Studying in Portugal for International Students 2022

Written by Michael Nz. on May 11, 2022

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If you are a food lover, a hiker, a music fan, a seer, or a history buff, I believe you will love to study in a country that will satisfy this part of your life.

If so, Portugal is a great option for you, and we will be giving a full list of the best Universities in Portugal.

Portugal is regarded as one of the European countries that have a high rate of education. Portugal is also an attractive and accessible destination for international students seeking a degree abroad in Europe.

Due to the high level of education in Portugal, we will be making it easier for you to know the best universities to study in Portugal. This will aid you as an international student to make the right choice.

But before we go into that, there are important facts you need to know about studying in Portugal, such as the cost of study, admission requirements, etc. You can take a brief look at the table of contents below to see the quality of information embedded in this write-up about studying in Portugal.


  • What Do I Need to Know About Portugal?
  • Why Study in Portugal as an International Student?
  • How Many Universities Are In Portugal?
  • Public Universities in Portugal
  • Private Universities in Portugal
  • Are there English Universities in Portugal?
  • Are there Research Universities in Portugal?
  • What are the Best Universities in Portugal for Undergraduate Degrees?
  • What are the Best Universities in Portugal for a Masters Degree?
  • How Much Does it Cost To Study in Portugal as an International Student?
  • Tuition fees in Portugal for International Students
  • Cost of Living in Portugal for International Students
  • How Do I Apply to an International University in Portugal in 2021?
  • Can students work in Portugal?
  • What are the Best Ranking Universities in Portugal for International Students?

What Do I Need to Know About Portugal?

The truth remains that you can’t choose to study in any country as an international student without at least getting to know notable facts about the country. Like its environment, people, food, and values especially as regards education. This section actually aims to let you into the world of Portugal.

Firstly, you need to know that in the extreme southwest of Europe is Portugal, and it has one-fifth of the Iberian Peninsula it shares with Spain. It is about the size of the US state of Indiana.

Secondly, Portugal has its own language, the sixth most spoken in the world, as well as its own culture and cuisine. Their historical sites’ culture covers up a lot about their culture, and in turn, their land has a natural beauty that can keep amazed.

Thirdly, Portugal’s climate is mainly the Mediterranean. The southern regions are dry and sunny with hot summers and mild/rainy winters. Traveling north, the weather becomes cooler and wetter, especially in winter.

In general, Portugal has an enviable climate, so it is so popular among northern Europeans that they seek relief from their times too often less comfortable.

Fourthly, Portugal is home to the world’s first delimited wine region: the upper Douro Valley. This is a place where port grapes are grown along the Douro River in cascading terraces on the steep slopes. The port is the most famous wine in Portugal and in the world.

Above all, the westernmost part of Portugal lies 47 universities, 74 polytechnics, and six police or military academies. While Portugal’s university degrees are more appreciated by national and international students, polytechnics focus on the practical side of teaching.

With all these interesting points above, you should be ready for a close encounter with Portuguese culture!

Why Study in Portugal as an International Student?

Choosing where to study to obtain a degree in Portugal is one of the most important decisions you will make. As an international student, you really need to consider the best Universities in Portugal to gain your knowledge.

That is why this article brings you the list of the best Universities in Portugal for International Students.

Indeed, the beautiful landscape, the exciting mix of old buildings and new life, and the affordable lifestyle that accompanies studying in Portugal are just a brief list of the benefits for international students in Portugal.

With a small number of universities to choose from and the third most spoken language in Europe, this country stands out to be one of its kind. Apart from English and Spanish, this country is a great attraction for international students.

Also, excellent education and the beautiful Mediterranean climate make Portugal an option for international students from all over the world.

How Many Universities Are In Portugal?

Portugal is undoubtedly one of the most affordable places for higher education in Europe. The education system is of great value. So, if you are asking how many universities are in Portugal, then you will get to see a full list of them.

Basically, in Portugal, universities are normally divided into two categories, normal universities, and polytechnics. Also, there are universities in the public and private sectors, surely the public with fewer annual fees ranging from 2000 euros to 4000 euros.

