Offering a mild Mediterranean climate, beautiful coastline and cities packed with historic interest and cultural experiences, Portugal – the westernmost country in mainland Europe – is surely among the continent’s most attractive destinations. Aside from the many historic sites and areas of natural beauty, the country is also known for its contemporary culture and nightlife.
If you’re a fan of rock and world music, in the main cities along the coast you’ll find a remarkable number of festivals and events to suit your tastes. But if this isn’t your thing, fear not, because the diverse student communities in Portugal’s major cities will ensure there’s always something to get involved in. So, whether you’re a food lover, hiker, music fanatic, sight-seer or history buff, choosing to study in Portugal is a great option.
Those from countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland who intend to study in Portugal for longer than three months must apply for a residence visa (visto para residencia) before entering the country. This can be applied for through your nearest Portuguese embassy or consulate, and requires:
Passport valid for at least three months after the end of your course;
A completed application form;
Letter of acceptance from a Portuguese university;
Photocopy of key passport pages;
Three passport-sized photos;
Police record of good conduct;
Copy of health insurance;
Proof of sufficient funds – either a bank statement or grant/scholarship.
Your visa will cost a maximum of €170 (~US$205) and will take two or three months to be issued, so you should apply in good time. Students from within the EU should apply for an EU citizen residence card within four months of arriving in Portugal, and pay a small fee for this.
Undergraduate applications to study in Portugal are made through a centralized online system, called Candidatura Online, which allows applicants to choose up to six programs in order of preference. As well as submitting evidence of your secondary level qualifications, you are likely to need to sit an entrance examination in your home country; public universities use the national exam, while private universities have their own. If studying in Portuguese (as is likely) you’ll need to prove your proficiency in the language. Prospective graduate-level students should apply directly to the universities in Portugal they wish to study at, submitting all the required documents, including proof of previous qualifications.
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