How long can you study abroad for in Portugal?

Studying in your home country is pretty easy. You go to high school and then you usually move onto a full-time course at university. Once you’ve picked your city you simply go there, knuckle down and get to work. But we already know that the easy way is not always the best, and that’s why you’ve come to the Education Network to find out more. One of the great advantages of studying abroad and studying in Portugal is that you can be more flexible with your education choices. Whether you want to study abroad for a semester, a year or an entire course, we have your back.

A semester abroad

The shortest option to study abroad is restricting yourself to a single semester, sometimes called an exchange. In this case, you spend only part of the year abroad studying in Portugal. The obvious advantages here in is that it is cheaper. You’ll only need to commit to course costs for part of the year, and in many cases depending on the nature of the relationship between your home university and the one on Portugal, it might already be included in your costs. Importantly too, from a living costs perspective, you will only need to budget for a short-term move, meaning you won’t have to have the reserve funds to potentially live off for 3 years.

Employers will still be happy to see the experience on your CV and you’ll no doubt enjoy living in a foreign culture without the worries of paying for it in the long term. We know from experience that one of the biggest barriers to studying abroad is the fear of being away from home for a long period. If you’re pretty sure you couldn’t handle being abroad for long, then this is a great option. On the negative side though, after a few weeks in Portugal we promise that you’ll want to stay for longer which means you’ll be pretty sad when it comes time to leave. It also doesn’t allow enough time for you to completely immerse yourself in the language and joys of Portugal, which is a huge shame.

A year abroad

Another option is to commit to a full year abroad. As ever it depends on whether there is an existing relationship between your school and the one in Portugal. NOVA SBE for example has a full list of partnerships found easily on their website, so make sure you research accordingly. Usually studying for a year abroad means paying a greater share of the course costs and having your grades attained in Portugal make up a more significant part of your overall degree classification.

On the plus side though, you get to spend longer in sunny Portugal which means you’ll have a more authentic experience. You’ll become more proficient with the language, have a better opportunity to travel around the country and make far greater connections. This is particularly important if you are planning on working abroad in the future, as potential future employers will see a greater ability to adapt and you’ll already have some friendly faces to send your CV off to.

A full course abroad

This is the option for people who really want to get the most out of studying abroad in Portugal. By electing to do a full-time course, you get the most benefits. However, you will have to pay for the full course, and budget accordingly for your stay which can be a challenge for some. Fortunately, as we’ve already discussed, Portugal is one of the cheapest countries in the Europe to study and live, while the quality and reputation of the degrees on offer are world class, so it’s a worthwhile investment.

Having a full degree from some of the best and most recognised schools in Europe is worth its weight in gold when applying to jobs in this part of the world and puts you ahead of the queue against colleagues with degrees from other parts of the world. It also means the benefits of having lived abroad are maximised to the fullest. You’ll be able to become adept with the language in 2-3 years and will have plenty of opportunities to find good work while you’re studying. On the leisure side, you’ll not only have more time to explore Portugal, but the Europe and North Africa as a whole. Portugal is an excellent transport hub for most of the best countries to travel!

Whatever you choose, just make sure you come

As we’ve seen, there are numerous benefits to studying abroad. The big question comes down to the type, of course, you want to do. Ultimately for most people, the question of doing a semester, a year or an entire course in Portugal will come down to their own personal circumstances. We firmly believe that doing a full course in Portugal gives you by far the most benefit, but if you can’t afford it, have other obligations or just don’t fancy living abroad for that long then it’s no big deal. There is no single right or wrong way to prepare for your future and everyone has a different situation. Ultimately, as long as you spend some time abroad then your opportunities and experiences will be increased substantially.