Study in Portugal - Requirements,Tuition Fees,Cost of Living & Universities

This is a comprehensive guide on studying in Portugal as an international student. This detailed post will give you all the necessary information you will need about studying in Portugal as an international student. It will answer most frequently asked questions such as


How to study in Portugal

Why study in Portugal

Cost of studying in Portugal

Universities in Portugal for international students

Cost of living in Portugal for international students

How to get a visa to study in Portugal

How to apply and study in Portugal

Tuition fees to study in Portugal

Applying to study in Portugal


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.

Applying to universities in Portugal


Selecting Universities:

Selecting universities is a very time consuming and important process not only from the admission point of view but also because applying to universities is very expensive. Hence it has to be restricted to around 6 or 8 universities which are best matched for your requirements.

The best university for you may not be the famous ones, but those that offer you your field of study as well as meet the other criteria important to you.

Requesting Application Forms:

There are two ways to get application forms:

1. Requesting Application Forms via email : You can request application forms from the universities website. Most universities have a form on their website which can be completed online to request application material.

2. Downloading from the university website : Many universities have a downloadable and ready to print versions of their application forms on the net. These can be used for applying just as regular forms.

Application Requirements:

Once you start receiving application forms and material, go through the material in detail and check the application deadline, minimum scores required in the standardized tests, recommendation letters needed and other such information.

Tabulate all these requirements and compare them with your objectives and group the universities under three categories :

1. Schools that seem to match your requirements

2. Schools that are not suited to your needs

3. Schools that do not completely fit in any of the above two categories

Recommendation letters:

Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person who is giving the letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters, which do not give enough information, can jeopardize a candidate’s chances of selection.

School records/Academic transcript:

The transcripts of your academic record are absolutely essential to the evaluation of your academic abilities. Your official transcript or academic record is the objective part of your application. Academic records greatly vary from one education system to the other. Systems of evaluation or grading and the formats used to present this information also differ widely.

Undergraduate : Students who are applying for a Bachelor program or any other undergraduate course would be required to submit a secondary school report and transcripts (report cards) of the final exams. The report form should be filled out by a school official like the principal, counselor or headmaster. This form should introduce you in the context of your whole school experience in relationship to the other students in your class. Admission committees will be interested in learning how you have performed in your own educational system. The school report should talk about your accomplishments and provide a statement of your chances for success in university-level studies.

Graduate : Students applying for Graduate courses (MBA, MS etc) are required to submit an official transcript from each college or university that they have attended after secondary school with complete details of the subjects, credits involved and other details like correspondence courses, diplomas etc. Most universities ask for the transcript to be sealed in an envelope and signed and attested across the seal by the registrar. This procedure is to be done for each and every college that you have attended. Some universities may ask for more than one transcripts but most require only one.


Tuition fees and living costs of studying in Portugal for international students



The cost of studying in Portugal actually depends on the specific school you attend. All the universities and colleges in Portugal have different tuition fees


Tuition fees are different in all the universities in Portugal because each university set their own fees. Generally public universities in Portugal are cheaper than the private universities.

 Tuition fees for an undergraduate degree is about US$1,075-1,415 while the tuition for post-graduate programs are around US$2,830-3,400 per year.

Living in Portugal as an international student is somehow cheap.If you stay in the university accommodation you will likely pay between US$190-260 a month, whereas renting an apartment outside the school will cost about US$450 each month.

You will need about  US$8,830-11,550 a year to cover your living expenses which will also depend on your way of life and spending habits.

Students can work part-time and full-time during holidays but you must apply for a work permit to be able to do this.


Cost of living in Portugal according to expatistan



Housing            [Edit]

            Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area


            Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area


            Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat


            Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area


            Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area


            Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio


            Internet 8 Mbps (1 month)


            40” flat screen TV


            Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands)


            Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.)


            Hourly rate for cleaning help


Clothes [Edit]

            1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar)


            1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers)


            1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands)


            1 pair of men’s leather business shoes


Transportation  [Edit]

            Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new


            1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas


            Monthly ticket public transport


            Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 8 km. (5 miles)


Personal Care   [Edit]

            Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands)


            1 box of antibiotics (12 doses)


            Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes)


            1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, ...)


            Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.)


            Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.)


            4 rolls of toilet paper


            Tube of toothpaste


            Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city


Entertainment    [Edit]

            Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub


            2 tickets to the movies


            2 tickets to the theater (best available seats)


            Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert


            1 cocktail drink in downtown club


            Cappuccino in expat area of the city


            1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.)


            iPad Air 2, 64GB


            1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans)


            1 month of gym membership in business district



Visa to study in Portugal


To study in Portugal as an international student, you will require a visa. Below are the requirements and process of getting a Portugal visa


What documents will be required?

Depending on nationality and duration of stay, some or all of the following may be required:

           Passport valid for 3 months after date of return and with a least one blank visa page;

           Completed application form duly filled in capital letters;

           Two colour passport size photograph;

           Copy of itinerary with confirmed reservation or acceptance letter;

           Proof of departure arrangements;

           Proof of sufficient means of support ;

           Proof of health insurance coverage.

Tourism visa:

Passport or official travel documents accepted by Schengen countries, valid for at least 3 months longer than the validity of the visa, with blank page for attachment of visa sticker;

           Application form duly filled in capital letters;

           Two passport-size photo;

           Proof of purpose of visit in the form of an official letter of invitation from host or business partner, provisional ticket booking and hotel booking where appropriate;

           Proof of sufficient funds and medical insurance may also be required. Fee (payable in cash, by postal order or by cheque);

           For postal applications, a large self-addressed envelope stamped for registered or recorded delivery.

Business visa:

Letter from employer or, if self-employed, from solicitor, accountant, bank manager or local Chamber of Commerce stating purpose and duration of the visit. References may also be required.

Time required to issue visa:

5-14 days for tourist visa.

Allow up to 2-3 months for student visa.

How long is the visa valid for?

A short-term visa is valid for a total stay of up to

30 or 90 days (depending on visa), over the period of one year.

A student visa is valid for the duration of the course of study.

Who requires a visa?

Non-EU residents who wish to visit Portugal for business or a holiday will need a Portugal Visa called a Schengen Visa.

Portugal is one of the countries in the Schengen Agreement of 1995. The agreement also includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Schengen Visas are issued from the embassy of the country which will be your main destination during your stay Europe.

A Portuguese Schengen Visa will enable you to visit Portugal and other Schengen countries for up to 90 days for business or travel. You are not entitled to seek employment.


List and ranking of all the universities in Portugal


This is the list and ranking of all the universities in Portugal. The ranking is based on the quality of education each of the university provides and also the available academic and social facilities in the university. So below is the list of the of all the universities in Portugal and their ranking




Rank    University         Location

1          Universidade do Porto


2          Universidade de Lisboa


3          Universidade de Coimbra

Coimbra ...

4          Universidade do Minho

Braga ...

5          Universidade Nova de Lisboa


6          Universidade de Aveiro

Aveiro ...

7          Instituto Universitário de Lisboa


8          Universidade Catolica Portuguesa

Lisbon ...

9          Universidade do Algarve


10        Universidade de Évora


11        Instituto Politécnico do Porto


12        Universidade da Beira Interior


13        Instituto Politécnico de Leiria


14        Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro

Vila Real

15        Universidade dos Açores

Ponta Delgada ...

16        Universidade da Madeira


17        Instituto Politécnico de Bragança

Bragança ...

18        Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias


19        Instituto Politécnico de Viseu

Viseu ...

20        Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa


21        Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal

Setúbal ...

22        Universidade Fernando Pessoa

Porto ...

23        Instituto Politécnico de Tomar


24        Universidade Lusíada

Lisbon ...

25        Instituto Universitário da Maia


26        Instituto Politécnico de Santarém

Santarém ...

27        Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco

Castelo Branco ...

28        Instituto Politécnico de Beja


29        Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave


30        Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Technologias

Lisbon ...

31        Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo

Viana do Castelo

32        Universidade Europeia


33        Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre


34        Universidade Portucalense Infante D. Henrique


35        Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da Vida


36        Escola Superior de Saúde da Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa


37        Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra

Coimbra ...

38        Instituto Politécnico da Guarda

Guarda ...

