Portugal is the ninth most requested country in Erasmus. Every year, it welcomes more than 4,000 students following this program.
From Lisbon, sunny and pleasant capital to the beaches and Portuguese countryside, the country offers an idyllic living environment. But even if the Portuguese curriculum is slowly becoming more in line with European standards, you will still need to be a Portuguese-speaking person to study there.
Do you want to study in Portugal? Follow the guide!
What Do You Need To Do To Register To Erasmus?
To study abroad, you will first have to register for the Erasmus programme.
The European Erasmus programme allows you to spend a university year in another country without "wasting" a year of your studies.
Its main advantages are:
- Learning or perfecting the Portuguese language: total immersion is the ideal way to develop your language skills,
- The discovery of Portuguese culture,
- A plus on your CV: an experience abroad during your university course allows you to stand out from other students who have not completed international exchanges.
The Erasmus scholarship is awarded to any student wishing to go abroad through a British university and for a period of 3 to 12 months.
Your training abroad must be part of your British curriculum since it is included in your diploma, which will ultimately be delivered by a UK university. So there's no way that you will be partying the year away! You will have to validate your semesters at your host university in order for it to be counted towards your diploma.
It is only possible to apply for an Erasmus scholarship from your second year of university onward and only if you have validated your first year. Note that places are limited and the best grades will get you the best chances to ba accepted.
First of all, you will have to go to the international relations office of your institution to make an appointment with the person in charge. Feel free to send them an email to find out the list of documents to provide. This process must be started at least one year in advance!
The documents required for your registration are as follows, regardless of the country requested:
- A letter of motivation,
- Photocopies of transcripts from your first two years of university,
- A letter of application for a scholarship,
- A letter of recommendation from two of your teachers.
Do not hesitate to discuss this with your teachers (especially language teachers) before the preparation of your application to gauge your chances of success and find out which ones are likely to give you their recommendation.
All you have to do is wait to find out if your application has been accepted or not. If accepted, you will need to download an online form, sign it and have it signed by your supervising professor before submitting it to the International Relations Office.
Meetings are usually held at universities to give you all the necessary information. Application periods closes mid-September most of the time.
Which Portuguese University To Choose?
Going on an exchange program in Portugal requires a good command of Portuguese by French students. Indeed, to be able to enter your host university, you will have to pass the "provas de ingresso" test. This corresponds to the Portuguese entry exams.
For administrative registration, you must contact the chosen university directly. Admission requirements for students differ depending on the institution.
The two largest cities in Portugal are Lisbon and Porto. There's a good chance you'll go there! But Coimbra is home to the oldest university in Europe. You may want to study there for the place is steeped in history.
Here are the universities in Lisbon that accept the Erasmus programme:
Universidade Aberta Lisboa - Open University of Lisbon,
Universidade de Lisboa - University of Lisbon,
Universidade Internacional Lisboa - International University of Lisbon,
Universidade Moderna de Lisboa - Modern University of Lisbon,
Universidade Técnica de Lisboa - Technical University of Lisbon,
Universidade Nova de Lisboa - New University of Lisbon,
Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa Luís de Camoes - Autonomous University of Lisbon,
Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias - University of Humanity and Technology of Lisbon.
And in Porto, there is also plenty to do:
Universidade Moderna Porto - Modern University of Porto,
Universidade do Porto - University of Porto,
Universidade de Aveiro - University of Aveiro,
Universidade dos Acores - University of Acores,
Universidade da Beira Interior - University of Beira Interior,
Universidade de Coimbra - University of Coimbra,
Universidade Catolica Portuguesa - Portuguese Catholic University,
Universidade de Evora - University of Evora,
Universidade do Algarve - University Algarves de Faro,
Universidade Lusíada - University Lusíada,
Universidade da Madeira - University of Madeiras,
Universidade do Minho- University of Minho,
Fernando Pessoa University - Fernando Pessoa University,
Independent Universidade - Independent University,
Universidade Portucalense - Université Portucalense,
UTAD - University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro.
To choose your place of study abroad, it is better to go there for a language stay in the first place. You can compare the two cities in the host country.
Similarly, why not visit Portuguese universities to choose your own?
What Support Can You Get When Studying In Portugal?
Erasmus facilitates international mobility by providing financial support to students enrolled in the programme.
Obtaining an Erasmus scholarship means receiving about £150 per month. This amount varies according to the British university in which the student is enrolled and the target country. For Portugal, this can amount to up to £300.
Tuition fees are covered by the program at the host university. And fortunately, some universities cost nearly €4,000 a year! On the other hand, the registration fees of the British faculty are the responsibility of the student (if he or she is not a scholarship holder).
There are definitely loads of scholarships up for grabs for international students. This is great news, but it's important to practice caution - they are earnestly competitive and often have very rigorous eligibility criteria.
Plus, the broad majority of them are for postgraduate rather than undergraduate degrees. Undergraduate scholarships, bursaries and fee waivers are possible, but are less common - your best option is to hunt out individual universities which provide these.
If you do your investigation thoroughly, meet the eligibility criteria and prepare a robust application, then, of course, you stand a good chance of securing a scholarship.
But there are no guarantees, so you should always think about what you're going to do if you're unfortunate.
Applications for scholarships vary; in most cases, they'll involve an application form, but some might also ask you to complete a written assignment or examination, and attend a meeting.
Scholarships come in all forms and substances, and from a surprising amount of sources. There are three main kinds you will want to investigate though.
Global scholarships - These are general scholarships not tied to a specific country or university. However, they're not accessible to everyone and still have stringent eligibility criteria.
Country-specific scholarships - These are scholarships for students from a specific nation.
University scholarships - A lot of Portuguese universities will offer their own scholarships and financial support, for international students coming to study at their institution.
Finding A Home In Portugal
Lisbon is probably the most affordable capital in Europe and Portugal is overall cheaper than in the UK. The standard of living of its inhabitants is lower than in Great Britain. So with a budget of £500 per month, you can already live decently.
On the other hand, it is complicated to find housing when you're not already in the country. That's what Steven went through:
"One of the big difficulties I had was finding a place to live: it was very hard to find something while outside Portugal. My requests were refused one after the other. But I finally found a place in a shared flat with two other Portuguese students. This allowed me to leave with a calm mind. I got along very well with my roommates and felt comfortable in the neighbourhood. »
Even if he was lucky enough to find a room, in the end, you may have to wait until you arrive in the country to visit apartments and make sure your application is accepted.
If so, don't panic!
You can stay in a youth hostel to get to know the city and find the area you like. It is also a good way to meet people. In Lisbon, the most recommended hostels are Poet Hostel, Lisbon Destination Hostel or Sunset Destination Hostel.
Shared accommodation is very popular in Portugal and will allow you to meet foreign students or locals. It is necessary to count between 250 and 450 € per month for a furnished room depending on the geographical location and the standing of the apartment.
The most popular districts in Lisbon are Baixa Chidao, Rossio (THE restaurant district), Marques de Pombal and Cais do Sobre.
To find student accommodation, your university can help you. You can look on the Uniplaces website, a Portuguese start-up specialising in student housing.
Be careful, the cheapest rooms sometimes do not have windows. You have been warned!
You can now see more clearly how to prepare your Erasmus in Portugal. So are you ready to get started?