Study in Portugal

Do you want to study in Portugal? You can try to get admission in one of the oldest universities in Europe. With the growing economic situation of Portugal, it is becoming a highly pursued destination for aspiring candidates. The higher education of Portugal is world famous. So those of you who are looking for master's courses in various science and arts disciplines can think of studying in Portugal.

Just like many other countries in Europe, the compulsory education in Portugal consists of two stages, the primary and the secondary. The primary education continues for nine years. Here lies the main difference with the primary education of India. In India, the primary education continues for5 years. The main focus is on giving a child the basic knowledge in primary languages and Mathematics. In Portugal, the focus is to create a future generation with proper knowledge in Portuguese language and Mathematics. Along with this stress is also given upon vocational languages like Music, Art and Dance. The time given to develop a passion for any of these subjects is much more than that in India. By the time a student reaches the secondary level, he has already a picture in his mind, regarding his future. So the academic base of a student is created by giving a lot of time to develop his passion towards a subject. The secondary education consists of three years. In fact, in India a class 10 board examination is considered to be under the secondary education level of a state and a class 12 board examination is considered to be under the higher secondary education level of a state. In the country of Portugal both class 10 and 12 fall under the secondary level of education. In this level the students are segregated according to their choice of future genre of career. Since this is not a graduation course, the choice will be a little general in nature. So, you have technical secondary courses or artistic secondary courses and others. You have to choose any one. The one you choose will roughly define the ultimate goal of your career. The education is free up to this level in the public schools.
Portugal is one of the pioneer countries which have introduced information and communication technology or ICT in the field of schooling. The implementation of this information and communication technology mainly looks after three things,

  • Letting the school authorities continue with their autonomy. The school authorities have to depend on other government authorities for very limited areas. They don't have to wait for a decision of higher governing bodies or trustees for every single matter of administration. In some schools, the design of curriculum is also done using ICT. So this gives the schools a high degree of autonomy.
  • Secondly, the assessment of the work done by the students is a matter of concern for the teachers. In fact, doing the correct assessment every time for every student may become a headache for the teachers. The government of Portugal allows the use of ICT in results and occasional assessment of students. The methods proposed under ICT helps the teachers assess their students correctly and thus predict a remedial measure for the students if required.
  • Last but not the least, the teaching and learning procedure is greatly enhance by this ICT procedures. The students can learn the same subject in a different manner and with a different perception. This also helps the students in completing their homework in a better way. The students become more attached to their schools and the textbooks. Few other countries are also implementing ICT at the very basic level of the education process, like Portugal.

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About Portugal

  • Geography-The country of Portugal borders Spain on the northern and eastern side. Towards the west, it has the Iberian Peninsula. This Iberian Peninsula is divided between Spain and Portugal. Other than being a part of the European continent, this country consists of two archipelagos, Madeira and Azores. As mentioned earlier, this country experiences very low rainfall. The summer temperatures could rise to as high as 45 degrees C. The winter in some parts of Portugal may see as low temperature as -20oC.
  • History-In around 210 B.C. the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Romans. During the fourth century, the empire of Romans saw a downfall. But this did not mean that the Iberian Peninsula became an independent region. Soon the people were invaded by various other tribes and races. Among them, Suevis and Moors are a few important invading groups. This country annexed Goa in the year 1510. Around 450 years later, the country of India annexed those parts in the country which were considered to be Portuguese Indian territories.
  • Culture and Sports-Like most other European countries, this country is also famous for its various styles of architectures. You will find the influence of Gothic styles in a lot of architectures of this country. This country also has its own and very popular style of architecture, which is known as the Pombaline style of architecture. This style of architecture became popular, when the capital of Portugal, that is Lisbon was re-established very effectively after the earthquake, using this style of architecture. There is a popular style of dancing in this country, called as Fandango style. It is a dancing style that is performed with the help of singing and clapping along with it. A lot of little girls and boys of this country learn Fandango. This is a couple's dance. Football and futsal are the sports that are widely played in Portugal. There are many other sports which are played in this country. But football and futsal are tremendously popular among the teenagers. Some of the popular footballers of Portugal are Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo. They and many other football players of Portugal are world famous. This country has not only participated in the FIFA world cup many times but it has also ranked fourth in one of the world cups. Portugal people are also very fond of the game of futsal. This game is kind of a game of football, except for this is played in a shorter area than that of a game of football. The term futsal means lounge football or indoor football. This game is of shorter duration than a game of football. Either half of this game consists of 20 minutes, instead of 45 minutes (as in a game of football). Most of the rules in this game are similar to that of a game in football. Although any football match could be a draw, most of the time, a futsal match can't be considered as draw.
  • Quick Facts