39        Escola Superior de Artes e Design


40        Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo do Estoril


41        Instituto Piaget

Almada ...

42        Escola Superior de Educação de Coimbra


43        Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra


44        Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa


45        Escola Superior de Artes Decorativas


46        Instituto Superior Politécnico Gaya

Vila Nova de Gaia

47        Instituto Português de Administração de Marketing

Lisbon ...

48        Instituto Superior Miguel Torga


49        Instituto Universitário de Ciências da Saúde


50        Escola Superior de Enfermagem do Porto


51        Instituto Superior de Educação e Ciências


52        Instituto Superior de Administração e Gestão


53        Instituto Superior de Gestào


54        Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa


55        Escola Superior de Educação de Paula Frassinetti


56        Universidade Lusófona do Porto


57        Instituto Superior de Ciências Empresariais e do Turismo


58        Universidade Atlântica


59        Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra


60        Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde Egas Moniz


61        Escola Superior Artística do Porto


62        Escola Superior Náutica Infante D. Henrique

Paço de Arcos ...

63        Instituto Superior de Ciências da Informação e da Administração


64        Instituto Superior de Entre Douro e Vouga

Santa Maria da Feira

65        Instituto Superior de Novas Profissões


66        Escola Superior de Saúde do Alcoitão


67        Escola Superior Gallaecia

Vila Nova da Cerveira

68        Instituto Superior Manuel Teixeira Gomes


69        Instituto Superior Dom Afonso III


70        Instituto Superior de Comunicação Empresarial


71        Instituto Superior Bissaya Barreto


72        Instituto Superior de Paços de Brandão

Paços de Brandão

73        Instituto Superior de Ciências Educativas

Ramada ...

74        Instituto Superior de Tecnologias Avançadas

Lisbon ...

75        Escola Universitária das Artes de Coimbra


76        Escola Superior de Tecnologias e Artes de Lisboa


77        Instituto Superior de Serviço Social do Porto

Senhora da Hora

78        Escola Superior de Educação Almeida Garrett


79        Instituto de Estudos Superiores de Fafe


80        Instituto Superior de Saúde do Alto Ave

Póvoa de Lanhoso

81        Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Santa Maria


82        Instituto Superior D. Dinis

Marinha Grande

83        Escola Superior de Negócios Atlântico

Vila Nova de Gaia

84        Escola Superior de Enfermagem São Francisco das Misericórdias


85        Escola Superior de Atividades Imobiliárias


86        Instituto Superior de Administração e Línguas


87        Instituto Superior Politécnico do Oeste

Torres Vedras

88        Instituto Superior Ciências da Administração


89        Instituto Superior de Gestão Bancária


90        Escola Superior de Enfermagem da Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa de Oliveira de Azeméis

Oliveira de Azeméis

91        Escola Superior de Saúde Ribeiro Sanches


92        Escola Universitária Vasco da Gama


93        Escola Superior de Enfermagem de São José de Cluny


94        Escola Superior de Enfermagem Dr. José Timóteo Montalvão Machado


95        Instituto Superior de Ciências Policiais e Segurança Interna


96        Escola Superior Artística de Guimarães


97        Instituto Politécnico da Maia


98        Escola Superior de Educadores de Infância Maria Ulrich


99        Escola Superior de Educação de Torres Novas

Torres Novas

100      Instituto Superior de Línguas e Administração de Leiria


101      Escola Superior de Educação de João de Deus


102      Instituto Superior de Ciências Educativas do Douro


Un        Conservatório Superior de Música de Gaia

Vila Nova de Gaia

Un        Instituto Superior de Informática e Gestão



Courses you can study at universities in Portugal


Accounting and Finance

Aeronautical engineering

Manufacturing engineering






Art and Design

Oral science


Biological sciences


Business management

Chemical engineering


Civil engineering

Ancient history

Mass communication

Computer science


Creative writing






Electrical engineering


Film making

Food science


General engineering






Material technology


Mechanical engineering

Medical technology












Veterinary medicine


List of items to pack while going to study in Portugal


In your carry-on bag

           Cell phone and charger

           Boarding pass(es)

           Cash (bring American dollars and the currency of your host location or money you can exchange for it—enough to use in case of an emergency, but not more money than you can afford to lose)

