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Country Guides
Study in Portugal

Offering a mild Mediterranean climate, beautiful coastline and cities packed with historic interest and cultural experiences, Portugal – the westernmost country in mainland Europe – is surely among the continent’s most attractive destinations. Aside from the many historic sites and areas of natural beauty, the country is also known for its contemporary culture and nightlife.

If you’re a fan of rock and world music, in the main cities along the coast you’ll find a remarkable number of festivals and events to suit your tastes. But if this isn’t your thing, fear not, because the diverse student communities in Portugal’s major cities will ensure there’s always something to get involved in. So, whether you’re a food lover, hiker, music fanatic, sight-seer or history buff, choosing to study in Portugal is a great option.

Read on for information about the top universities in Portugal, as well as popular student cities and practical information to help you get started.

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Fast Facts

  • Capital and largest city: Lisbon
  • Portuguese is the world’s eighth-largest language by number of native speakers.
  • Currency: Euro (€)
  • The oldest nation-state in Europe
  • Major exports include textiles, electrical equipment and wood products (Portugal is the largest producer of cork in the world).
  • Westernmost country in mainland Europe
  • Population of around 10.4 million people
  • Portugal’s coastline spans 800 kilometers and is famous for its great surfing spots.
  • Portugal and England have the longest-running diplomatic alliance in the world.
  • Borders with Spain to the north and east, and Atlantic Ocean to the west and south
  • Portugal is among the world’s top 20 most-visited countries, with a yearly average of 13 million foreign tourists.
  • Lisbon and second-largest city Porto are both recognized as key global cities by the Globalization and World Cities Research Group.
  • Traditional Portuguese ‘fado’ music is known for its mournful melodies and lyrics.
  • The annual Queima das fitas (‘Burning of the Ribbons’) festival, celebrated by students at several Portuguese universities, features a full week of music concerts, parades, campaigns and general merriment.
  • The Portuguese empire was the first global empire in history (1494).
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