Best 10 Universities in Portugal for International Students

The post provides a wealth of information on the best universities in Portugal for international students. Prospective students looking to pursue greener pastures abroad can find a befitting university in Portugal to help them meet their academic and professional goals.

Studying abroad is a great way to widen your horizon, explore cultures and societies you never imagined existed, partake in world-class education, discover your hidden talent and develop your potential in the process. You also get the opportunity to create an international network of friends when you study abroad.

Many benefits come with studying abroad and it is an adventure you’d never regret going on. Now, when you want to study abroad, the first thing to consider or the major thing you think about is the university you will be applying to. There are over a thousand universities on different continents across various countries. Researching the right one to apply for is an endless task and will take most of your time.

To this effect, we at Study Abroad Nations have undertaken the task of researching these universities for you and bringing them under a canopy – this blog – where you can easily have access to them. In this post, I have curated the best universities in Portugal for international students. You’ve probably never thought of studying in Portugal but it is an interesting, as well as a beautiful, place to study.

Portugal is a southern European country with Lisbon as its capital and Portuguese as its official language. And why should you study here?

You see, Portugal’s education system is ranked 35th best in the world by the QS World University Ranking, therefore, the higher education system is renowned and internationally recognized.

Although Portugal isn’t in the ranks of the UK, Canada, and the US in terms of top destination hubs among international students you can find prestigious academic offerings at the universities.

Since it isn’t popular among international students, this makes the entry requirements less tough, and a lesser number of students apply yearly compared to the UK, Canada, and the US. Therefore, competition for admission is lower, giving you a higher chance of being accepted into your chosen program.

Aspiring to study abroad means you must have started checking out other universities and have even drawn a list of potential universities. Your list, would no doubt, contain the colleges in Canada for international students, as well as, some of the US universities for international students.

If you don’t have a list drawn yet, do that now and start adding potential schools to that list. And if you don’t know where to look for schools our study abroad guide has got you covered. You will find some of the cheap business schools in Europe if you are looking to pursue a degree in business and if the healthcare field is your calling, you can find some of the best medical schools in Cuba or get a scholarship to study medicine in Canada.

How to Apply for Admission in Portugal as International Students

The universities in Portugal throw their doors wide open for students from all corners of the earth to pursue a degree program of their choosing. However, to be considered or eligible for admission into your desired program, there are certain requirements you need to pass. Although these requirements differ from school to school and by programs of study here is a general one.

  1. International applicants must submit a high school transcript or qualifications from a previously attended institution
  2. Get letters of recommendation from former teachers, professors, or employers
  3. Statement of purpose or essay
  4. Student visa
  5. Complete application form
  6. Meet the academic requirement for your program of choice
  7. Satisfy the English or Portuguese language proficiency requirement
  8. CV or resume
  9. Application fee

With all of these, you should be able to begin your application process in any of the Portuguese schools of your choice that accepts international students.

Universities in Portugal that Teach in English

The universities in Portugal for international students that teach in English are:

  1. The University of Porto
  2. The University of Lisbon
  3. Catholic University of Portugal
  4. Instituto Superior Tecnico
  5. NOVA University

See the list of cheap universities in Europe that teach in English.

Tuition Free Universities in Portugal for International Students

There are no tuition free universities in Portugal for international students but there are cheap ones with tuition fees starting as low as $3,000 per year. The University of Evora, the University of Algarve, the University of Lisbon, and the University of Porto are among the cheapest universities in Portugal for international students.

There are tuition free universities for international students in other countries though, that is if you are looking for them. Canada has some tuition free universities for international students, you can also find tuition free universities in Ireland and Australia.

What is the Cost of Studying in Portugal for International Students

Aside from picking a country and a school to study abroad, you should also know the cost of studying there to know if it is something you or your family can afford. The tuition fee in Portugal for international students is between EUR 3,500 and EUR 7,000 per year depending on the degree program.

List of Universities in Portugal for International Students

Portugal has a total number of 134 higher institutions comprising public and private universities and polytechnics. Out of this number, how many accepts international students? Keep reading to find out.

The universities in Portugal for international students are:

1.     The University of Lisbon (ULisboa)

On my first list of universities in Portugal for international students is the University of Lisbon or ULisboa as it is commonly referred to. Here, you can pursue any degree in fields such as engineering and technology, humanities, law, business, mathematics, and physics. It is a vibrant, diverse learning environment designed to fit and meet the demands of international students.

There are cutting-edge laboratories and research units to equip you with experiential learning and set you up for a successful career after graduation.

Visit ULisboa website

2.     The University of Coimbra

Ranking in the 26th position of most sustainable institutions in the world, the University of Coimbra boasts of a quality academic offering in the areas of research and teaching. Bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D., and non-degree courses are all available here for you to explore. These courses cover various areas of study some of which are offered in the English language.

