international students

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?

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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!

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.

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.