    • The borders of this country were clearly demarcated from the year 1139. From that time onwards, there has been no substantial change in the area of this country or the geographical borders of this country. So it is the oldest country of Europe.
    • The University of Coimbra is one of the oldest university of Coimbra.
    • The Vasco Da Gama bridge of Portugal is the second longest bridges in Portugal. The maximum speed limit of cars on this bridge could be 120kmph.
    • This the country experienced the reign of the longest and shortest running monarchs of the world.
    • The alternate name of this country is Portuguese Republic.
    • It was among the initial countries of Europe to buy slaves from West Africa. It is interesting to know that it was also the first country to abolish the slavery system many years before United States or Britain.
    • Like many other countries of Europe Christianity was not the official religion of this country. This religion was propagated to this country from the Roman Empire. Today more than 75% of the people of this country are Roman Catholics.
    • Did you know that the highest wave of the world was seen in Portugal? The height of this wave was seen in the year 2011. The height of this wave was 78 feet. This wave rose during a game of surfing and not due to a huge flood.
    • Portugal is the largest producer of corks. It has the largest area covered with cork oak forests in the world. The wood of this cork oaks provide the wood for the corks. So this country is not only a patron of football and futsal, but it also helps the badminton players all over the world.
    • This is an interesting food fact about Portugal. The world's largest omelette was cooked in this country. Around 55 chefs cooked for 6 long hours to make this tasty and world's largest and heaviest omelette.

    Admission Process in Portugal

    • You must submit the photocopies of the mark sheets and certificates of class 10,12, graduation/ master's degree as applicable for the course. The university will decide on the ability of your candidature based on your academic records. Along with these, you must provide a proof of your birth and citizenship in India. Generally, an Aadhar card suffices for this. You can think of submitting the photocopy of your birth certificate. If the university has not stipulated what certificate to show as your birth proof, then you can also give the photocopy of your passport. If any university requires a birth proof and the proof of passport, then you need to give both.
    • You must submit a photocopy of your passport. The validity of the passport must remain for at least 6 more months.
    • You will have to submit a few photographs in the university application form. Generally, two passport size photographs suffice for your application.
    • You must submit the proof of the passport of your parents. Make sure that the photocopy you submit contains the date of issuance of the passport. It should also should the date of birth and address of your parents.
    • You need to pay a non-refundable admission fee along with the application.
    • Some universities or colleges require a proof that you can speak and write well in English. For this purpose, you must clear the examinations like TOEFL or IELTS.
    • You need to submit a statement of purpose. This is a self-written application appealing to the university for candidature. You must specify why your admission in that university is important. You must satisfy the university authorities as to why they should take you in their course.
    • If you are selected for the course, then you might be asked to submit the entire tuition fee for getting a confirmed admission in that university. Without paying this fee, your admission will be incomplete.
    • Lastly, the university may also ask for a fit certificate signed by a doctor. You must get it done by either your house physician or a doctor from a government hospital.

    Student Visa Application Process

    There are two kinds of visas available for the students to opt for. One is a short-term Schengen stay visa, also known as C category visa. This visa is given to students in a Schengen country for a time of maximum six months. There are three kinds of C visas, they are as follows:
    • With a single entry visa a student can stay maximum until six months. If during these six months he or she leaves to visit his or her home country, they will not be allowed back in Portugal. The candidate has to again reissue the visa from the visa consulate office by filling up a fresh application form. By this time, the course for which the candidate applied back in Portugal may be over. This kind of a visa is applicable for those candidates who are planning to enter the country of Portugal once and leave only after they finish the course.
    • With a double entry visa a student can stay maximum until six months. But during this duration, a candidate is permitted to leave the country and enter it again once. Once the candidate enters the country the second time he or she has to finish the course and then leave Portugal. This should be done within those six months.
    • With a multiple entry visa also a student can stay maximum until six months. The difference of this visa with other visas is that with the help of this a person can stay in Portugal for a stretch of maximum 90 days in six months duration. Then he has to leave the country and enter Portugal later for another and final stretch of 90 days.

