How to Study Nursing in Portugal for International Students

Studying abroad has been made a lot easier in recent years owing to developments in various sectors such as technology. You can find your favorite destination on the internet and apply to it within a few minutes. Portugal is one of the most selected study destinations in Europe and across the world. The welcoming nature of the Portuguese as well as the country’s location are some of the reasons why it ranks among the top on this list.

Nurses are an integral part of society and Portugal embraces this fact with its high-quality education system. You can either join one of the institutions as an undergraduate or postgraduate in the field of nursing. Are you looking to study nursing in Portugal? Read on to find out what you need to keep in mind as an international student.

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What Degrees are there for Nursing in Portugal?

The route to nursing in Portugal starts with a Bachelor’s degree in one of the available nursing disciplines. There’re also several postgraduate programs – Masters and Doctorate – offered by various institutions in the country. For instance, CESPU and the University of Minho have master’s and Ph.D. programs in nursing from which you can choose your option. Therefore, regardless of the level of studies, you can always find a course that best suits your needs.

Cost of Studying Nursing

The financial side of things is a very crucial part in your university selection process. It’s worth noting that universities (and other higher education institutions for that matter) in Portugal are allowed to set their tuition fee rates or both domestic and international students. To study nursing in Portugal, you’ll be charged €1,250 and €3,000 on average for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, respectively. Private schools, on the other hand, charge up to €3,900 per year for all levels. Of course, like most European countries, the exact amount will depend on whether the student is from an EU or non-EU country, with the latter paying a higher amount of money.

Plans for international studies aren’t complete without a mention of the cost of living. Fortunately, living in Portuguese cities is more budget-friendly as compared to other European study destinations. Housing will cost you anywhere between €300 and €595 per month, depending on the type of accommodation you choose. Some cities like Lisbon and Algarve are somewhat costly because of their stature.

All things considered, you might be looking at around €1000 to cater for all needs every month. The government allows International students to work as they study. However, the rules vary with your native country. If you are from a non-EU country, you’ll be limited to 20 working hours per week. But these restrictions don’t apply to EU students.

Requirements to Study Nursing in Portugal

Every university in Portugal has a set threshold that must be met by the applicants before they are allowed to join the institution. If you’re planning to study nursing in the country, the admission process may defer depending on your country of origin. For non-EU students, entry exams must be completed. Those coming from EU countries or have lived in Portugal may substitute this with their final exams.

Another requirement for studying nursing in Portugal is the English test for non-native speakers. TOEFL iBT, IELTS, PTE A and C1 Advanced/C2 Proficiency are the accepted tests. However, since most universities teach the majority of courses in Portuguese, it is important to also acquire Portuguese language skills. Some institutions like UTAD may also ask you to submit a personal statement which will be used to learn more about your previous experiences in education or related fields.

In What Languages Do You Study Nursing in Portugal?

The instructional language used to teach nursing courses in Portugal varies with the institution. Most institutions like CESPU combine English and Portuguese in their lectures. Others are either exclusively Portuguese while the rest mostly use English for submission of assignments. As such, it is important to familiarize yourself with both languages to be safe. This will not only come in handy in class but also when interacting with people.

Best Nursing Schools in Portugal

1. Cooperative dez Ensino Superior Politécnico e Universitário (CESPU)

Cooperative de Ensino Superior Politécnico d Universitário, or simply CESPU, is the best nursing school in Portugal. The institution was founded in 1982 with the aim of promoting the field of health and science. CESPU currently hosts about 4,000 students enrolled in over 100 programs, both degree and non-degree. It is also worth noting that all courses at the university follow the Bologna process, hence making them recognizable across the globe.

One of the main programs offered at CESPU is the Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, which runs for four years. The 4-year period is subdivided into eight semesters covering both annual and bi-annual subjects. Lectures are either done in English, French, or Portuguese depending on your preferred choice. While studying nursing in Portugal, students are also given a chance to develop their skills through practical experiences. At the end of this course, you’ll be able to practice nursing as you await your registration with a Nursing Association.

2. The University of Minho School of Nursing

Playing a significant role in the development of the youth and the region of Minho at large is the famous University of Minho. The institution was found in 1973 and has since grown to become one of the best national and international universities. It hosts at least 19,000 students enrolled in various courses, while an able group of more than 1300 professors delivers the teaching services. Among its famous colleges and schools is the School of Nursing, which boasts of undergraduate and graduate programs.

The main objective of all nursing programs at this nursing school in Portugal is to prepare students to solve the day-to-day problems in the healthcare industry. As a member of this community, you’ll also come out with sharpened research skills to help build an innovative world while ensuring that health of everyone in the society remains the priority.

3. Universidade de Trás-Os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD)

The final candidate in our list of best nursing schools in Portugal is the Universidade de Trás-Os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD) is one of them. Located in Vila Real, this public university was established in 1986. UTAD offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in various fields, including nursing and health sciences.

One of the general objectives of a master’s program, for instance, is to enhance the decision-making process of anyone looking to pursue a career in nursing. Students also get to learn more about the historical background of this field and how theoretical and philosophical factors may impact them as professionals. This program only has four semesters, with a total of 3360 hours (620 contact hours). If you’re interested in joining UTAD, check the school’s website for any updates and the application process.


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