Can I get scholarships in Portugal?

Portugal has increased over the last decades to become one of the most popular study destinations for international students. Universities in the country provide a quality education that stands comparison with other institutions in the Western world. And despite the fact that the living cost in Portugal is lower than what applies elsewhere, international students in the country can still benefit from some interesting scholarship opportunities. Here are the different scholarships you can apply for in Portugal. 

Government scholarships in Portugal for international students

International students in Portugal can get scholarships from the government, private organizations, as well as from institutions of higher education. There are also scholarships for study subjects that are related to the Portuguese language and culture, and some for studies related to the fields of science and technology. 

Scholarships from the Portuguese government are usually granted through the Directorate General of Higher Education (DGES). Moreover, since Portugal is a member of the EU, the country participates in the Erasmus+ program, offering mobility scholarships for international students. Here are the best scholarships you can apply for in Portugal.

DGES undergraduate and masters scholarships in Portugal 

The government of Portugal through its Directorate General of Higher Education (DGES) offers annual grants which purpose is to increase the access to higher education for students with lower financial resources. In this way, the DGES expects to ensure equity in the allocation of social benefits to students through these grants. 

It takes the form of an annual monetary benefit for a full school year. Moreover, it covers the expenses related to the attendance of a program or the completion of a mandatory internship. Furthermore, the grant is for students attending professional higher technical training, bachelors, integrated master’s and master’s programs. 

Therefore, non-Portuguese international students who are holders of a residence permit in Portugal can apply for this scholarship. The last requirement is for applicants to be enrolled in a minimum of 30 ECTS credits. You can get more details on this scholarship by contacting the SAS (social services) or GAS (social actions office) of your university or polytechnic. 

Get general info on this program by visiting the website of the DGES.

Scholarships from the Portuguese Institute for Development Support (IPAD) 

The IPAD is a development aid agency that under the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It coordinates, supervises and offers development assistance to developing countries, including scholarships to study in Portugal. 

They grant a full-funded scholarship that covers the students’ tuition fees, along with accommodation costs and course material and a monthly stipend. Moreover, the agency mainly focuses on students from foreign territories sharing history with Portugal, namely: Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe. 

Merit-based scholarships from the DGES in Portugal

Along with the grants they offer to undergraduate and graduate students, the DGES also provides other scholarships to students with exceptional academic achievement. Unlike the classic annual grant, this scholarship is granted regardless of the student’s income status. And students from all levels and in all study programs at private and public institutions in Portugal can benefit from this publicly funded scholarship. 

Moreover, to get this scholarship, students can apply directly through their university or polytechnic. 

Postgraduate scholarships in Portugal

The other type of government scholarships in Portugal is for postgraduate students, local and international ones. The particularity of this program is that it is restricted to some study fields. It mainly concerns students in the areas of bioengineering, advanced manufacturing, engineering, transportation, and sustainable energy. 

Moreover, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology provides around 1,000 postgraduate scholarships every year. The same way, it targets students in science and technology. The amount of the scholarship varies between €750 and €2,500 per year, depending on the level of study and other factors. 

Learn more by visiting the website of the foundation

Scholarship to learn Portuguese in Portugal

The last type of government scholarship in Portugal is provided by the Camões Institute for students who intend to study programs about the Portuguese language and culture. Students must then attend courses at universities or recognized institutions in Portugal. Moreover, the scholarship duration is for 12 months.

And there is also the Fernão Mendes Pinto Program for students in their last year of undergraduate or graduate. This is under the condition that they take part in projects of scientific or professional training in a field related to Portuguese as a foreign language. Students must then enroll at centers of Portuguese language, lectureships in the Camões Institute or in a university recognized by the Camões Institute.

Find out more on the website of the institute.

Erasmus+ and Erasmus Mundus scholarship programs

The Erasmus scholarship program is an initiative supporting the mobility of higher education students through a partnership between different universities in Europe. And a few Portuguese universities participate in the program, allowing students to study or undertake internships in Portugal. The scholarship of course is open for European and non-European students. Moreover, it offers support for a duration of 2 to 12 months. 

The Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters scholarship, on the other hand, allows non-European students to explore Portugal while completing their master’s degree. The Erasmus Mundus scholarships cover the tuition fees, health insurance and other study costs in Portugal for up to 2 years. 

To find out more about the Erasmus initiatives, you can visit the Portuguese Erasmus+ agency for education and training. 

Scholarships from higher education institutions in Portugal

Universities and polytechnics in Portugal provide scholarships for students based on academic excellency or on financial need. Usually, EU students are eligible for the support. However, international students must check with their institution to find out if they are eligible or not.

Read here our ranking of the 10 best universities in Portugal.

Scholarships from the University of Lisbon 

The University of Lisbon, like other universities in Portugal, offer merit-based scholarships for its students. These grants’ main purpose is to support the scientific research and the integration of the graduates in the professional world. 

The program therefore aims students with exceptional academic achievement, so they can pursue scientific and technological research projects. You can apply through the university’s social services.

Find out more by visiting the website of the University of Lisbon

University of Porto scholarships

The university of Porto offers several types of financial support for its researchers and students. This is to ease up the access of students with financial need to the university courses. But it also rewards those who have demonstrated academic excellence. Here are the scholarships open to international students at the University of Porto:

Merit scholarships: for students who have achieved exceptional academic results. This program is available for bachelor’s, master’s and integrated master’s students, regardless of their socio-economic situation. Moreover, every year, the university offers incentive prizes equivalent to one-year tuition fee to the best first-year students of its 14 faculties. 

Scientific scholarships: which are research scholarships for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in Portugal. The program’s purpose is to support scientific training in research projects or institutions of science and technology in Portugal. It’s an extendable program, that you can renew each year for periods of less than 3 consecutive months. 

Other financial supports by the University of Porto: such as the SASUP Social Support Fund, since the SASUP scholarships are not available for international students. But the university’s social services might offer other kinds of support for them. 

Learn more by visiting the website of the University of Porto.

Scholarships from the University of Coimbra

The University of Coimbra highly favored its international students by providing them with several financial support options. This aims to offer them a better living conditions and study experience during their stay in Portugal. Among the scholarships options there is: 

The Merit Scholarships for undergraduate students: which waivers the student’s tuition fees starting from their first year and throughout the duration of their program. International students with good grades can benefit from these grants depending on the available quota, which is generally 200. Moreover, students who got a score of admission that is above 160, can benefit from a scholarship ranging between €1,000 and €2,000.

Strategic support scholarship for undergraduate students: which is a €2,000 grant for students in specific fields in their first year of bachelor’s. Students who can benefit from this financial support must have been enrolled in the programs the university defines every year. So, make sure to check the institution’s website to find out which courses are included. 

Master’s degree scholarship: which grants €2,000 tuition fee exemption to master’s students. The program aims to the promotion of scientific research and internationalization efforts at the university. The grant is therefore paid each academic year or semester, depending on the program the student is enrolled in. 

University of Aveiro

Another university which promotes the internationalization of its university education, the University of Aveiro provides a few scholarships available for both local and international students. This includes “Incentive Scholarships” for students who have displayed an exceptional academic achievement. The program awards a reduction of €1,000 to the student’s annual tuition fee, whether at undergraduate or master’s level. 

To learn about the rules that apply to these scholarships and other important details, visit the university’s website.

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