    • If you are thinking of pursuing a bachelor's or masters course, then need to apply for the visa of ‘D' category. The time period of your stay will be stated in the visa. Sometimes the visa period is for one year. Then before the end of that one year, you have to apply for an extension by showing proper documents of your admission and the remaining time period of the course. The documents required for the visa are mentioned in the later sections.


      This country is one of the cheapest countries in Western Europe. The weather of this country is warm and soothing. Rains are a rarity in this country. The rainy season may stay for a maximum of three months. This is a very soothing weather for students to study. You will not be tormented by the rains too much. There are so many good locations in this country that you can visit. In fact, Portugal has quite a number of visiting places which not only contains aesthetic beauty but also provide a lot of information for the students. For example, the oceanarium of this country is the largest oceanarium in Europe. It contains a variety of fish and sea creatures. This place is an abode for the students of oceanography. You get entertainment and education at the same time. In fact, if you are a student of Natural Sciences, then you can think of pursuing a project on creatures of the ocean. This oceanarium will help you in this regard. Another beautiful and a world heritage place is Palacio Nacional de Sintra. This was a summer holiday destination for kings and queens of Portugal. So you will get a lot of historical information from this place. Not only this, this place is a great destination for literature students too. This was a favourite place for novelists and poets. It is said that the famous British poet Gordon Byron loved to visit this place. So, the future poets of our country should not give this place a miss. The cost of living of a student in this country is discussed in the following sections.

      Cost of Living for Students

      Accommodation-The most of the international students coming to Portugal either stay in Porto or Coimbra. Other than this, people also look for apartments in the capital of Portugal. The apartments are useful for a group of students who will stay together. You can think of renting an apartment with around 8-10 other students. Accordingly, you will get the number of beds. All the students will get separate bedrooms. These beds could be either provided in separate rooms. The former will cost you more than the latter facility. You can also get two beds per room. Most of the other furniture in the rooms will be common. You will have free Wi-Fi facility in the rooms. The gas, electricity bills might either be included in the rent or taken separately along with the rent. The cost varies between 100-400 Euros per month. The variation in the cost is dependent on the number of beds, rooms, and other facilities rented.
      Food&Transportation- The cost of meals in a restaurant in Portugal is quite cheap. You can get a course of a meal (especially the breakfast) within 10 Euros. The cost may rise up to 40 Euros. Potatoes, onions, beans, tomatoes are a little bit costly. On the other hand, different kinds of fruits and rice are quite cheap. The prices of fruits are quite comparable to that of the prices in India. The cost of bus tickets starts at around 1.5 Euros. The students can buy monthly passes with around 40 Euros.

      Documents for University Admissions in Portugal

      1. You must download the visa application form. The application form will differ according to the category. There are separate forms for visa ‘C' and ‘D' category. You must submit the visa application fee after filling the form. The visa fee varies in between 60-100 Euros.
      2. The validity of your passport must remain for a minimum of 1 year. Along with this, there should be more than 2 blank visa pages left.
      3. You will have to submit your entire travel itinerary to the visa office.
      4. You need only one passport size photograph. The photograph should be taken by some professional. He will take care of the fact that the photo captures your entire face and highlights nose, eyes, ears, etc. The background of the photo can be any light color.
      5. You have to submit a photocopy of the admission letter given to you by the University of Portugal. Without this letter, your application will be rejected. This is a proof of your requirement to go to Portugal. The visa application office will tally the itinerary with the admission letter of the university. So the university you are taking admission in must specify the starting and ending date of your course.
      6. You must have a fit certificate signed by your physician certifying that you don't possess any contagious disease or mental instability. Along with this you need to apply for a health insurance. This insurance will cover all the health problems you experience during your stay in Portugal. So you must submit a proof of this health insurance to the visa consulate office.
      7. You will have to book your apartment beforehand. You will have to show the proof of your accommodation to the visa consulate office.
      8. Last but not the least, you must submit the proof of your bank statements. The visa consulate office will check whether you can sustain your stay in this country during the course.

