Portugal Schooling: A Guide for Expat Families Moving Abroad

Imagine a world where going to school means a daily dose of sunshine, fresh seafood for lunch, and a dip in the ocean after class. Welcome to Portugal, where schooling takes on a whole new meaning. As a blog traveller with a passion for exploring education systems around the world, I can say with confidence that Portugal stands out as a unique and exciting destination for families looking for an out-of-the-box learning experience.

During my travels to Portugal, I had the chance to visit schools in various regions of the country, from bustling cities to charming coastal towns. What struck me the most was the emphasis on outdoor education and hands-on learning. Children in Portugal are encouraged to explore their natural surroundings, whether it’s through beach clean-ups, hiking in the mountains, or gardening in schoolyards.

But it’s not just the outdoor education that makes Portugal stand out. The country has also made significant strides in modernizing its education system, with a focus on digital literacy and innovation. Portuguese schools are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and teachers are trained to incorporate digital tools into their lessons.

But what about language barriers, you may ask? Fear not, as many schools in Portugal offer bilingual programs in English, making it an ideal destination for expat families. Plus, with the country’s affordable cost of living and welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder why more and more families are choosing Portugal for their children’s education.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what makes Portugal’s schooling system unique, exploring the different types of schools available, the curriculum, and the admission process. Whether you’re a family considering a move to Portugal or simply curious about education systems around the world, read on to discover why Portugal is a top destination for out-of-the-box learning.

Is Portugal good in education?

Portugal is often praised for its beautiful beaches, rich culture, and delicious food, but is it good in education? The answer is yes!

Primary and Secondary Education in Portugal

Portugal has a public education system that provides free education to all students until the age of 18. The system is divided into three levels: primary, secondary, and tertiary education.

Primary education in Portugal lasts for four years, starting when a child is six years old. Students learn basic subjects such as maths, Portuguese language, and natural sciences.

Secondary education in Portugal is divided into two stages: lower secondary education and upper secondary education. Lower secondary education lasts for three years and upper secondary education lasts for three years as well.

During lower secondary education, students continue to learn the basics and are introduced to a wider range of subjects, including foreign languages, social sciences, and physical education. In upper secondary education, students choose from a variety of subjects and can specialize in fields such as science and technology, arts, or humanities.

Higher Education in Portugal

Higher education in Portugal is provided by universities, polytechnic institutes, and private institutions. The system is overseen by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Higher Education.

Portugal has a wide range of universities, some of which are among the oldest in Europe. The University of Coimbra, for example, was founded in 1290.

Portuguese universities offer a variety of degree programs, including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Many courses are taught in Portuguese, but there are also courses taught in English, French, and Spanish.

International Rankings

Portugal’s education system has been recognized internationally for its quality and effectiveness. According to the OECD’s 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Portugal ranked above the OECD average in reading, maths and science. Portugal’s universities have also been recognized in various international rankings, such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings.

How long is a school day in Portugal?

If you’re considering moving to Portugal with children, you may be wondering about the school system and what a typical school day looks like. In Portugal, school schedules can vary depending on the level of education and the region of the country.

In general, primary school children (ages 6-10) attend school for a half day, usually from 9:00am to 1:00pm. This allows them to have lunch at home with their families and participate in extracurricular activities in the afternoon.

Secondary school students (ages 11-18) usually have a full day of classes, starting at 8:30am and ending at 3:30pm. Some schools may have a shorter day on Wednesdays or Saturdays, but this can vary.

It’s worth noting that many schools in Portugal have a break in the middle of the day for lunch, usually lasting around 90 minutes. During this time, students may go home for a meal with their families or stay at school and have lunch in the cafeteria.

As an expat, it’s important to consider these schedules when planning your work or daily routine. If you have children in school, you’ll need to arrange for transportation and childcare during the times they’re not in class.

However, with some planning and flexibility, you can ensure that your children receive a quality education and make the most of their time in this beautiful country.

Does Portugal have free college?

Portugal is a popular destination for individuals considering a move to a new country. One of the questions that often comes up when discussing education in Portugal is whether or not college is free. In this article, we will explore the topic of free college in Portugal and provide you with some practical tips and personal insights.

The Portuguese Education System

Before we dive into the topic of free college in Portugal, it’s essential to understand the basics of the Portuguese education system. The education system in Portugal is divided into three levels: basic education (1st-9th grade), secondary education (10th-12th grade), and higher education (college and university).

In Portugal, students are required to attend school from the age of six until they complete their basic education. After completing basic education, students can choose to continue their studies by attending secondary education or vocational training. Once students complete secondary education, they can apply to attend college or university.

Is College Free in Portugal?

Now to answer the question that brought you here – no, college is not entirely free in Portugal. However, the cost of attending college in Portugal is significantly lower compared to many other countries. In Portugal, tuition fees for public universities are set by the government and are relatively low. On average, tuition fees in Portugal range from €300 to €1500 per year.

While college in Portugal is not entirely free, there are several scholarships and financial aid programs available to help students cover their tuition costs. Students can apply for scholarships based on their academic performance, financial need, or specific skills or talents.

Practical Tips for Attending College in Portugal

If you’re considering attending college in Portugal, here are some practical tips to keep in mind:

  • Research the different universities and programs available to find the right fit for you.
  • Check the application requirements and deadlines for each university you’re considering.
  • Apply for scholarships and financial aid programs to help cover your tuition costs.
  • Consider living off-campus to save on housing expenses.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to learn Portuguese to help you better integrate into student life and local culture.

Does Portugal have English schools?

If you’re considering a move to Portugal with your family, you may be wondering about the education options available for your children, specifically if there are English-speaking schools.

Thankfully, Portugal has a range of international schools where English is the primary language of instruction. These schools cater to expat families and provide a familiar educational experience that mirrors what they are used to in their home country.

One of the most well-known international schools in Portugal is The International School of Lisbon. This school offers the International Baccalaureate programme and teaches in English, providing children with a globally recognized education.

Another great option is St. Julian’s School in Carcavelos, which offers a British curriculum-based education to students from pre-school to grade 12. The school has an impressive history, having been established in 1932, and prides itself on providing a well-rounded education to its pupils.

For those who prefer an American-style education, Oeiras International School might be the perfect fit. The school offers a curriculum that meets the standards of the US Common Core and provides an education that prepares its students for further education in North America.

Aside from these larger international schools, there are also smaller language schools that offer English language instruction to children. These schools may be a more affordable option for families on a budget but may not have the same level of accreditation as the larger international schools.

Whether you prefer a British, American, or International Baccalaureate curriculum, you can find a school that meets your needs. Investing in your child’s education is a crucial aspect of expat life, and Portugal’s international schools provide an excellent standard of education that will set your child up for success.

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Originally posted 2023-07-14 10:13:35.