Portugal is situated on the western cost of Europe, located on the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. The Atlantic archipelagos of Azores and Madeira are part of the Portuguese democratic Republic. The capital city of Lisbon is the nation's largest city, with 2,641,000 inhabitants.
The Portuguese Empire was the longest-lived of the European colonial empires, spanning almost 600 years. The empire spread throughout a vast number of territories that are now part of 53 different Sovereign States. Portugal's international status was greatly reduced during the 19th century, especially following the Independence of Brazil.
One of the warmest European countries, Portugal has a mild Mediterranean climate with over 3,000 hours of sun per year. It has 1,200 km of coastline, along with farmland and vineyards, mountains, valleys, and plains.
Portugal is a developed country with an advanced economy and high standards of living. It is one of the world's most globalized countries and has a low criminality rate. It is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the Schengen Area, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. Portugal is also among the 20 most visited countries in the world, with about 13 million tourists each year. Scientific and technological research in Portugal is mainly conducted in public universities and state-managed autonomous institutions.
Portugal is a country rich in history and culture that has greatly influenced the world. Presently, studies indicate that Portugal is the 7th most peaceful and the 13th most globalized country in the world. It also ranks 19th place in the world in quality of life.
More than just a sunny Mediterranean tourist destination, Portugal has become in recent years a great place to receive quality higher education. 35 public universities and more than 94 private institutions offer a multitude of undergraduate, post-graduate, doctoral and research programs. Portugal's oldest university dates from 1290, and is the 9th oldest university in the world.
Portuguese universities ("universidade") are focused on theoretical education, while polytechnics ("politécnico") are the best choice for vocational studies. Private higher education institutions cannot operate without having been recognized by the Ministry of Education.
The Agregação is the highest academic qualification, reserved to holders of a Doutor degree. It requires the capacity to undertake high-level research and special pedagogical competence. It is awarded after passing specific examinations.
In order to qualify for admission to higher education student are required to:
Universities may have different application requirements, so make sure you ask for detailed information from the university you plan to attend.
Portuguese university programs are affordable. The average undergraduate tuition at a Portuguese college is not more than 1,500 USD per year. Credentials and diplomas earned at Portuguese universities are recognized throughout the European Union.
The Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior (Higher Education Accreditation and Evaluation Agency) ensures that Portuguese universities keep up to date with international standards.
Portuguese is the world's third most-spoken European language, also spoken in Brazil and some African countries. Affordable Portuguese language learning online courses are also available.
Strategic partnerships between Portuguese universities and international schools have resulted in quality distance learning programmes. Furthermore, thousands of foreign students visit Portugal every year as part of student exchange programmes.
If you want to study abroad in Portugal, you can find many public universities providing academic courses taught in English, ideal for international students. Most English programmes offered are taught or research Masters as well as PhDs. At the undergraduate level, the majority of courses are held in Portuguese, or are bilingual (Portuguese, with some classes held in English). In some cases, teachers will allow international students to submit essays or deliver exams in English, even if the programme is not officially bilingual. Generally, graduate and postgraduate programmes offered in English include disciplines like management, software engineering, neuroscience, international studies along with many other study abroad opportunities.
In order to pursue English-taught programmes, applicants are required to prove a sufficient level of knowledge of English. Although the expected level of command may depend on the curriculum, the minimum average English language requirement is the equivalent of 5.5-6.5 score in the IELTS test or 79-80 points (Internet-based TOEFL test).
Foreign students coming from EU countries are not required to have a visa for entry into Portugal. For longer periods of study, EU students may have to show proof sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay. Most non-EU nationalities need a study visa if they plan to stay in Portugal for longer than 90 days. Students may ask for detailed information from the Portuguese embassy in their country. Students need the following to apply for a student visa for study in Portugal:
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