About Portugal

Capital city: Lisbon

Official language:  Portuguese

Population: 11,317,192

Currency: Euro

Total area: 92 389 sq km (including Madeira and Azores)

Land: 91959 sq km

Water: 430 sq km

Land use: 26 percent arable land; 9 percent permanent crops; 9 percent permanent pastures; 36 percent forests and woodland; 20 percent other

Terrain: Mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south.

Portugal, one of the oldest countries in Europe, is located in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula lying between Spain in the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean in the south and west. The signs of the Portuguese presence around the world are still visible and this is the reason why Portuguese is one of the most spoken languages worldwide and the Portuguese are one of the peoples more open to other civilizations. Portugal has been a Republic since 1911 and its government is a Parliamentary Democracy. A member of the European Union (EU) since 1986, Portugal is a nation in full development that has always kept its best treasure - its ability to welcome people. This makes this country an attractive and safe place.

Despite being a relatively small country (516Km long and 218Km wide), the Portuguese natural heritage is extremely rich and diverse. The average altitude is low (240m), with the highest mountain range being the Serra da Estrela, in central Portugal. In the northwest, there are green fertile valleys and tree-covered mountains while vast areas of high plateaus predominate in the northeast. Along the western coast as far as Lisbon the topography is a mixture of lowlands and bays. Moving south the landscape starts to change to a uniform low relief. In the south lies the popular tourist destination of the Algarve.

The population in mainland Portugal is around 10,000,000 people. Lisbon is the capital with nearly one million inhabitants. Other important cities are Porto, Braga, Coimbra and Faro.

Here is a mix of informative and interesting facts to prepare you for life in Portugal, or test yourself on how well you know the Portuguese:

  • Portugal holds the records for the longest and shortest, reigning monarchs in the world.
  • Portugal is the oldest nation-state in Europe.
  • Portugal’s official name República Portuguesa (the Portuguese Republic) is named after the country’s second largest city of Porto.
  • Portugal's dictatorship for almost half of the 20th century is considered the longest in Europe
  • Portugal was the world’s first maritime power, and birthplace to some of the world's first explorers
  • Portugal’s colonial empire spanned 600 years, the longest-lived of the modern European empires
  • Portuguese is the official language of eight other countries outside of Portugal
  • Portugal was first European nation to engage with the transatlantic slave trade
  • Portugal is a founding member of NATO and an EU member
  • Portugal was one of the first countries to adopt the euro but you can still exchange Portuguese escudo banknotes for Euros.
  • The earliest recorded hot air balloon ascent was in Portugal
  • Lisbon is older than Rome, and among the oldest cities in Europe
  • Around 81 percent of Portugal’s population are Roman Catholics
  • Monks and nuns are credited for creating some of Portugal's tastiest traditional treats
  • Women in Portugal live six years longer than men.
  • The longest bridge in Europe is in Portugal
  • The Portuguese are fatalists
  • Portugal’s most famous export and its national drink is Port
  • Portugal is Europe's most westernly point
  • The biggest wave ever surfed was in Portugal

Why study in Portugal:

The beautiful scenery, exciting mixture of old buildings and new life, and the affordable lifestyle that accompanies studying in Portugal are just a short list of the advantages for international students in Portugal. With a small number of universities from which to choose, and owning the third most widely spoken language in Europe outside of English and Spanish, this country is a huge draw for international students. The excellent education and beautiful Mediterranean climate make Portugal a top choice for international students around the world.


International students choosing to study in Portugal will be impressed by the low cost of tuition and the equally affordable cost of living. On average, tuition is €1,500 per undergraduate year. This is also dependent on the degree level at which a student attends. The cost of living is a surprising €400-€600 each month.


With the exciting Bologna Accords and the continued union between most European nations, transferring between two, three or even four universities is quite possible throughout Europe. International students who wish to gain life and experience in several places instead of just one have this opportunity when they study in Portugal.


Students who study in Portugal will have access to significant discounts to the metro, to museums and even to historical locations. This is a great way to improve the quality of your education in Portugal.


Why study in Portugal? It isn’t just Portugal! Africa is a great tie to Portugal and it will enrich students’ lives as they study in this unique country. Brazil is another strong tie that provides great education and association with Portugal.


There are a large amount of courses and entire degree programs available in English, and this is a great reason to choose Portugal for studies. If you are interested in learning Portuguese, however, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn a new language as well.


The educational quality of studying in Portugal dates back to 1290AD, when the ninth oldest university in the world was established and the standard of education was cultivated.


There are two types of education offered—University and polytechnic. Within these large institutions there are smaller subcategories of study that make studying in Portugal ideal.

