Year Abroad Country Profile: Portugal

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Why should people choose this destination?

Portugal is an underrated, and often forgotten about destination, both for holidays and as a study abroad option. But once you go there, you will never forget its incredible culture, cuisine or people. Perhaps since I lived there for 12 years, I am a bit biased, but you can be assured that it’s still somewhere you should go.

What are the travel/cultural highlights?

Portugal might be a small country compared to the European tourist giants of Spain, France and Italy, but it still has a lot to offer. It’s capital is the only European capital to be on a coast and is so rich in culture, you wouldn’t believe it. You can see a Fado show, (a Portuguese music genre), 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, is a fantastic spot for the vino-lovers, and was rated one of the most underrated cities in Europe. And of course if you’re a beach babe, you’ll love the Algarve; located in the South of Portugal and has plenty of beautiful beaches, as well as interesting history.

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 typically small, charming Portuguese restaurant (‘Tasca’) for around €7. Then train tickets from the South of the Country to Lisbon for about €20, so basically you can see the entire country without worrying about being out of pocket.

What is your best piece of advice?

Don’t hold back and try all the food. Don’t eat a full English all the time, you can do that in England. Whilst you are exploring a new culture you should introduce your taste buds to some very different and interesting flavours.

What study abroad options are 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 recommend going to Portugal, you won’t regret it.

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