The Following is a list of Portugal universities and colleges, and the subjects offered in those universities.

  1. Universidade Nova de Lisboa-Subjects taught-History of Art, Anthropology, Communication Sciences, Geography, Political Science, International Relations, Musicology, Philosophy, etc.One of the best things about this university is that this university encourages the characteristic that needs to be encouraged in students of higher education. This thing is entrepreneurship. The university has several platforms where enthusiastic students of this university can put up their ideas for new start-ups. They have an initiation known as the IDEA competition. This competition encourages ideas of the students about new business ventures. Another facility that this university is famous for is the student exchange programs. They also call it a student mobility program. Here a call for this program is generated once or twice a year. Students from various countries belonging to the European Union are called to participate in that program. They have to submit their curriculum vitae and a statement of purpose that would justify their candidature. If the university selects the student then he will be called to fill in for another student in that university. In exchange, the other student will be sent to another university with which this Universidade Nova de Lisboa is in collaboration. Both the students will have to perform certain experiments, conduct certain studies under the guidance of the university. The duration of this exchange program is generally for one semester.
  2. University of Algarve--Subjects taught-Aquaculture and Fisheries, Chemical Innovation and Regulation, Building Services Engineering and Geomatics are few of the subjects that you will be able to study in this university. You will rarely get such disciplines in India. Other these, there are subjects which you will find both in any Indian and this university. These subjects are Psychology, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Civil Engineering, Clinical Psychology, Accounting, Finance, Food Technology, Healthcare Services Management, etc.
  3. University of Minho-Subjects taught-This university provides master's courses in Accounting, Administrative Law, Applied Biochemistry, Applied Psychology, Bioinformatics, Archaeology, Business and Contract Law, etc. There are two kinds of courses offered here related to children. If you are a student of a graduation in Child Psychology, then you can think of pursuing a master's course in Child Studies or Child Family and Inheritance Law. The undergraduate courses include Applied Statistics, Applied Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, etc. In my suggestion, if you think of studying at this university, then choose this institute for master's courses. This is because; this university also encourages research work. If you get a student visa for a duration of around 5 years, then you can complete your master's and research work effectively. This university has a separate unit that looks after various aspects of research. Interdisciplinary research is the main genre that is patronized under the research unit. Every year a huge number of articles are published in the popular journals of the world. So this university is very prolific with a huge number of proficient faculties.
  4. Catholic University of Portugal-Subjects taught-Communication Studies, Culture, Political Science and International Relations, Economics, Finance, Applied Microbiology and much more. This university has come up to be one of the popular universities of the world. In the current academic year, it ranks within the top 700 universities of this world. One good thing about this university is that this university offers scholarships to students of the undergraduate programs. The students need to be exceptionally good in their academics. Their grade point average should fulfil the scholarship criteria. The best thing is that a student need not apply for the scholarship separately. They will be automatically granted this scholarship if their grade point average at the end of the examination fulfils the scholarship criteria. In fact, if a student fails to fulfil those criteria at the end of one year, he will again get this chance in the following years.

A very popular symbol of Portugal that people have it printed on their kitchen utensils, clothes, etc. The name of this symbol is O Galo de Barcelos or the rooster of Barcelos. Legend has it that many years ago; the city of Barcelos was pestered with the crime. When after a long pursuit no criminal could be arrested, an innocent pilgrim was convicted. He protested vehemently and swore by his innocence. Nobody including the judge believed him. The judge ordered death sentence of that pilgrim. When he was brought in front of the judge just before his execution, he again swore by his innocence. There was a roasted rooster just near to him. He said that when he is hung, that rooster will crow three times. Nobody believed him, but to everybody's disbelief, this happened as soon the man was about to be hung. The roasted rooster crowed and the innocence of the pilgrim was proved. Luckily the man did not die. The man was let free and this rooster became a symbol of innocence in Portugal.

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