Considering studying in Portugal?

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.

Cost of Living

How to Apply

Student Visas fot Portugal

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;
Academic transcript;
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.

University application requirements

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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Top Universities


University of Porto

The University of Porto, ranked joint 301st in the QS World University Rankings® 2018, is a public university located in the city of Porto. Founded in 1911, it has a large community of over 31,000 students, including around 3,280 international students. With a recent expansion of research and development activity, the University of Porto has developed a strong output of research. Among the most recognized of the school’s research centers are the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, the Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology and the Research Institute of Computer Systems.


University of Lisbon

Ranked joint 305th in the world in 2018, the University of Lisbon is the largest university in Portugal, home to over 47,000 students in 18 faculties. It was formed by the merger of the former Technical University of Lisbon (UTL) and the University of Lisbon (UL) in 2013, with the main University in Lisbon originally founded in 1911. The university is currently ranked in the global top 100 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 for several subjects including art and design, mining engineering and geography.


Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

The third highest-ranked Portuguese university is the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, which stands at joint 361st in the world. Founded in 1973, the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, informally known as NOVA, has a student population of over 19,500. NOVA benefits from specialized faculties with a particular emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and FAME (finance, accounting, management and economics) subjects. The university also offers the Lisbon MBA, in partnership with Universidade Catolica Portuguesa.