In general, there are 14 public universities and 23 private universities in Portugal. Though, these universities are composed of thirteen public universities, one public university institute, a public open university, and several private universities and university institutes.

We are giving a comprehensive list of universities in Portugal for International students. This does not necessarily mean all of them are the best. Though before the end of this article, you will get full detail on the best universities in Portugal for International students.

Below are the public and private universities in Portugal where you can apply as an international student:

Are there English Universities in Portugal?

The truth is that the language of instruction at Portuguese universities is invariably Portuguese. But there are very few courses with English as the language of instruction. And courses taught in English are growing in number, especially at the master’s level.

Although Portugal was badly hit by the Eurozone crisis, its universities are highly regarded internationally. Sadly, the downside for UK applicants is that there are very few English-taught courses.

Are there Research Universities in Portugal?

People always and usually desire to study in universities that conduct research. Even International students will stand to gain a lot from them.

What are the Best Universities in Portugal for Undergraduate Degrees?

Quite a good number of universities in Portugal both public and private universities offer a good number of bachelor’s degree programs. For this reason, as an international student, it is also necessary for you to know the best universities in Portugal for undergraduate degrees.

What are the Best Universities in Portugal for a Masters’s Degree?

Many international students have discovered that a Master’s in Portugal is more than an excellent education, but is also a unique opportunity to gain valuable international experience that can provide a competitive advantage in the global labor market.

Interestingly, there are a variety of high-quality program options for a Master’s in Portugal. Some of the most popular disciplines for a Master’s in Portugal are in the fields of economics, business, finance, information technology, hospitality, international development, and European studies.

With a Master’s in Portugal, students will mix academics with experiences that will promote cultural and intellectual growth, creating complete professionals.

How Much Does it Cost To Study in Portugal as an International Student?

When talking about the cost to study in Portugal, it doesn’t just mean only tuition fees. Though tuition fees may be cheap, there are other fees that you must cover during your stay in Portugal.

We are talking about accommodation, food, study materials, etc. Read on, as we are going to review the main expenses, which should help you understand what kind of budget you will need to study abroad in Portugal.

Tuition fees in Portugal for International Students

Tuition fees in Public Universities

In most public universities, tuition fees vary between:

  • 50 – 1,050 EURO/year for bachelor’s degrees
  • 500-2,500 EURO/year for master’s degrees

Of course, there are exceptions. For example, you will have to pay 4,000 EUR / year for many Bachelors’ degrees at the University of Madeira. If you want to study for a master’s degree at the University of Aveiro, you should also expect to pay 4,500 – 5,500 EUR / year.

The tuition fees mentioned above apply mainly to EU/EEA students. If you are not an EU/EEA citizen, you can expect to pay higher tuition fees. This is not true for all study programs since each higher education institution can set its prices. To avoid confusion, always check which tuition fees apply to students from your country.

Tuition fees in private universities

Although tuition fees are higher in private universities, they are still lower compared to countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom or Australia.

Actually, you can expect to pay more than EUR 7,000/year for some study programs, but keep in mind that the costs may be higher for non-EU/EEA citizens.

Cost of Living in Portugal for International Students

As we have already mentioned, living in Portugal is easier because it is one of the most affordable countries in Europe. Of course, the cost of living varies from region to region, but on average you will need between 500 and 800 EUR per month.

But here is an estimate of the general cost of living in Portugal comprising the accommodation cost, food costs, and many more.

Accommodation costs

Accommodation costs in Portugal are in line with the international average. These are the average prices of some of the most common housing options:

  • Student residence: between 150 – 250 EUR / month.
  • Rent a studio / one-room apartment: 200 – 800 EUR / month.
  • Rent a shared room: 100 – 550 EUR / month.

Food Costs

For your monthly purchases of food and groceries, you will spend between 150 and 200 EUR. Some of the cheapest supermarkets in Portugal are Jumbo, Continent / Model, Lidl, and Pingo Doce.

You can also find affordable food in university canteens, where you can get a meal for around 2 to 5 EUR. In a small restaurant, even in Lisbon, you can get a meal for 7 euros. Dinner will be more expensive, but it will not cost more than 15 euros, drinks included.

Transport Costs

A one-way ticket for local transport costs around 1.5 euros while a student pass costs between 20 and 55 euros/month.

