Portugal in the News

Portugal is an exciting place to live and study, especially for international students. To give you a glimpse into the country, we thought we’d round up some news stories from the past couple of weeks - from pop culture to economics. Take a look at these stories to get a taste of life in Portugal!

Image via  Variety

Image via Variety

‘Plogging’ has become popular in Portugal. The trend, which promotes picking up litter while exercising, started in Sweden and spread online across the world. The group Não Lixes in Aveiro brought it to Portugal. Every Saturday they gather along the river to get some exercise and help the environment. Members can walk, jog, or cycle, as long as they stop along the way to pick up garbage they find.

Portugal is first on the list of OECD countries for the percentage of women graduates in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). 57% of female graduates in Portugal have a STEM degree, compared with the OECD average of 39%.

Portugal introduced new production regulations to attract more filmmakers. Some movies have already taken advantage of the new incentives, like “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote," and more are on the way!

The Cervejeiros de Portugal, or Brewers of Portugal, admitted six new members in an effort to include microbreweries in addition to larger manufacturers.

Portugal has doubled its investment in world financial institutions within the past two years.

Portugal came in last place in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. However, hosting the competition brought thousands of visitors, an audience across Europe, an exciting atmosphere, and a 100 million euro return on investment.

The Future of International Education

The face of international education is changing as the world becomes more and more complex. The number of international students is growing, set to hit 8 million by 2025. The leading destinations for international students are shifting away from traditional frontrunners like the United States and United Kingdom. Instead, students are opting to go to university in countries like Canada and Australia, and European nations like Portugal. Countries are developing new strategies to serve global students, like international partnerships and technological advancements. Last year, Rahul Choudaha published an article exploring the phases, or waves, of international education in order to predict its future.

The first wave of international education was a demand for highly skilled post-graduate students, especially those in science and technology. In order to attract talent, universities competed with each other and provided scholarships. This wave shifted after September 2001, when new visa requirements restricted student mobility to the United States. The second wave began with the impact of the global financial recession; universities and countries wanted to recruit international students again. The third wave, beginning around 2014, comes off the back of global trends of nationalism and uncertainty. These movements mean that global student enrolment is on the rise in Asian and continental European schools.

Choudaha's three waves makes the broad implications of international education clear; student mobility both reflects and drives international change. What can the past waves of global education tell us about its future? As we mentioned last week, there is evidence that studying abroad reduces biases between groups. Learning in a global setting can fight against anti-immigrant rhetoric and politics. It's more important than ever to broaden your experiences and cultural knowledge and study abroad.

Image via  OurCrowd .

Image via OurCrowd.

The Perks of Living Abroad

A paper published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes this March confirms what we’ve known all along: living abroad is good for you! Hajo Adam and his fellow researchers took a look at how delving into a new culture can help you know yourself better. The paper, “The shortest path to oneself leads around the world,” claims that living in a new place increases self clarity. This is because you can reflect on your own desires and behavior better when you’re out of your usual cultural context. Interestingly, the study found that it was more beneficial to live in one foreign country for a long time than to live in many countries briefly.

This research is the latest in a trend of studies that have found that experiences in foreign countries enhance creativity, reduce biases between groups, and lead to career success. As the paper sums up, “Leaving one’s home country for extended periods of time likely allows people to reap the numerous benefits that a clear sense of self provides.” Studying abroad is the perfect way to immerse yourself in a new culture for a long time, at a crucial time for self reflection and clarity!


The Future of Tech in Portugal

Portuguese commitment to innovation and young business is clear. The country aims to foster education and interest in emerging industries. Technology and information industries are a large part of this focus.

There are many opportunities for Portuguese and international students and graduates who want to become involved in the tech industry. Lisbon’s international Web Summit attracts tech giants like Intel and Amazon as well as younger Portuguese companies like Codacy and Kinematix. Opportunities are still growing, especially for women. The 2018 Women in Tech Index ranked Portugal as the country with the best opportunities for women in the tech industry. This ranking is based on how active women are in today’s workforce, the profile of the tech industry in each country, and equality/opportunity.

