Are you interested in living and studying in Portugal? You’re not alone! These are some of the main reasons why many international students chose this beautiful European country:
- Portuguese universities offer some of the most affordable degrees in Europe
- Portugal has warm weather, beautiful beaches, and amazing landscapes
- It is one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world
- It’s the perfect place to learn or improve your Portuguese language skills
Tuition fees might be cheap, but there are other costs you need to cover during your stay in Portugal. We’re talking about accommodation, food, study materials, and so on. Keep on reading as we’ll go through the main expenses, which should help you understand what kind of budget you’ll need to study abroad in Portugal.
1. Tuition fees in Portugal for international students
Tuition costs in public universities
At most public universities, tuition fees vary between:
- 550 – 1,050 EUR/year for Bachelor’s degrees
- 500 – 2,500 EUR/year for Master’s degrees
Of course, there are exceptions. For example, you have to pay 4,000 EUR/year for many Bachelors at the University of Madeira. And if you want to study a Master’s at the University of Aveiro, expect to pay 4,500 – 5,500 EUR/year.
The tuition fees mentioned above mainly apply to EU/EEA students. If you’re not an EU/EEA citizen, you can expect to pay higher tuition. This is not true for all study programmes because each higher education institution can establish their fees. To avoid confusions, always check what tuition costs apply to students from your country.
Tuition costs in private universities
While tuition fees are higher at private universities, they are still lower when compared to countries like the US, UK, or Australia. You can expect to pay over 7,000 EUR/year for some study programmes, but keep in mind that costs might be higher for non-EU/EEA citizens.
Most affordable universities in Portugal
Here is a list of Portuguese universities with some of the most affordable tuition fees:
- Lusophone University of Humanities and Technologies – tuition starts at 500 EUR/year
- University of Porto – tuition starts at 871 EUR/year
- University of Minho – tuition starts at 1,037 EUR/year
- Polytechnic Institute of Leiria - tuition starts at 1,040 EUR/year
- Instituto Superior Técnico – tuition starts at 1,063 EUR/year
Universities we recommend in Portugal
Check out the best universities in Portugal according to global rankings.
2. Costs of living in Portugal for international students
As we’ve already mentioned, living in Portugal is easier because it is one of the more affordable countries in Europe. Of course, living costs vary from one region to another, but on average you’ll need between 500 – 800 EUR per month.
Accommodation costs in Portugal are in line with the international average. Here are the average prices for some of the most common housing options:
- Student halls of residence: between 150 – 250 EUR/month
- Rent a studio/one-room apartment: 200 – 800 EUR/month
- Rent a room in a shared apartment: 100 – 550 EUR/month
If you decide to rent a studio or share an apartment, always ask if the utilities are included in the price. They can add up to 100 EUR to your monthly expenses.
For your monthly food and groceries, you will spend around 150 – 200 EUR. Some of the cheapest supermarkets in Portugal are Jumbo, Continente/Modelo, Lidl and Pingo Doce.
You can also find affordable food at the university canteens, where you can get a meal for around 2 – 5 EUR. In a small restaurant, even in Lisbon, you can get a meal for 7 EUR. A dinner will be more expensive, but it will not cost more than 15 EUR, including drinks.
- A one-way ticket for local transport is around 1.5 EUR, while a student transit pass costs between 20 – 55 EUR/month.
- In most cities, the metro travel card costs around 25 EUR/month.
- In some small cities in Portugal or depending on where you stay, you won't have to pay for transportation, except for some rare occasions, as you can easily wander around and explore the city by foot.
You can easily get around Portugal and visit splendid sights by train. Prices start at 25 EUR for a trip within the country.
You can also use the Numbeo website to check out other prices and costs in Portugal.
3. Scholarships in Portugal for international students
Portugal offers grants and government-funded scholarships to both EU and non-EU/EEA students. In order to be eligible for a grant, you must apply to a university that is recognised by the Portuguese Ministry of Education.
There is a great variety of scholarships, most of them awarded to Master’s students, but you can find financial aid programmes for the other degrees as well. Foundations and research institutions in Portugal also offer internships to students.
Check out a few institutions offering scholarships or financing:
- DGES - scholarships, including merit scholarships and student loans in both public and private universities
- FCT - offers several funding opportunities to doctoral students
- Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation - provides scholarship opportunities to graduate students pursuing research in Armenian studies and to students involved in research projects in the Portuguese language and culture.
You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies in Portugal.
Find other scholarship opportunities in Portugal.