of old buildings and new life, and the inexpensive lifestyle that accompanies studying in Portugal are just a short list of the benefits.
With a limited number of universities to choose from and possessing the third most commonly spoken language outside English and Spanish in Europe, this country is a major attraction for international students. Portugal is a top choice for foreign students around the world because of its outstanding education and the stunning Mediterranean climate.
Situated a the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain; Portugal is a southern European nation. Many elements of its culture have been affected by its position on the Atlantic Ocean: salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes, the beaches of the Algarve are a major attraction and much of the architecture of the nation dates from the 1500s-1800s, when Portugal had a strong maritime empire.
Portugal’s Higher Education System
In Portugal, higher education is divided into two major subsystems; university education and polytechnic education. Since 1290, Portuguese universities have existed. The University of Coimbra, the oldest such institution, was first founded in Lisbon before moving to Coimbra.
Why You Should Study in Portugal
The reasons I believe you should study abroad in Portugal as an international student are below;
- Come to some of Europe’s renowned and well-ranked universities
- Availability of the most common areas of study in Portugal
- The low cost of tuition and the similarly inexpensive cost of living would impress foreign students who want to study in Portugal. On average tuition per undergraduate year is $1,500 USD. This often depends on the level of degree to which a student attends. The cost of living each month is a shocking 600-800.
- Portuguese sightseeing is full of big surprises.
- Fantastically distinctive food and wine
- Opportunity to learn Portuguese-a global language
- Enjoy the perfect weather
- With open arms, Portugal welcomes you
- It is a tiny country.
- This nation opens the door for your future,
- Portugal is a healthy and stable place where you can study.
- There are many ways that international students studying in Portugal can become a part of Portugal’s life because of the focus on education and culture. On each campus there are many sports and clubs and opportunities to engage in the communities.
- The quality of education in Portugal dates back to 1290 A.D. when the world’s ninth oldest university and standard of education were established.
- The university and polytechnic are two forms of education offered. There are smaller research subcategories within these large institutions which make study ideal in Portugal.
- It enhances the lives of students living in the country.
- Africa has a strong connection with Portugal. The partnership between Brazil and Portugal is another good one.
- Throughout Europe, transition between two, three or four universities is very possible through the exciting Bologna Accords and the continued integration of most European nations.
- This is an opportunity for foreign students who want to learn life and experience in different environments
Living Costs in Portugal for International Students
When compared to countries like the UK, the USA or Australia, the cost of living in Portugal is relatively low and affordable. While the cost of living has risen in recent years in Portugal, it is still a relatively inexpensive place to live. The cost of living normally depends on the place and the lifestyle of the student, according to study.
Accommodation would be your main monthly expense, and the cheapest choice is to live in the residence halls of your university, which is likely to cost about € 165-230 (~ US$ 190-260) a month, whereas renting an apartment in private accommodation will cost € 400 (~ US$ 450) per month.
To take care of your living expenses, you will need about € 7,800-10,200 (~ US$ 8,830-11,550) a year. It would cost you more to live in big cities like Lisbon. So, if you want to reduce the cost of living, you should remain in smaller cities.
Admission Requirements and How to Apply to Universities in Portugal
To apply for Bachelors studies in Portugal, these are made via a centralized online system, called Candidature Online, which allows applicants to select up to six programs in order of choice.
You are likely to need to sit an entrance test in your home country in addition to providing proof of your secondary level qualifications; public universities use the national exam, whereas private universities have their own. If you are studying Portuguese (as is likely), you will need to prove your language proficiency.
Prospective graduate students should apply all the necessary documentation, including evidence of previous qualifications, directly to the universities in Portugal they wish to study at.
Study Abroad in Portugal – Tuition Fees
As Portuguese universities set their own fees, tuition fees are not the same for all universities. You maybe perplexed to know that it is possible that public schools would charge less than private universities. Bachelor’s and master’s degree tuition fees range from EUR 950-1,250 per year, whereas doctoral program fees are about EUR 2,500-3,000 per year.
Student Visa Application and Requirements
Those from non-EU/EEA countries and Switzerland who wish to spend more than three months studying in Portugal must apply for a residency visa (visto para residencia) before entering the country. You can apply for this through your nearest Portuguese embassy or consulate, and you need:
- A passport that is valid for at least three months from the end of the course
- A filled-out application form
- Letter of acceptance from a university of Portuguese origin
- Transcript from your school
- Photocopy of the page of international passport
- Three passports
- A police record of good behavior
- Health Insurance Copy
- Proof of appropriate funds, either a bank statement or grant/scholarship.