For a country that emphasizes technology and development so much, it’s no surprise that Portugal is focused on the future of education and business. The Portuguese government and the European Commission have introduced a pilot program to improve digital literacy and make education more sustainable. These reforms could serve as a template for other countries in the EU. Minister of Science, Technology, and Higher Education Manuel Heitor spoke recently at Digital Day 2018 in Brussels about Portugal's ambitions to be a leader in the digital field. To do so, the country is focusing on artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.

Opportunities are on the rise for students, including international students, in Portugal! Higher education is focused on digital knowledge and the private and public sectors both prioritize technological innovation.

Image via  Barron's .

Image via Barron's.

Will I Like Studying in Portugal?

If you’ve heard about Portugal’s beautiful weather, amazing food, and strong universities we bet you’re considering studying here! However, it can be nerve-racking to study in a foreign country. Even students who can’t wait to go abroad and start a new adventure are bound to have doubts. If I study in Portugal, will I like it? Will the people be friendly? Will I feel safe? Will anyone speak English?


One of the most important things that make a country home is feeling accepted by the people and culture. Forbes recently declared Portugal the friendliest country in the world! Portuguese culture is open and warm, and most of the people interviewed found it easy to make friends in Portugal. A high percentage of the expats said that they planned to remain here permanently. This large foreign population also helps make Portuguese culture so dynamic! With a growing emphasis on international education and a startup culture, Lisbon and other cities host people from around the world.

Portugal is a very safe country; SafeAround ranks Lisbon as the 17th safest city in the world, and Portugal as the 11th safest country. Travellers and students in Portugal can feel comfortable and secure. Language barriers can make studying in a new country very stressful and increase culture shock. Luckily in Portugal, about one third of the population speaks English, with the number higher in cities and younger populations. You'll be able to get around the country easily while you’re still learning Portuguese. Multiple universities offer programs in English as well, such as CLSBE. It’s even more common for graduate programs to be taught in English; many even have links to schools in the United States.

While every international student will have a different experience in Portugal (that’s what makes studying abroad so exciting!) we are confident you’ll find the country warm and welcoming!

International Success

Last week we blogged about the educational partnerships between Portuguese universities and foreign institutions. This week, we want to update you on the results of these partnerships. Dozens of new companies have been formed through collaboration with international organizations. Feedzai was the first startup generated by the Carnegie Mellon Portugal program. The company, which uses artificial intelligence to fight fraud, is valued at over 500 million euros. This business is just one of hundreds started as a result of partnerships with foreign institutions. Others include Veniam, which creates technology for autonomous cars, and FuelSave, which helps companies reduce their fuel use by 20%.


UTEN Portugal reported that each euro that the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia invested in these companies yielded 40 euros return. With these results in mind, the Portuguese government initiated the second phase of this project, GoPortugal, in February to keep the partnerships in place until 2030. 64 million euros have been invested into the second cycle, as the Minister of Higher Education Manuel Heitor discussed during a visit to the United States.

The rewards are not just monetary either; in the first five years of the program, universities were granted 20% more patents. Spinoff companies reported an increase in hiring of 38%. 1500 students have completed their higher education through one of these programs. Overall, it is clear that national markets can benefit from educational partnerships across borders just as much as international students can! The success of GoPortugal will likely contribute to a rise in educational cooperation in Portugal and abroad.

International Education

Recently we’ve seen Portugal increase its commitment to international education, including the rising trend of international cooperation academic programs. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the United States is a prime example of a university trying to strengthen its partnerships with Portuguese schools. Last month, UMass Dartmouth chancellor Robert E. Johnson visited Portuguese institutions Universidade Católica Portuguesa and Instituto Camões. Johnson reported “I believe there is great potential for new innovative partnerships and outreach both close to home and abroad.” Massachusetts has a large Portuguese-American community and UMass Dartmouth has a Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture and the Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives. The university participates in some international programs, and if they want to expand them there are many examples!

MIT Portugal launched in 2006, and has the goal of addressing key social issues through engineering education and research. So far, over 900 students from 28 countries have participated. In a recent collaboration with MIT Portugal, researchers at the Universidade de Coimbra developed the technology to increase the lifespan of stem cells used to treat ischemic diseases like heart attack and stroke. The UT Austin Portugal CoLab initiative focuses on Digital Media, Mathematics, Advanced Computing, and Nanotechnology. Carnegie Mellon Portugal offers dual-degree Masters and PhD program, and collaborates with industrial partners like Altice to expand Research & Development in Portugal. Harvard Medical School has a research training program in Portugal as well. As global knowledge becomes a crucial part of education and opportunities for student mobility continue to grow, we predict that more universities will forge international partnerships!

