Cost of Studying in Portugal 2019 for International Student

Cost of Studying in Portugal – About leaving for Portugal to study? Then here is just enough information you need as an international student on the cost of studying in your dream choice of study location.

I trust you would not want to be lost on this very type of information which this article will be providing you with, which will basically deal with the expenses and cost you will be making just as soon as you get to Portugal as an international student so we have got you covered.

Cost of Studying in Portugal 2019 | Tuition Fee, Living and Visa Fee


There is just so much to learn about education in Portugal and you have just arrived at your destination to learn all you need to know.

Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean has overtime influenced many aspects of its culture: salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes, the Algarve’s beaches are a major destination and much of the nation’s architecture dates to the 1500s–1800s, when Portugal had a powerful maritime empire.

Education in Portugal is free and compulsory until the age of 18, when students complete the 12th grade. The education is regulated by the State through the Ministry of Education.

There is a system of public education and also many private schools at all levels of education.

The Portuguese education system is divided in preschool education (until the start of basic education), basic education (6 to 15 years old) and upper secondary education (15 to 18 years old).

Attending preschool education is optional, recognizing the importance of families’ role in children’s education.

Higher education institutions in Portugal are able to choose how much they want to charge both national and international students – there is no cap on tuition (propinas) for Portuguese universities and polytechnics.

The Portuguese Ministry of Education only establishes a minimum amount that is dictated by the national minimum wage (the minimum cost of tuition is 1.3 times the minimum wage). However, universities rarely charge students the minimum amount.

Cost of Tuition Fee in Portugal

The Average costs of studying at a public university in Portugal are:

  • Bachelor’s and Masters: 980 – 1,250 EUR per year
  • PhDs: 2,500 – 3,000 EUR per year

Students enrolled in a part-time program at a public university in Portugal should expect to pay about 70% of the fees a full-time student would pay, and exchange students may be exempt from paying tuition fees depending on the agreement made with their home university.

Average tuition fees for a private university is worth 3,872 EUR per year for all degree levels

As in most countries, tuition for private universities in Portugal is higher than the public option. Higher fees usually apply for non EU/EEA students, however, some Portuguese private universities offer a discount of up to 100% of the lecture fees depending on a student’s evaluation marks.

It is important to mention that with public Portuguese universities, fees are paid annually, whereas most private university tuition is paid in monthly installments.

Cost of Living in Portugal

Most universities own accommodation which is rented out to students. There is no centralized service for housing applications, so students will need to go through their individual institution for information and submit their application here.

Student housing is probably the easiest and most sociable option for students, as well as the cheapest – rent is usually between 150 and 300 EUR per month.

Another option for international students looking for accommodation in Portugal is renting a privately owned room or apartment, which is usually what your university will help you with. The rental market in Portugal is cheap it should not be too difficult to find a place for 450 EUR per month.

Portugal offers a variety of housing options for international students, from university owned residences to private apartments. The average prices for student housing and accommodation options are:

  • University owned student halls of residence: 150 – 300 EUR per month
  • Rent private room/apartment: 350 – 530 EUR per month

Cost of Medical Insurance in Portugal

The Portuguese health system is managed by the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS). It was created in 1979, inspired by the British National Health Service (NHS), from which it took the name.

Foreign residents in Portugal have access to the SNS as long their own country of nationality also offers state healthcare to Portuguese nationals.

As a foreigner, if you do not benefit from the SNS, taking out medical insurance in Portugal is mandatory in order to obtain a visa.

If you are eligible for the SNS, taking out health insurance is not mandatory but has many advantages compared to the local health system: free choice of doctor or healthcare facility, avoiding waiting lists, and having the option to seek treatment in Portugal or abroad.

Cost of Portugal Student Visa Fee

Students from EU/EEA  do not need a visa to study in Portugal, but should apply for a residence card on arrival (Autorização de Residência).

This must happen within the first four months of arrival, and can be done at the local council building (there will be a fee of €7).

For the Non EU/EEA students wanting to study in Portugal will require a student visa and a residence permit. Visas must be obtained before travelling, and are applied for at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country.

Residence permits are applied for on arrival from the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).

There are two types of visa available to international students coming to Portugal

The Schengen short stay visa (visa type C): This visa is for students undertaking a short course or carrying out an academic research in Portugal.

The Schengen National long stay visa (visa type D): Students in full time academic degrees planning on staying in Portugal for more than 90 days will need to apply for a long-term student visa and subsequently obtain a residence permit on arrival. You will also need to pay a visa application fee of 170 EUR

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