How to Study in Portugal for International Student

How to Study in Portugal for International Student

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Concerned about how to study in Portugal? Portugal has some of the top universities in the entire globe, not just in Europe. This distinction has helped the nation gain favor with foreign students, whose numbers are increasing year after year.

Since Portuguese colleges adhere to the Bologna process, their degrees are guaranteed to be comparable to those awarded in other European countries. Portugal has a lot to offer students looking for better opportunities abroad because of its research-based courses and affordable tuition. In this article, we’ll examine how foreign students can study in Portugal.

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Study in Portugal for International Students

International students should take the following procedures to study in Portugal:

  • Find out how much it will cost you to attend school in Portugal, and start saving right away! This is a crucial step in the procedure that is occasionally disregarded. Planning beforehand is necessary if you want to be able to study abroad. You can achieve this by enrolling in low-cost universities in Portugal, working while you study, paying out of pocket, and collecting scholarships, to name a few options. (What we suggest).
  • After that, you’ll need to meet the requirements set by Portuguese universities. We’ll go over the prerequisites that must be met.
  • The next step is to submit an application for admission.
  • Following that, you must apply for a student visa.

Check our post on 5 Cheapest Universities in Switzerland for International Students

1. Financing your Education in Portugal

At public colleges, the annual cost of both undergraduate and graduate degrees is approximately $1,694. On the other hand, tuition at private colleges averages $4,517 annually.

Portugal is one of the most affordable countries in the world with a monthly cost of living ranging from $452 to $565. (EUR 400 to 500).

For international students, Portugal offers a number of scholarships; we strongly encourage you to research these opportunities and submit an application.

2. Meet the Admission Requirements at Universities in Portugal

The fundamental criteria for overseas students wishing to study in Portugal are listed below.

Language Requirements in General (Undergraduate)

Most universities offer their bachelor’s degree programs in Portuguese. As a result, you need to have a B1/B2 proficiency level to be accepted into these universities.

You may comprehend the main ideas on subjects covered in school, the workplace, and other circumstances if your competence level is B1. As a result, you will be equipped to handle any situation that may arise in Portugal. As a result, you ought to be able to explain events, provide reasoning, and other things in easy linked language.

On the other hand, a B2 proficiency shows that you are able to understand the main ideas of a large book. You ought to be able to talk with ease and spontaneity as a result. You’ll be able to take part in technical discussions regarding your area of expertise at this level.

A B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is required for admission to the University of Porto (CEFR). This suggests that you should be able to write concisely and clearly about a variety of subjects.

At the University of Algarve, there is no requirement for a Portuguese language test. On the other side, the administration suggests that students take any of the following courses:

  • Portuguese as a Foreign Language (3 ECTS) is a semester-long course.
  • The Erasmus Intensive Language Programme in Portuguese is a 5-ECTS course that spans from July to January.

The majority of institutions often exclude applicants from the following Portuguese-speaking nations from the aforementioned requirements:

  • Brazil
  • Angola
  • Mozambique
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Cape Verde
  • Sao Tome and Principe

Check with your university’s language requirements to see if you need a CEFR certification or Portuguese language classes.

Language Requirements in General (Graduate)

The same level of proficiency as undergraduate students, Level B2, is required for admission to the several institutions that offer Portuguese post-graduate degrees.

Additionally, universities like the University of Lisbon offer a range of degrees that are taught in English. The minimum TOEFL iBT score required for postgraduate applications is 70, or an IELTS band of 6.5.

The University of Algarve accepts IELTS scores as low as 6, or band 6. However, a TOEFL iBT score of 80 is required. The subsequent competency exams are also accepted.

  • TOEFL PBT = 550
  • TOEFL CBT = 213
  • Cambridge Advanced English = C
  • CEFR = C1

Visit your university’s entrance page for additional information about your school’s language requirements.

Requirements for Applications (Undergraduate)

To enroll as an international student in Portugal, you must also meet the application requirements. Candidatura Online is necessary for undergraduate students to submit their applications. You can choose up to six universities/programs to list here.

The following are the application dates for Candidatura Online:

  • 1st phase – August
  • 2nd phase – Mid-September to October
  • 3rd phase – Mid-October

Like a native applicant, a foreign applicant must present identifying documentation (a passport) as well as a secondary school diploma or certificate. Some universities may need an admissions test.

Additional prerequisites, such as exceptional communication abilities, visual and/or motor capabilities, and physical prowess, may apply to several degrees at the University of Porto. For further details on these additional entrance requirements, go to the university bulletin at your school.

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Application Requirements (Graduate)

For Master’s candidates, a bachelor’s degree is necessary, whereas for Ph.D. candidates, a master’s degree is necessary. Graduate students must also provide the following paperwork along with such certifications:

  • Accomplished application form
  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • Transcript of records (bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or both with final average grade)
  • Letter of motivation
  • Work portfolio

Some graduate universities, like the School of Economics and Management at the University of Lisbon, require international applicants to submit a letter of intent in addition to their application. This ought to go over their motivation for applying to the school, their particular interests, and their program expectations.

The same requirements as listed above apply to applicants for master’s degrees at the Universidade Europeia, but Ph.D. candidates must also provide two letters of recommendation. A copy of the applicant’s international health insurance must also be sent.

It’s crucial to double-check the whole list of application materials with your admissions counselor given the differences in criteria between universities and programs.

3. Apply to Universities in Portugal

Do you wish to learn the dates of the application deadlines? For international students considering studying in Portugal, the following advice is provided:


Portugal’s academic institutions follow the fall and spring semester systems. For the majority of universities, the three application seasons are from April to May, June to July, and August to September.

Fees for applications are approximately $112. (EUR 100).

The University of Porto’s initial deadline is early (December to January). It follows a similar second (April) and third (June to July) cycle.

At the University of Algarve, there are just two application deadlines. While the second semester concludes in October, the first semester ends in April (for the second semester).

Always double-check your university’s cycles or deadlines for international applicants.


Graduate schools also have three rounds of application. The University of Lisbon’s first intake runs from November through February, while its second intake is from March through April. There is a third cycle, which runs from May to June, but international students should avoid it because it takes so long to obtain study permits.

Universidade Europeia has later deadlines for international applicants: mid-May for the first semester and mid-October for the second semester.

After submitting your documentation, you must pay an application fee of $56. (EUR 50).

Check the admission website for your program because different universities have varying application deadlines for post-graduate students.

4. Apply for a Student Visa

You must apply for a residence visa for higher education students if you plan to study in Portugal for a period of time longer than a year. The Immigration and Borders Service says the following papers are necessary:

  • Passport
  • 2 pcs. Recent ID photos
  • Evidence of registration in a university/higher education institution
  • Evidence of tuition payment
  • Evidence of sufficient means of subsistence
  • Health insurance
  • Record of criminal record/s (if any) from the home country
  • Permission to check criminal records
  • After you’ve completed these paperwork, you may turn them in to a local directorate.


In Portugal, there are more than 5,000 study options available (undergraduate or graduate). With so many options, you can follow your ideal career, no matter how challenging or unique it might be! Portugal makes sense for discerning international students because of its top-notch educational institutions and surprisingly affordable tuition costs.

I sincerely hope that this material regarding foreign students studying in Portugal was helpful. If you’re interested, check out the affordable tuition category!

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