Traveling to Lisbon, Portugal, is like stepping into a postcard: colorful houses lining cobblestone streets and domed cathedrals built into the cliffs overlooking dazzling beaches. Imagine this panorama creating the backdrop for an internship abroad in Lisbon! This city is one of the oldest and trendiest cities in all of Europe but often overlooked by travelers. As the financial and technological hub of Portugal, this global port offers endless internship opportunities, no matter your interests. From teaching to technology, interns will find there is so much to learn while exploring Lisbon.
Popular Types of Lisbon Internships
While interning in Lisbon, you’ll have the opportunity to explore ancient architecture, historical museums, cultural festivals, and a thriving nightlife — all while getting professional work experience and boosting your resume. Whether you want to intern abroad in Lisbon during your summer vacation or spend a semester abroad, enter the tourism industry or the business world, you’ll find it here.
Short term internships and summer internships vs. long-term internships. Lisbon internships are available all year, ranging from four weeks to one year, depending on the position and time of year. Most international internships are available over the summer, and opportunities increase depending on your flexibility, experience, education, and language level, as most programs require knowledge of Portuguese in order to work. Don’t know the language? No worries! Many programs offer language classes in addition to an internship placement.
Popular fields of work. Interns will find a large range of placement options while interning abroad in Lisbon. As the city is becoming a must-see location in Europe, there are many options for interning in tourism and hospitality. Hotels and touring agencies offer positions in everything from event planning to marketing to customer service. The country has invested greatly in its educational infrastructure, and opportunities in teaching and research fields are always available. The city is also the most industrialized area of the country, making it the ideal location to intern in mass media, business, and the arts.
Paid vs. unpaid internships in Lisbon. When choosing your program, don’t forget to ask about what’s included. Unlike many international internships, Lisbon is known for having paid internships, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank! If the internship is unpaid, programs often offer accommodation and meal vouchers based on how many hours you work.
Life in Lisbon
Lisbon offers a diverse landscape of sunny beaches, striking cliffs, countless waterways, and lush vineyards. The city’s trademark is the Seven Hills scattered across the cityscape, each topped with miradouros (viewpoint terraces) for hiking and great views. While you aren’t working, slow down and enjoy bicas (espressos) at a café with new friends or some fresh seafood at a seaside Portuguese restaurant. You’ll find the sleepy cobbled streets turn into some of the craziest drinking spots at night, and interns will never run out of places to party at the endless dive bars, wine bars, and LGBT hotspots along Cais do Sodré (“Pink Street”).
Lisbon is the perfect location for an internship abroad, as it is less expensive than most other European destinations. Frugal interns can survive on as little as $7,000 per year. Enjoy a meal of balcalhau (dried and salted fish cod) for only $7, and get a monthly train pass for about $35. Although cheap homestays are not very common in the city, interns can rent apartments with co-workers for around $380 per month or live in provided accommodation. You’ll be sure to save enough to travel on the weekends, especially if your internship is paid.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
As Lisbon grows on the radar as an international hotspot, internships opportunities are endless. But before you pack your bags and board the flight, there are a few things to keep in mind while interning abroad in Lisbon.
While some internship locations abroad are flexible on your language skills, interns in Lisbon should be prepared to speak Portuguese. Most placements require an intermediate language level so you can communicate on a working level. Keep in mind that Portuguese can be more difficult to learn than other romantic languages, so practice is key. And if you begin to struggle, try your best not to speak Spanish, even if it sounds similar and you are close to Spain… it disturbs the cultural integrity of the city and makes locals angry!
Be prepared for time to slow down with your internship in Lisbon. Everything takes longer than in many other countries (think traffic, paperwork, and visa applications), and patience is important as you adjust to a new lifestyle. While frustrating at times, the slowness allows interns to take time to experience every detail to the fullest while interning abroad.
There is no doubt that when you intern in Lisbon, you’ll fall in love with the city. The city is surreally picturesque and offers something for every intern. Balance a teaching internship with nights at the clubs, or take a break from your marketing internship to soak in the sun at the beach. Treat your taste buds to mouthwatering seafood, and take your time exploring the quaint streets.
Want to explore more of this colorful country? Check out more internship programs in Portugal, too.