We congratulate you for your placement in our country! We will strive to give you all you need to achieve your goals and all the beautiful things our country has to offer.
Through this page, we will provide you with all the information you should need for your exchange period. It contains the main details of each local program, both academic and social, should you want to inform yourself about the Local Committee you’ve been placed at, or any other you’d like to visit during your stay.
Portugal is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, situated at the south west point of Europe, on Iberian Peninsula, and includes the Atlantic Madeira and Azores archipelagos. It is bordered on the East and North by Spain and on the West and South by the Atlantic Ocean.
Mainland Portugal occupies an area of 88,889 km2. It is 218 km wide, 561 km long, 832 km of Atlantic Coast and a 1215 km border with Spain.
It is split by its main river, the Rio Tejo (Tagus river).
The northern landscape is mountainous in interior areas, with plateaus indented by river valleys. The south, between the Tejo and the Algarve (with Alentejo in the middle), features mostly rolling plains.
At the end of 2017, Portugal was elected World’s Leading Destination at the World Travel Awards.
Our health system is characterized by three coexisting systems: the National Health Service (NHS), special social health insurance schemes for certain professions (health subsystems) and voluntary private health insurance.
The NHS provides universal coverage. In addition, about 25% of the population is covered by the health subsystems, 20% by private insurance schemes and another 7% by mutual funds.
The Ministry of Health is responsible for developing health policy as well as managing the NHS. Five regional health administrations are in charge of implementing the national health policy objectives, developing guidelines and protocols and supervising health care delivery.
Mean Life Expectancy: 80.6 years
Natality Rate: 8.4%
Doctors per 1.000 inhabitants: 487
Number of hospitals: 225 (111 of them are private)
Number of hospital beds: 35.000
In Portugal, to become a doctor in a classical faculty, you have to complete 6 years of Medical Studies. The basic sciences are taught during the first 3 years. In the last years, most of the specialties are studied and there is an increase in clinical practice.
The most recent Medical School (in Algarve) has a different methodology as its teaching method is Problem Based Learning. In this school, only students with previous graduations can enter and the course duration is of 4 years. This kind of course also exists in Braga, in parallel to the classical course it provides.
After graduating in either a classical or new school, you have to take an exam in order to access any residency. Completing the residency can take you from 4 to 6 years, depending on the speciality you choose (as a curiosity, to become a general doctor you must also complete 4 years as medical specialization).
The journey between Lisbon and Oporto on the Alfa Pendular train (the fastest and most comfortable train) may vary between €31 and €43 (2nd or 1st class) and on InterCity trains the price varies between €25 and €37, and they both stop in Coimbra. From Lisbon to Faro the fare is between €23 and €30 on the Alfa Pendular train and between €22 and €28 on the InterCity train.
For Covilha the train fare from Lisbon is about €18.
For Braga the train fare from Porto is abou €3.
Don't forget to ask for student/youth discount when buying the tickets so you can have a 25% reduction on the prices above.
More information at: www.cp.pt
There are regular connections between the main Portuguese cities.
The journey between:
- Lisbon and Porto - €15
- Lisbon and Faro - €15 or €16
- Faro and Porto - €26
- Lisbon and Coimbra - €11
- Lisbon and Covilhã - €13
- Porto and Covilhã - €14
The prices above already have Youth Discount, don't forget to ask for it.
More information at: www.rede-expressos.pt
Taxis are painted mostly cream with a roof-light to identify them. However, there are still some taxis which keep the old colours, green and black. In the urban service, the minimum charge (initial price) during the daytime is €3.25 and €3.90 at nightime, weekends and public holidays. The final fare will be determined in function of the distance travelled and the time. It is normal to give a tip of 10% on top of the fare. Ordering a radio taxi results in an additional cost of €0.80 and transport of luggage requiring use of a roof rack or car boot implies a supplement of €1.6. For transport outside urban areas, the service is paid on a per kilometre basis, and the cost of the return journey is also calculated, regardless of whether or not the passenger makes the return trip. Normally the price is agreed at the beginning of the respective journey.
There are 3 airports: Oporto, Lisbon and Faro.
More information at: www.ana.pt
Porto - Porto Wine Cellars / D. Luís Bridge / Aliados Boulevard / Ribeira
Coimbra - Cathedral / Oldest University in Portugal / Mondego River
Braga - Braga's Cathedral / Bom Jesus Sanctuary / Sameiro / Natural Park of Peneda-Gerês
Covilhã - Natural Park of Estrela
Algarve - South Beaches / Aquaparks
Most of the Portuguese people are catholic (88% of the population).
We don't have any food restriction.
It's not forbidden to drink on the street.
There are two fundamental aspects to the pleasant Portuguese climate: the Atlantic, felt more in the north, especially the northeast, and the Mediterranean which dominates the south.
The climate in Portugal varies considerably from a region to another and is influenced by the relief, latitude and proximity to the sea.
On the coast the winters are particularly mild. In the North area, particularly inland, the winters are colder, although the temperatures are still mild when compared to the rest of Europe. There is some snowfall, mainly in «Serra da Estrela» («Star’s mountains»), the highest point in continental Portugal (1993m) and where it is possible to ski! The South is warmer, specially Algarve, which enjoys a Mediterranean climate.
Summers are hot and dry, especially in the inland areas («Trás os Montes» and «Alentejo») and autumn and spring can be rainy but also warm and sunny.
Most parts of Portugal are sunny. Daily hours of sunshine average from eight to ten in winter and thirteen to fifteen in summer.