Study in Portugal for International Students

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study in portugal

Sprawled with ancient architecture and cobblestone roads, Portugal is one of Europe’s oldest countries. It is also one of the most affordable European countries to study in. Moreover, the land of golden beaches is an amazing country to pursue higher education with its excellent academic record, low tuition cost and high student satisfaction rate. It is also one of the safest countries in Europe for international students who wish to study in the country. With over 125 private and public higher education institutions, breathtaking mountains and countries like Spain, France and Morocco only hours away makes studying in the country a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In this blog, we focus on how to study in Portugal, its top universities and more! 

Quick Overview

Some quick facts and figures about studying abroad in Portugal are tabulated below.

Name of the CountryPortugal 
Capital of the CountryLisbon 
Number of International Students50,000
Academic YearSeptember – July
Types of DegreesBachelor’s; Master’s; and Doctorate 

Why Study in Portugal?

YouTube: Visit Portugal
  • It goes without saying that a degree from a foreign university holds great importance. Many people often opt for popular European countries like the UK, France or Germany. There are some European countries like Portugal that not only offer cheaper tuition fees but also quality education. 
  • Portugal is one of the top choices among students for pursuing higher studies abroad. Its unique culture, history, and globally recognised education system make it a popular choice. 
  • The quality of student accommodation makes it an even more desirable location for pursuing studies. 
  • With extraordinary facilities and beautiful surroundings, excellent Masters programs in fields like business management, engineering, and international relations. Portugal is an excellent choice for those looking to explore a country and gain valuable skills and experience. 

Higher Education in Portugal

Higher education in Portugal today follows the universal Bologna Process and hence offers courses under the following three categories:

  1. Undergraduate (Bachelor’s)
  2. Graduate (Master’s) 
  3. Postgraduate (Doctorate) certifications. 

Educational Institutes to study in Portugal are of two types – Traditional and Polytechnical. Both are further divided into public and private institutes. Polytechnic Universities offer vocational, career-based training in fields like – medicine, natural sciences, economics and law. 

Top Universities to Study in Portugal

Here is a list of world-class and highly renowned universities to study in Portugal:

Name of UniversityQS World Ranking 2024THE Ranking 2024
Universidade Nova de Lisboa=400401–500
Instituto Superior Tecnico
Catholic University of Portugal901-950801-1000
University of Lisbon=266401-500
University of Coimbra=351401-500
University of Minho611-620601-800
University of Beira Interior601-800
University of Porto253401-500
ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon751-760601-800
Universidade de Aveiro344601-800

University of Porto

The University of Porto is the second-largest Portuguese university by the number of enrolled students. It is also known for having one of the most noted research outputs in Portugal. Founded in 1911, it also has more than 30,000 students enrolled. What’s more is that its acceptance rate stands at more than 50 per cent.

University of Lisbon

The University of Lisbon is a public university located in Lisbon, Portugal. The University of Lisbon offers quality education and is recognised globally for the research, innovation and culture of the schools. With almost 50,000 students enrolled in the university, several postgraduate programs are taught in English.

Catholic University of Portugal

The Catholic University of Portugal is a private university in Lisbon, Portugal. It is an autonomous institute of public universities. All the courses offered by the Catholic University of Portugal are accredited by the National Accreditation A3ES.

There are many courses for international students to pursue higher studies in Portugal. Most international students opt to study Masters in Portugal. Here are some of the most popular courses among international students to study in Portugal:

  1. Masters in Biomedical Engineering
  2. Masters in Finance
  3. Masters in Management
  4. Masters in General Engineering
  5. Masters in Computer Science

Also Read: Unique Courses to Study in Europe

Admission Process

Let’s have a look at the various sections below that constitute the process of taking admission to universities in Portugal.

Entrance Exams

To study as an international student at a university in Portugal, you might need to take an entrance exam separately. In case you are an EU citizen, then you might have to replace this test with your final year marks, depending on the approval from the Portugal embassy.

If you are from a country elsewhere, an entrance exam can be scheduled for you in consultation with the Portuguese embassy in your home country.

Language Requirements

Now, to take admission to the world of education in Portugal, and to study abroad in the country, there are some language requirements you need to meet. The following are the basic criteria. 

Also Read: Top 14 European Countries to Study in without IELTS!

Documents Required

Next, the following documents are required when you apply to a university in Portugal. 

Application Process to Study Abroad in Portugal

One fortunate availability is the presence of help from Leverage Edu to assist you in your application process. You can avail of our services, and we can guide you, step by step, to enrol in a university of your choice.