In most cities, the metro transport card costs around EUR 25 / month.

In some small cities in Portugal or depending on where you are staying, you will not have to pay for transportation, except rarely, since you can easily walk and explore the city on foot.

You can easily move around Portugal and visit magnificent sites by train. Prices start at EUR 25 for a trip within the country.

How Do I Apply to an International University in Portugal in 2022?

There are several means how to apply to an International University in Portugal in 2022. And it is necessary to consider some requirements when applying to these universities in Portugal.

They include the Entrance exam requirements, language requirements, requirements based on the level, and many more.

Entrance Exams

The admission system to Portugal includes entrance exams that can be taken separately, depending on the country where you come from.

If you are an EU citizen or have recently lived in Portugal, you can take the exam when the national session is scheduled.

In addition, you can replace this test with the final exams of your home country, if you have them recognized by your local embassy in Portugal.

Above all, international students who can’t take the exams locally are considered at the Portuguese Embassy from their home country.

Bachelor Degree Requirements

To study at the bachelor’s level in Portugal, students must submit a transcript of the qualifications of upper secondary education. Though in some institutions, foreign students must also pass an entrance exam.

EU students can sometimes give up this test and present the final exam results from their home country. Non-European students can take the exam at the Portuguese Embassy in their home country if necessary.

So, to find out if you need to take an exam before registering to study a program of your choice, you should seek the advice of the Superior Admissions Office (Access Cabinets).

Also, you can apply online at the official Portuguese website dedicated to the respective school. You can choose up to six universities/polytechnics and study programs for which you wish to apply, in order of preference.

Master’s Degree Requirements

To apply for a master’s degree program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. For a doctorate, applicants must have a relevant master’s degree.

The Bologna process means that Portuguese universities recognize bachelor’s and master’s degrees from other member states without the need for international conversion.

Language Requirements

At the Bachelor’s level, most Portuguese universities only offer Portuguese courses. A proficiency test in Portuguese is generally an entry requirement for bachelor’s programs. Most higher education institutions will require a minimum competence corresponding to level B1 / B2.

This requirement is less likely to apply to graduate and postgraduate programs (master’s and doctorate since these research-oriented programs are often designed for international students and offer courses in English.

If English is not your first language, you may need to demonstrate your command of English. The requirements vary considerably from one program to another, but the following tests are generally accepted as proof of your English proficiency:

  • TOEFL;
  • IELTS;
  • CAE/CPE; and
  • PTE A.

Language requirements may vary considerably between institutions and between programs. Contact your institution’s international or admissions office to confirm that you meet the language requirements of the program you plan to request.

Can students work in Portugal?

Yes, no European students can work in Portugal. As an international student in Portugal, you can take up casual employment in Portugal (up to 20 hours a week) and work full-time during holidays or non-study periods.

What are the Best Ranking Universities in Portugal for International Students?

Indeed, Portugal is the most prominent destination for international students who wish to study abroad. On this page of this article, we are making it clear to you; the best universities in Portugal that international students can apply to.

There are a good number of Schools in Portugal, but knowing the best is what really matters.

As an international student, it is very important for you to know the best so you won’t end up in a school that will offer you less quality education.

To help you find one, we have compiled a list of the top and best Universities in Portugal for International Students. And we will be stating full detail of our 2021 ranking criteria.

Ranking Methodology

In selecting the Best Universities in Portugal for International Students, we will be considering several factors. They include:

Number of Programs: We consider these as one important criterion for ranking the best universities in Portugal for international students. Well, good universities offer quite a good number of programs to satisfy the learning interest of their students at all levels.

Accreditation: This criterion is very much important because a school can be cheap but yet does not have quality. So, we consider the body of accreditation as well as certification for each of these schools before ranking them. Whether they fall in the category of regional or national accreditation.

Acceptance Rate: This is one aspect that is considered important because the lower the acceptance rate, the better the school.

Graduation & Employment Rate: Here, we consider if these schools have a high tendency of graduating their students. Some can get enrolled but get stuck at the end. Also, we put into consideration whether school graduates are employable by great institutions. These factors are equally very much important.

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