           Copy of birth certificate

           Copy of Social Security card

           Credit card (notify your bank that you’ll be abroad before you leave to avoid your account being frozen)

           Debit card


           E-reader or book

           Emergency contact list

           Face wipes


           Hand sanitizer


           Health insurance card


           Prescription medication(s) you usually take (make sure you bring enough refills to last your entire trip—but future prescriptions can go in your checked luggage)

           School ID

           Spare outfit (in case your luggage gets lost or delayed)

           State ID

           Student visa

           Travel itinerary

           Travel pillow

           Travel tickets (if you’re taking a train or other transport after your plane lands)



           Acne medication/cream

           Face lotion/moisturizer


           Mini shampoo & conditioner (until you get the chance to get full-sized bottles in your new country)

           Mouthwash (small)

           Soap (mini bottle if you're using body wash)





           Bobby pins


           Contacts, solution and case (again, make sure you have all the contacts you'll need for your time abroad)

           Glasses and glasses case

           Hair ties



           Nail clipper




           Tampons and pads



You will likely have the opportunity to do laundry on your trip, and you'll be able to purchase detergent in your host country.

           Downy Wrinkle Release spray

           Linens/towels (if your housing doesn’t have them)

           Portable stain remover pen

           Travel sheet (for hostels)


           Athletic sneakers (1)

           Bathing suits (1-2)

           Boots (1-2)

           Bras (2 sports bras, 2 regular bras, 1 strapless/convertible bras)

           Casual dresses (2)

           Everyday comfortable shoes (1-2)

           Flats (1)

           Flip-flops (1)

           Formal outfit (1-2)

           Gloves (1, if weather appropriate)

           Going-out outfit (3-5)

           Hat (1)

           Heavier coat for colder climates (1)

           Heels (1-2)

           Jacket (2; a light one and one for colder weather, if applicable)

           Jeans (2, one black & one blue)

           Jewelry (remember that bringing jewelry to another country is always a risk; don’t bring anything too valuable!)

           Leggings (1-3)

           Long-sleeve shirts (3-5)

           Pajamas (2-3)

           Pants (1-2 nice pairs)

           Purse (1-2)

           Raincoat (1)

           Scarf (1)

           Short-sleeve shirts (5-7)

           Shorts (2-4, if weather appropriate)

           Skirts (1-2)

           Socks (14)

           Sweaters (3-5)

           Sweatshirt (2)

           T-shirts (3-5)

           Tank tops (3-5)

           Underwear (14)

           Watch (1)

           Workout clothes (2-5)


Remember that most of your electronic items will need an outlet converter in order to work!

           Camera (remember your case and USB cords)

           Cell phone (keep in mind that you’ll be able to buy an international phone when you arrive at your destination)

           Chargers (laptop, phone, camera, e-reader, etc.)

           Flash drive



           Laptop case

           Outlet adapters (2-3)

           USB cable


           Adhesive bandages

           Allergy medicine

           Birth control

           Cold and flu medicine

           Eye drops

           Motion sickness medicine

           Over-the-counter pain medicine



           Backpack (small)

           Gift for your host family (bring something that they couldn’t get in their own country, like memorabilia from your hometown)


           Language dictionary


           Playing cards

           Travel guide

           Umbrella (small)



Benefits of studying abroad in Portugal or any other study abroad destination


1. See the World

The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world . By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.

2. Education

Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.

You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor.

3. Take in a New Culture

Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.

You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.

4. Hone Your Language Skills

Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.

In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience

5. Career Opportunities

When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers.

Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country

6. Find New Interests

If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home.

You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.

7. Make Lifelong Friends

One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students.

After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road.

8. Personal Development

There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor.

A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve.

9. Graduate School Admissions

Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.

Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.

10. Life Experience

Why study abroad? For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity.


Hope this post was helpful


Question tags

How to study in Portugal

Why study in Portugal

Cost of studying in Portugal

Universities in Portugal for international students

Cost of living in Portugal for international students

How to get a visa to study in Portugal

How to apply and study in Portugal

Tuition fees to study in Portugal

Applying to study in Portugal

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