Digitizing Portugal

The government of Portugal signed a memorandum of understanding with network technology company Cisco earlier this month to increase the country’s digitization. The aim of the two year partnership, according to Prime Minister António Costa, is “to create a sustainable innovation ecosystem that will enable our country to better compete in the global digital economy.”

The partnership has a wide spectrum of goals with an emphasis on education and entrepreneurship. To optimize education, they plan to teach students digital skills and create ‘smart schools.’ A collaboration with StartUP Portugal will support tech startups and help them achieve international expansion. The third priority is digital transformation of the Public sector, making government platforms more efficient.

This program follows the Portuguese national initiative Indústria 4.0 that was expanded at the 2017 European Commission Digital Day. The Commission is working to coordinate and fund national digitization efforts across Europe. International students will play a role in both plans. Investments that Portugal, Cisco, and the EU make in technology and digital industry will encourage international, diverse entrepreneurship and ensure that students are trained for the jobs of the future.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, Prime Minister António Costa, and Minister of Presidency and Administrative Modernization Maria Manuel Leitão Marques. Photo via  GlobeNewswire .

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, Prime Minister António Costa, and Minister of Presidency and Administrative Modernization Maria Manuel Leitão Marques. Photo via GlobeNewswire.

Scientific Growth

Last year saw a dramatic rise in the number of patents granted to Portugal by the European Patent Office. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of patents granted rose 15.3%, the highest rate of growth in a decade! The areas with the most applications were medication and medical technology. Porto led the country with 16% of applications, and Universidade do Porto ranked in the top 5 applicants.

The growth was not contained to Portugal; Europe overall applied for more patents in 2017 with a 3.9% growth, highlighting the rising interest in STEM and tech knowledge across the continent. We've already reported on the emphasis of these fields in Portuguese schools and the growth of these markets in Portugal. This recent news highlights the ideal timing for international students to study abroad in Portugal!

Photo via  U.Porto

Photo via U.Porto

International Women's Day in Portugal

Today is Dia Internacional da Mulher, International Women’s Day! The theme this year is 'Press for Progress,' with celebrations, strikes, and marches occurring around the world. Progress is crucial in Portugal; a recent Eurostat report highlighted the work that needs to be done to increase income equality. However, advancements are clear as well. Later this month, Tomar will host the Women Economic Forum, with Portuguese women speaking to an international audience on the topic of ‘Women Dream Weavers.’ Yesterday’s report from the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs placed Portugal as the 6th top market for female entrepreneurship, as well as the country with the 10th highest percentage of women as business owners. These factors, as well as an increasing number of women in tertiary education, make it clear that Portuguese women are pressing for progress.

Image via  IWD

Image via IWD

Doctorates on the Rise

According to a recent report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the number of doctoral graduates has increased worldwide within the last 20 years. The majority of these graduates are from countries in OECD, of which Portugal has been a member since the ‘60s. The report also noted that the distribution of degrees has changed, with over half awarded in STEM and health fields. These increases can be sourced to large emerging economies, like India, in addition to changes in the higher education landscape.

Image via  TNW

Image via TNW

OECD referenced increasing digitalization in schools and internationalized research. These changes bode well for Portugal, as Portuguese institutions focus on global educational cooperation, including gaining international students. This upward trend will likely keep increasing in the country with the news that polytechnics can award doctorate degrees.

Growth in Portugal

International students have many factors to keep in mind when deciding where to study abroad, especially the opportunities they’ll have after they graduate. The latest economic reports show Portugal entering a rapid period of growth with the country’s real gross domestic product growing at its highest rate in seventeen years. In 2017, the country’s real GDP grew at the rate of 2.7%, a dramatic increase from 2016’s 1.5% growth. This growth can be attributed to improving economic factors across the eurozone, as well as increased domestic demand.