Here’s an easy 5-step process to complete your application process:

  1. Call our experts on 1800 572 000 to shortlist your favourite universities and courses. 
  2. Compile all your documents like SOPs, essays, certificates, and LORs and exam scores like IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc
  3. Meet all the application deadlines and start the application process for accommodation, student visa, and scholarships/student loans
  4. For the specific application process for a university, follow the below steps
    • Students must visit the official website of the institution. 
    • Then, click on ‘Apply Now’ or ‘Register Here’
    • Students are then required to provide their education history with all the qualifications.
    • They must also fill in the details of their employment history and personal statement.
    • Once the form has been filled up, students must submit the application form by paying the mentioned fees.
  5. Make settlements for your health insurance
  6. Accept the offer letter
  7. Apply for a student visa for Portugal
  8. Get your visa approved 
  9. Apply for a residence permit 
  10. Fly to the chosen university
  11. Below are the documents that are initially required to start the counseling process.
    1. 10th Marksheet 
    2. 12th Marksheet 
    3. Undergraduate grade sheet 
    4. Resume, if any

Popular Intakes and Application Deadlines for Portugal 2024

First, let’s take a look at the major intake!

Popular Intakes

For students planning to pursue studies in Portugal, they must be aware of the intakes. Universities in Portugal have two intakes:

PrimarySession 1November to February
SecondarySession 2April to July

Students must keep themselves updated with announcements regarding intakes to ensure they apply on time. 

Also Read: Study Abroad Intakes: All You Need to Know

Admission Deadlines

The university application deadlines generally depend on the university. The general deadlines are mentioned below.

First Application Deadline April to May 
Second Application Deadline June to July 
Third Application Deadline August to September 

Student Visas in Portugal

These are the types of visas if you’re an international student planning to study in Portugal. 

Type C For researchers or students undertaking a course (less than 90 days)
Type D For researchers or students undertaking a course (more than 90 days)

Cost of Studying in Portugal

Let’s look at how much it costs to study in Portugal for international students in 2024-

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary from university to university. However, on average it ranges from EUR 900 to 6,000 (INR 75,000- INR 1,32,000) per year.

Public Universities

  • For Bachelor’s degrees: EUR 550 – 1,050 per year (INR 48,000 – INR 1,32,000)
  • For Master’s degrees: EUR 500 – 2,500 per year (INR 44,000 – INR 2,20,000)

Also Read: Best Universities for Entrepreneurship in Europe

Private Universities

Tuition fees are considerably higher at private universities. However, they are still lower when compared to countries like the US, the UK, or Australia. Tuition fees for private universities range around 7,000 EUR/year (INR 6,18,000).

Living Expenses

The cost of living in Portugal varies significantly depending on the city. If one lives in the seaside capital of Lisbon or in a tourist hub like the Algarve, the living expenses will be higher than compared to other regions of Portugal. Despite these irregularities in living costs, the overall cost of living is much less in comparison to many other countries in Western Europe.

Student Housing in Portugal

Portugal offers several options to international students for housing like university-owned residences, private apartments, and student halls run by private companies. We have mentioned the average expenses for student housing and accommodation options

Type of Accommodation Average Cost
University-owned student halls of residence EUR 400 (INR 35,000) per month
Renting a private room or apartment EUR 300 400 (INR 30,000 to 35,000) per month
Student halls run by international operators From EUR 595 (INR 52,585) per month


A number of scholarships are provided to international students for pursuing studies in Portugal. Public funding for EU and non-EU students is provided by –

  1. The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) -Project-based research grants in the fields of science and technology.
  2. The Instituto Camoes, which offers scholarships for studies in Portuguese language and culture;
  3. The Directorate-General of Higher Education (DGES) – Merit-based scholarships for all study programs offered by individual institutions.

Scholarships and grants are usually available for master’s students, however, some funding is available for bachelor’s students. Click here for more scholarships to study in Europe!

Career Prospects

Some of the major scope of professional fields in Portugal are given below. These are the most in-demand jobs for international people.

  • Accountants
  • Project managers
  • Mobile test engineers
  • Team supervisors
  • Sales representatives
  • Waitstaff
  • Bartenders
  • Restaurant Staff
  • Customer support agents
  • Real estate agents
  • Interpreters and translators
  • Web developers (backend and frontend)

Also Read: Explore Europe’s Sunniest Country with these top Croatian Universities

Relevant Reads:

Why Study in EU? Know Top ReasonsWhich Countries Offer Free Education in Europe?
PhD in Economics in EuropeFind the best PhD in Europe to study
Best Country In Europe To StudyStudy in Europe: Top Universities, Courses, Scholarships and More


Is Portugal good for study abroad?

Yes, Portugal is a relatively affordable and good study destination.

How much does it cost to study abroad in Portugal?

When it comes to studying abroad in Portugal, an undergraduate degree can range from 550 – 1,050 EUR/year (INR 46k to 89k)

Can foreigners study in Portugal?

Yes, foreigners can study in Portugal. In fact, it’s one of the most attractive destinations in Europe. 

This is all that you need to know if you plan to study in Portugal. Planning to study abroad but confused about the application process amidst the ongoing pandemic! Then, contact our experts at Leverage Edu and look at a free session today to resolve all your doubts! Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counseling session.

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