Year Abroad Country Profile: Portugal

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Portugal is an underrated, and often forgotten about destination, both for holidays and as a study abroad centre. But once you go there, you will never forget its culture, cuisine or people. Perhaps as I was born and lived there for 12 years, I am a bit biased, but it’s still somewhere you should go. So why should you go there?

Cultural Highlights

Portugal might be a small country compared to the European tourist giants of Spain, France and Italy, but it’s capital, the only European capital to be on a coast, is rich in culture. See a Fado show, music genre that that the Portuguese are proud to claim as theirs, visit the Belém district and munch on some Pastel de Natas (also known for us English as ‘Portuguese custard tarts). But it’s not just the capital that has a lot to offer. Porto, in the North of Portugal, has much to offer for the vino-lovers, and was rated one of the most underrated cities in Europe. And if you’re a beach babe, the Algarve, located in the South of Portugal has plenty of beautiful beaches, as well as history and culture.

 

Lisbon. Credit: Natália Jopling Tanser
Lisbon. Credit: Natália Jopling Tanser

How expensive is it to live there?

It’s not expensive to live there providing you don’t earn your money from working there. Generally, things are quite cheap. You can get a three course meal at a small, charming, typical Portuguese restaurant (‘Tasca’) for around €7 and train tickets from the South of the Country to Lisbon for €20, so you can see the country without worrying about being out of pocket.

Best piece of advice?

Try the food. Don’t eat a full english when you can introduce your tastebuds to some new and interesting flavours.

Study abroad options available? 

If you study Music, Physiotherapy, Fashion/Textiles and, obviously, Portuguese, you can study at various universities in Portugal, including Universidade de Coimbra and Universidade de Nova de Lisboa-Reitoria.

It might not sound as good as boasting you spent a semester in Barca, but I’d definitely advise going to Portugal, or if not, at least give it a second thought.

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Law student at the University of Southampton.

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