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New career opportunities, developing critical thinking and adding colour to your curriculum, are all important to consider for you professional life. Going a step further by expanding your horizons and considering a foreign country in which to study may put you ahead of the game at an early stage.

Here are a few reasons why Portugal has been chosen by many international students as the preferred country to study.

Proficiency in English

According to a study by the international teaching company EF Education First, Portugal has one of the highest proficiency rates for English, ranking 12th.

English is taught as a mandatory second language from grade 5 onwards and is spoken today by most of the population.

There are currently a vast number of schools and universities teaching full curriculums in English.

Recognised quality teaching

All university-level educational institutions are evaluated and accredited, according to the highest international standards, and some have scored highly in the main international rankings.

Portugal is an active member of several international scientific organisations (ESA, ESO, CERN, EMBL, EMBO, ESRF, JET, among others) and has established long-term relationships with world-leading institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Carnegie Mellon, the University of Texas in Austin, the Fraunhofer Institute and the Ismaili Imamat.

State scholarships

Portugal has a state-financed public tender programme for doctorate scholarships. Every year the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia attributes doctorate scholarships to support advanced research.

Around 30% of students get scholarships. The scholarships are open to citizens of:


European Union

Other states

Stateless people

Those who have obtained refugee status.

Brazilian citizens can apply, provided they have adhered to the Statute of Equal Rights and Duties.

You can look up other funding opportunities on the Euraxess website, that lists openings and scholarships for several regions in the world, including 40 European countries.

On the other hand, some institutions have their own doctorate scholarships, such as the University of Lisbon, so make sure to search the university websites as well.

Other institutions that offer scholarships are the Instituto Camões; the Fulbright Commission; the Luso-American Foundation; the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation;Cidade de Lisboa Foundation and Santander bank.

Find out more about living in Portugal