Life in Portugal

Considering why you should study in Portugal, ponder these great factors:


Portugal is a beautiful country with 1,200 km of coastline. Between the shore and the beautiful mountains there is everything in between—from farmland to valleys. There is nothing lacking in beauty and the mild climate makes living and studying in Portugal a life of ease.


Portugal is a safe stable place to study.


Due to the emphasis on education and culture, there are several ways that international students studying in Portugal can become a part of the life of Portugal. There are several sports and clubs on each individual campus as well as opportunities within the communities to be involved.

Student Visa Requirements:

Please find below required documents for all applicants traveling for Study/Training purposes.

Note: Please use this “Checklist” for all applicants applying under the jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Portugal, Goa. This checklist needs to be duly filled in by the Applicant and needs to be submitted along with the Visa Application.

  1. Application form completely filled and signed by the applicant.
  2. Two Recent (not older than six months) passport-size photographs in color with white background. (3.5cm / 4.5cm). Please do not staple.
  3. The Passport should be valid for at least three months (any other type of travel document should be valid for at least six months), beyond the intended duration of stay in the Schengen territory and with at least two blank pages to affix the visa. No visa will be issued on the additional pages of the passport. 2 copies of the front and last page.
  4. A covering letter from the applicant introducing himself/herself, explaining the purpose, duration and itinerary of the visit in brief.
  5. Proof of acceptance/confirmation/registration in a course of study/ research work /training program in a recognized University/Institute/company.
  6. Police Clearance Certificate (not require for minors below sixteen years). Attested by Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi/ Dhaka /Kathmandu/Colombo. (For Indian nationals the document shall be attested with “APOSTILLE” sticker by the Ministry of External Affairs, Consular Division, Patiala House) or any other branch of MEA. In addition, for the Portugal Consulate of Goa, the same PCC has to be translated into Portuguese and attested with the “APOSTILLE” by the Ministry of External Affairs, Consular Division, Patiala House) Or any branch of MEA as well.
  7. Proof of sufficient funds to cover all expenses during the stay in Portugal    (scholarship/grant/fellowship from the University in Portugal/European Union). In case of self funding (Bank Statement for the last three months, if employed Salary slips etc. of self/parents).
  8. Proof of educational/professional qualifications.
  9. No Objection Certificate from the current Institute/School (If Applicable).
  10. Ticket Reservation.
  11. Proof of accommodation/declaration from University.
  12. Overseas travel medical insurance valid for all Schengen-countries .The insurance has to cover the applicant for at least 30,000 Euros or equivalent, for all risks e.g. accident, illness, medical emergency evacuation etc. The policy has to clearly specify the period of validity and has to cover the entire duration of the trip including the date of arrival and departure.
  13. Minors below 18 years traveling alone must submit the written consent of their parents /guardian.
  14. Declaration form granting SEF (Foreign and Borders Office) permission for consulting criminal record in Portugal (not required for minors below sixteen years) (Forms available at VFS Global)


  1. Applicant could be asked for additional documents or may be called for an Interview if desired by The Embassy of Portugal, New Delhi / Consulate General of Portugal in Goa
  2. Applicants (Adults & Children) applying through the Consulate General of Portugal in Goa will be required to appear for a personal Interview if there has been no travel to a Schengen country within the last 3 years at the time of submission. The Visa Application Centre shall help you take an appointment for the same.
  3. The visa fee, according to Schengen regulations, is non-refundable.
  4. Carry all documents in Original at the time of interview.

Portuguese Embassy in India:

Embassy of Portugal

No.4, Panchsheel Marg


New Delhi 110021

Ph: +91 11 46071001/05/06

Fax: +91 11 46071003


Office hours: 09h00-17h00

VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd

Fagun Towers, Third Floor,

No 74, Ethiraj Salai, Egmore,

Chennai - 600 008

Submission of Application/ Passport Collection:

08:00 - 11:00 and 13:00 - 14:30 Monday-Friday (Except declared holidays of the Embassy)

Collection of Passport:

13:00 - 16:00 Monday-Friday (Except declared holidays of the Embassy)

For more Information:

Call 022-67866070 between 08:00 - 17:00, Monday-Friday (except Embassy holidays)

Email: infonorth.ptin@vfshelpline.com

VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd

Global Tech Park, No 11 First Floor O’ Shaughnessy Road,

Langford Town, Bangalore 560025

Submission of Application/ Passport Collection:

08:00 - 11:00: Applicants / Representatives / Travel Agents

13:00 - 14:30: Applicants / Representative

Collection of Passport:

13:00-16:00 Monday-Friday (Except declared holidays of the Embassy)

For more Information:

Call 022-67866070 between 08:00 - 17:00, Monday-Friday (except Embassy holidays)

Email: infonorth.ptin@vfshelpline.com