international student

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 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!


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.