Living costs for international students in Portugal

We all know that Portugal is a great place to live. What was once Europe’s best kept secret is now widely appreciated for one of the best places to live, study and visit because of its wonderful weather, beautiful beaches, bustling cities and friendly people. But did you know that it’s also one of the cheapest places to live in Europe?

Imagine you’ve just moved to Lisbon as an international student

You wake up one day in your shared apartment. In Porto and Lisbon you can find rooms for between €250-400 per month and you share the apartment with your new best friends from Italy, Brazil and the UK. You feel like starting the day with one of Portugal’s famous coffees, so you use your spare change to buy a galão for less than €1.

After your caffeine injection, you use your €27.55 monthly public transport pass to get out of the city and enjoy some of Lisbon’s free and beautiful beaches. For only an extra €50 per month you can extend the range of this pass, meaning you could live next to one of the beautiful beaches of Cascais or Carcavelos. After a few hours of surfing and swimming it’s time to eat.

Normally you’d have lunch at home after doing a weekly shop for €35 from a supermarket, but it’s a beautiful day so you decide to treat yourself and eat with friends. Some authentic Portuguese codfish, a glass of wine and a pastel de Belem set you back €9 euros at a traditional Portuguese restaurant, so you still have plenty of money left for the rest of the day.

As you enjoy your food with a view of the River Tagus, you phone your friend. Luckily, you only need to pay €10 per month for your cell plan so you can take your time making sure you’ve both paid your tuition fees on time. With these fees being as low as €6000 per year, you can relax knowing there are no problems.

You both make plans to meet up for a drink at the iconic Bairro Alto area, where you enjoy some beer and wine on the rambling streets for €0.70 a glass. You debate whether you want to watch the famous Sporting Lisbon at their stadium for €15 euros, or go to one of the many hot night sports for €10. Either way, you know that come the end of the night an Uber ride home is only going to be about €5.

You could live this every day

Portugal is one of the most affordable countries in the world. The cost of living in a city like Lisbon compared to one like London is staggeringly low.

An international student in London would have to budget for a minimum of €1000 per month and that’s not even taking in account the tuition fees. It’s even worse in Paris, where you’d have to able to spend €1355 per month just to get by! While London and Paris no doubt have fantastic qualities, they can’t offer you the same access to beaches, sun, open people and cheap costs of living like a city such as Lisbon.

So when you know you can budget for €800 per month and live in a country with one of the best qualities of life in the world, what are you waiting for? Whether you’re a student, a professional or about to enter retirement, Portugal is the destination for you.

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