This is one of the universities in Portugal for international students to explore and develop their potential to the fullest and take up adventures that will promote their academic and personal lives.

Visit UC website

3.     The University of Minho (UMinho)

Sounds Chinese, right? The University of Minho or UMinho is a prestigious public university in Portugal with a total of four campuses – three in Braga and one in Guimaraes.

It was established in 1973 and has since kept providing academic excellence in the areas of teaching and research to students pursuing degrees at undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate levels.

There are 11 schools and institutes of research at UMinho offering a wide range of academic programs taught in English and Portuguese languages. The website link below will set you up with any details you may need concerning accommodation, food, cost of living, university infrastructure, and other necessary information to guide you towards your goal of studying here.

The University of Minho is one of the universities in Portugal for international students to consider applying to as it has one of the most diverse student populations in Portugal.

Visit UMinho website

4.     The University of Porto (UPorto)

The University of Porto or UPorto is one of the universities in Portugal for international students founded as a public university in 1911. It has the largest number of enrolled students among other universities in Portugal therefore, admission here may seem a bit competitive.

UPorto is organized into 12 faculties, a business school, and an institute where students from home and abroad are all pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in various study fields including law, economics, engineering, pharmacy, sports, and architecture.

Interested in studying here? Follow the link below to find all the answers and guidance you need to begin your journey at UPorto.

Visit UPorto website

5.     NOVA University Lisbon

NOVA is a public university in Campolide, Lisbon is known as one of the universities in Portugal for international students. The university has a vibrant learning environment with a diverse population set to accommodate students from any part of the world.

Your journey at NOVA will be an exciting experience presenting you with an opportunity to make international friends, learn a new language, build your career, and explore cultures and societies.

In addition to a wide academic offer of professional careers (bachelors, masters, and PhDs) in Portuguese, it also has a considerable number of programs in English which makes it suitable for students from other nationalities.

Visit NOVA website

6.     The University of Aveiro

The University of Aveiro is one of the public universities in Portugal for international students but also provides polytechnic education. It is located in Aveiro and was established in 1973. The fact that it still exists to date and is among the top choice for international students proves that this is a prestigious higher citadel of learning.

It has a student population of approximately 12,500 distributed by departments and autonomous sections in undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate programs. Scholarships are awarded to best performing international students and can go on to cover for the rest of your school years if you maintain academic excellence.

Visit school website

7.     The University of Algarve

The University of Algarve is one of the universities in Portugal for international students encouraging closer education and more collaboration. International students coming here should prepare themselves for a rigorous education and high-quality teaching.

You can pursue academic degree programs in management & tourism, health science and technology, BioMed, marine science, arts and communication, and social science.

Annually, Algarve admits up to 2,000 foreign students from more than 80 nationalities to pursue a degree of their choice. Upon arrival, you will be greeted with a diverse, vibrant community set to make you feel like you never left home.

Visit school website

8.     Polytechnic Institute of Porto (IPP)

The Polytechnic Institute of Porto or IPP is one of the universities in Portugal for international students offering an open, challenging, and multicultural community spread across 8 schools. The number of international students that apply here annually is low or the school simply accepts a low number of international applicants.

About 500 international students are accepted here annually, this could mean there is less competition. You can find programs in education, engineering, media arts & design, technology & management, health, music & performing arts, and accounting & administration here in IPP. Follow the link below to know the respective program requirements.

Visit IPP website

9.     The University of Madeira (UMa)

The University of Madeira, commonly referred to as UMa is one of the public universities in Portugal for international students established in 1988 in Funchal, Madeira. The university is organized into four faculties, two schools, and other research units where undergraduate and graduate students can choose from a wide range of programs across several departments including mathematics, German studies, medicine, nursing, sports, and physics.

International students interested to study here will find answers to any questions they may have and get guidance when they follow the link provided below.

Visit UMa website

10.  Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon

This is another awesome polytechnic in Portugal that accepts international students. If you are all about polytechnics this is your ideal institution. It is set in a vibrant community designed to accommodate any student type from anywhere in the world and help them achieve their academic goals through quality academic program offerings.

The polytechnic is organized into 8 colleges where you can find varieties of programs including music, dance, accountancy, engineering, and education. You will find entrance requirements for your specific course and nationality by following the link below.

Visit school website

Universities in Portugal for International Students – FAQs

Is the cost of living in Portugal expensive?

Portugal has one of the lowest costs of living in Europe and is much cheaper compared to countries like Spain and Italy.

Do they speak English in Portugal?

While the Portuguese language is the official language here, English is also widely spoken and it is the second most spoken language in the country.

Is Portugal good for international students?

Portugal is a good place for international students with nearly 7,000 students commenting a satisfactory response on the database of international student experiences.