For any student considering a study abroad experience, Portugal should be at the top of the list. From it’s stunning landscapes to it’s vibrant cities, Portugal offers students a unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Whether you’re looking to relax in the sun on the beaches of the Algarve or explore the hustle and bustle of Lisbon and Porto, Portugal has something for every student studying abroad.
It’s no wonder over 50,000 international students choose Portugal as their study-abroad destination every year. Portugal has a much lower cost of living and tuition fees than many other European countries. It’s good news for budget-conscious students as Portugal offers top-quality education with the exciting vibrancy of the Mediterranean lifestyle at an affordable price.
The Education System
There are five universities in Portugal included in the QS World University Rankings 2018, with the University of Porto sitting in the top 20% of universities in the world!. As a result of it’s long history of highly regarded universities, Portugal’s higher education system was ranked 35th in the world in the first edition of the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings.
The country is also home to several well-regarded polytechnics as well as strong universities. As compared to polytechnics, universities are more focused on preparing students for a specific career path while polytechnics are more focused on academic research. Almost all subjects are offered at both universities and polytechnics. For example, both universities and polytechnics offer engineering, management, and humanities degrees.
In 2006, Portugal adopted the Bologna Process throughout it’s universities and polytechnics. A European reform process aimed at harmonising higher education across the continent. Portuguese universities offer degrees at three levels based on this structure. A few of these are:
- Bachelor level or licenciatura, which usually takes between three and four years to complete
- Master level or mestrado, which takes one or two years
- Doctorate level or duotoramento, which typically takes three years
Almost all courses are taught in Portuguese at the university level – especially at bachelor’s level. At the graduate level, it is more common to find English-taught courses, but knowing Portuguese is definitely an asset. It’s not a country where everyone speaks English.
The Portuguese are known for being friendly, and although locals will make an effort to speak English to you, learning some Portuguese is a great way to maximise your time studying abroad in Portugal. Whether you’re looking for part-time work during your studies or pursuing your career goals in Portugal after graduation, learning Portuguese will significantly simplify your life and make it easier to get around.
Poet Fernando Pessoa once said, ‘My homeland is the Portuguese Language’. Today, over 200 million people all around the world call the Portuguese Language their homeland.
Portuguese is currently the fifth most spoken language in the world and an official language of Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, and East Timor. Portuguese is also spoken in the autonomous regions of Macau and Goa, two territories that were once a part of Portugal. It is the base for twenty different Creole languages, as well as an important minority language in countries like Andorra, Luxembourg, Namibia, Switzerland and South Africa because of the numerous Portuguese communities.
Looking to learn Portuguese before your move to Portugal then check out these top apps.
The nightlife in Portugal is exciting and diverse, and there is something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a quiet meal or dancing the night away, you will be sure to find something. The nightlife of the city is diverse, including activities of a more local nature such as folk music. This is where you can experience some traditional Portuguese culture and have some fun!
Many clubs do not open until 23.30, and you can usually party until around 6 or 7 in the morning. There are a variety of clubs and discos doing everything from hardcore techno parties to 60s nights. Generally, the dress code is quite relaxed, although some places don’t allow jeans and trainers. The best thing to do is to ask around or look for posters and flyers. The Algarve has some big clubs, such as Kadoc near Vilamoura and Locomia near Albufeira. Lisbon’s waterfront has become one of the city’s hippest places. And the nightclubs Jardim do Tabaco and Lux are excellent places to dance the night away.
The Algarve has many bars, including many Irish and British pubs for the many UK tourists. Albufeira is well known as a party and pub-crawling destination where you can spend a whole day drinking and partying. The Nikki Beach in either Vilamoura or Portimao is another place where you can enjoy drinks and lounge on a warm summer day. Lisbon has an array of bars and clubs as well. Bar-hopping is particularly enjoyable in Bairro Alto, which has every type of bar from sleek, refined establishments to cosy, relaxing taverns.
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