Earlier this month, Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Finance and Economic Affairs, praised Portugal’s “remarkable” growth. In contrast to expert forecasts, Portugal had the best performance within the eurozone between July and September of 2017. The population became more active in the job market as well, with employment increasing at an even faster rate than unemployment decreased. This news suggests an exciting future for the country, and a growing economy that future graduates can play a role in!

Politécnico News

Earlier this month, the Council of Ministers followed OECD recommendations and ruled that politécnicos can award doctorate degrees. This is big news for international students; previously, only universities could award PhDs.

This new plan is partially to encourage polytechnics to improve their science and research capacity, as reported by minister Manuel Hitor. It places conditions on polytechnics, like increased Research & Development activity and high evaluation by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. The Council also authorized a new type of one year master’s degree.

Eventually, these moves will increase the number of higher degree holders in the workplace. This is a great opportunity to study abroad in Portugal! International students looking to earn their doctorate degrees have even more institutions to choose from.

Students have more options for graduate studies in Portugal.

Students have more options for graduate studies in Portugal.

Contemporary Culture

Art buffs will love Portugal for the country’s rich art history. Traveling around the country, visitors can see fine art spanning from the fifteenth century Panels of Saint Vincent to Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso’s modernist paintings. In addition to art of the past, Portugal’s contemporary art scene is thriving. Museums like the Gulbenkian and the Serralves Foundation host contemporary international shows; right now, museumgoers can view work by photographer Mariana Silva and Ethiopian-American artist Julie Mehretu.

View of the exhibition "Mariana Silva. Olho Zoomórfico/Camera Trap." Photo via  Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

View of the exhibition "Mariana Silva. Olho Zoomórfico/Camera Trap." Photo via Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

For those who prefer movies, film festivals take place around the year in Portugal. Porto’s renowned film festival Fantasporto will celebrate films from over 60 countries later this month! Students at the many art schools around the country play a vital role in contemporary Portuguese art. Student magazines, exhibitions, and performances break new ground and introduce up and coming artists.

ESAD's design magazine PLI Arte & Design, N6 Design after Design. Photo via  ESAD

ESAD's design magazine PLI Arte & Design, N6 Design after Design. Photo via ESAD

An Investment in Your Future

At the World Economic Forum last month in Switzerland, Portuguese prime minister António Costa highlighted rising economic opportunities in Portugal. With heavy investments in education, a highly trained workforce, and international connections and knowledge, the country is especially attractive for startups and tech companies.

Costa announced future investors at the Forum, including Google, which will launch a support center in Oeiras in June and hire 500 employees. Other companies, like Siemens and Bosch, are also increasing their investments.

Left to right: moderator Peter Limbourg, Prime Minister Costa, Irish Prime Minister Varadkar. Photo via  DW

Left to right: moderator Peter Limbourg, Prime Minister Costa, Irish Prime Minister Varadkar. Photo via DW

These shifts make it the perfect time to study in Portugal! As new and established companies search for skilled workers with global perspectives, the opportunities for international students in Portugal continue to rise.

Carnival in Portugal

Studying abroad in Portugal has many perks! International students love the weather, food, and culture, including Portuguese festivals. Carnival marks the beginning of Lent and is celebrated in Portugal with parades and festivals throughout the week.

This year, tourists, locals, and students attended events across the country. One such parade in Lisbon, the Spring Festival, combined Carnival with Chinese traditions, highlighting the city’s diverse blend of cultures.

Cascais 2018 European Youth Capital


Cascais is this year the European Youth Capital!

We are very excited to participate in this year long Event, directed to the European Youth and all subjects and themes related to the younger generations.

Activities will take place right outside Lisbon, by the Atlantic Ocean.

If you're coming to Portugal to Study this year, you will have the opportunity to chose from an endless number of events related to Arts, Sports, Employment, Mobility, Environment, Etc.

For more information, take a look at their website, here.


Portugal's 4 Business Schools in the Financial Times 2017 rankings

It is with immense joy that we share these amazing news: Portugal has now 4 universities among the top best Business Schools in the Continent.

Portugal is represented in the ranking by Universidade Nova, Universidade Católica, Porto Business School and the newcomer: ISCTE!

With 4 ranked Business Schools, Portugal now pairs with Spain and Switzerland; and doubling with Poland or Italy (2, each).

These results show that Portuguese Universities continuously work for excellent results, providing top quality courses and work opportunities.

For the full article, click here