Your visa will cost up to EUR 170 (~US$190) and it will take two or three months for your visa to be released, so you should apply early. Students from the EU can apply for and pay a small fee for an EU citizen’s residence card within four months of arriving in Portugal.
Work and Study Abroad in Portugal Options
EU students can work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during semesters and full-time during semester breaks.
Study Abroad at Top Cheap Universities and Colleges in Portugal for Foreign Students
1. State-run universities
- University of the Azores (Ponta Delgada (the headquarters), Angra do Heroísmo and Horta)
- University of Algarve (Faro) (includes polytechnic sector)
- University of Aveiro (Aveiro (the headquarters), Águeda and Oliveira de Azeméis) (includes polytechnic sector)
- University of Beira Interior (Covilhã)
- University of Coimbra (Coimbra)
- University of Évora (Évora)
- University of Lisbon (Lisbon)
- University of Madeira (Funchal)
- University of Minho (Braga (the headquarters) and Guimarães)
- Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Lisbon)
- University of Porto (Oporto)
- University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro (Vila Real (the headquarters)
2. State-run university institutes
- Lisbon University Institute
- Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute
3. State-run distance teaching universities
- Universidade Aberta
4. Private universities
- Lusíada University of Porto
- Universidade Atlântica (Oeiras)
- Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa (Lisbon)
- Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Braga, Lisbon (the headquarters), Figueira da Foz, Porto and Viseu)
- Universidade Fernando Pessoa (Porto, Ponte de Lima)
- Universidade Lusíada, (Lisbon)
- Universidade Lusíada de Vila Nova de Famalicão, (Vila Nova de Famalicão)
- Universidade Lusófona (Lisbon)
- Universidade Lusófona do Porto (Porto)
- Universidade Portucalense (Porto)
5. Private institutes
- Escola Superior Gallaecia (Vila Nova de Cerveira)
- Escola Superior Artística do Porto (Porto)
- Escola Universitária Vasco da Gama (Coimbra)
- Instituto de Arte, Design e Empresa – Universitário (IADE) (Lisbon)
- Institute of Higher Studies of Fafe, Fafe
- Instituto Piaget (Almada, Lisbon (the headquarters), Mirandela, Silves, V. N. Gaia, Viseu) (includes polytechnic sector)
- IPAM – Instituto Português de Administração de Marketing (Porto), (Aveiro) and (Lisbon)
- Instituto Superior Bissaya Barreto (Coimbra)
- Instituto Superior da Maia (Maia)
- Instituto Superior de Línguas e Administração (Lisbon, Leiria, Santarém, VN Gaia, Bragança)
- Instituto Superior de Ciências da Administracao (Lisboa)
- Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde Egas Moniz (Almada)
- Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde – Norte (Paredes)
- Instituto Superior de Gestão (Lisbon)
- Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada (Lisbon)
- Instituto Superior Dom Afonso III (Loulé)
- Instituto Superior Miguel Torga (Coimbra)
- Instituto Superior de Administração e Linguas (Funchal)
6. State-run polytechnic institutes
- Instituto Politécnico da Guarda (Guarda)
- Instituto Politécnico de Beja (Beja)
- Instituto Politécnico de Bragança (Bragança)
- Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco (Castelo Branco)
- Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra (Coimbra)
- Instituto Politécnico de Leiria (Leiria)
- Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa (Lisbon)
- Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre (Portalegre)
- Instituto Politécnico de Santarém (Santarém)
- Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal (Setúbal)
- Instituto Politécnico de Tomar (Tomar)
- Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo (Viana do Castelo)
- Instituto Politécnico de Viseu (Viseu)
- Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave (Barcelos)
- Instituto Politécnico do Porto (Porto)
- Escola Náutica Infante D. Henrique (Oeiras)
- Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo do Estoril (Estoril)
7. State-run non-integrated nursing schools
- Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra (Coimbra)
- Escola Superior de Enfermagem do Porto (Porto)
- Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa (Lisbon)
8. Private polytechnic institutes
- Instituto Politécnico de Saúde do Norte
- Instituto Superior Autónomo de Estudos Politécnicos (Lisboa)
- Instituto Superior Politécnico Gaya (Vila Nova de Gaia)
- Instituto Superior de Ciências Educativas (Odivelas)
- Instituto Superior de Educação e Ciências (Lisboa)
9. Private non-integrated nursing schools
- Escola Superior de Enfermagem Dr. José Timóteo Montalvão Machado (Chaves)
- Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Santa Maria (Porto)
- Escola Superior de Enfermagem de S. José de Cluny (Funchal)