Lisbon is renowned as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, if not the entire world, and deservedly so. The winding cobbled streets of the city’s Alfama neighborhood, lined by intricately patterned, tiled buildings will mesmerize you from day one. Just a short train ride from the nearest beach, the real-life candy castles of Sintra, and full of delicious eating potential, this city has it all — including an array of exciting study abroad programs. Brush up on your Portuguese and hop the trolley for your next stop. Study abroad in Lisbon!
Popular Ways to Study in Lisbon
With an array of study abroad programs directly linked to Portuguese language, history and culture, you will be ideally located to put all that you learn into action in Lisbon.
Popular subjects to study. The easiest way to learn a language is certainly through complete immersion — what better place to practice your linguistic skills than haggling for a Pasteis de Nata in a Portuguese Patisserie (YUM!)? Learn Portuguese in Portugal while you study abroad, or try your luck at business courses. Do your best to choose classes that fulfill your major requirements but also tangibly connect to the surrounding culture.
Short term and summer programs vs. long term programs. Study abroad programs in Lisbon are usually short-term opportunities, ideally suited to a summer away from college. Those with a greater degree of wanderlust, however, will find a couple of longer term options which usually span a whole semester or year, allowing you to take an extended break from home studies to diversify your portfolio and skills. We know we wouldn’t mind an excuse to sip on Port for a year or so...
Attending universities vs. other program types. Some students might consider enrolling directly in the University of Lisbon or other universities in Portugal for international students. If you want a hands-off experience, this one is for you. However, many foreign students opt to study abroad with an organized program, which include the added perks of organized housing, cultural activities, and an instant friend group! This can be especially helpful when you’re initially taken aback by traditional Fado music and need someone to giggle with.
Student Life in Lisbon
Life in Lisbon holds a typically Mediterranean level of relaxed vibes (read: horizontal). Days start with a leisurely breakfast from the local bakery — usually a pastry and some strong black coffee. Students in the city love to be outdoors, interacting with one another, and enjoying the beautiful climate. This relaxed attitude continues into the evening as bars spill out into the streets and people share food, sangria and stories from their day. You won’t struggle to find new friends in a city where everyone wants to be sociable!
The cost of living in Lisbon is low by comparison to much of mainland Europe, although tourism has caused some more mainstream areas to hike their costs. When it comes to food, look for restaurants with a menu del dia — a multi-course selection of local delights alongside a drink — will come in at just a few Euros. It’s Europe, but a more budget-friendly version than what you’d find in tourist-run Paris or London.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Lisbon is a city of hidden gems, look beyond the main tourist hotspots to find some seriously cool hangouts and experiences. From bars on top of multi-level parking lots, to the winding backstreets of Bairro Alto — the livelihood and diversity is unrivalled anywhere else in Europe. The incredibly sociable style of living will also afford you an ideal opportunity to practice your Portuguese language skills, and introduce you to great new friends who will help you tap into the deeper culture of the city.
Learn more about Portugal’s history and colonial efforts; your list of places to practice your Portuguese will grow. How about that for a traveler’s bucket list!?
An ideal destination, study abroad programs in Lisbon give students plenty of options. The only real questions are: when will you go and how many egg tarts can you eat in a single sitting?
Read our comprehensive guide on studying in Portugal here.