LIVING IN PORTUGAL
COST OF LIVING
The cost of living in Portugal is average compared to other places in the world. The cost of living in comparison to other places, uses local prices for defined quantities of the same goods and services at or near each location, converted to a single currency. The prices are grouped together into basket groups and the cost of living index calculated for each basket. The cost of living index for Portugal can be compared to any other selected location using the calculators.
Portugal is currently ranked 61 out of 125 countries (rank 1 is most expensive: rank 125 is least expensive).
Portuguese healthcare is available to legal foreign residents who have registered with their local Health Centre. This provides basic health cover for accidents and illness, but you may also take out additional health insurance cover appropriate to your needs.
The Portuguese health care system is made up of both state-run and privately run healthcare facilities. It provides total healthcare coverage to registered individuals and citizens and is funded through taxation. There is also a private healthcare system in Portugal providing high quality medical services to patients.
Any person registered for social security coverage is also covered for healthcare in Portugal. All healthcare benefits are administered by the Ministry of Health (Ministério de Saúde) while social security benefits (pensions, disability, maternity/paternity benefit) are administered by the Social Security Institute (Instituto da Solidariedade e da Segurança Social).
Pre-school education for children between the ages of three and five is optional. It is provided by kindergartens, which are run by a variety of State organisations, charitable institutions, private schools, unions and other organisations.
Compulsory Schooling: Basic Education
Basic education is compulsory and free and lasts for nine years, covering children and young people between six and fifteen years of age. It comprises three consecutive cycles: the 1st cycle (four years) provides a general education, with a single teacher (sometimes supported in specialised areas); the 2nd cycle (two years) and the 3rd cycle (three years) are taught by a single teacher per subject or multi-disciplinary educational field.
Post-compulsory Schooling: Secondary Education
This comprises three years of education (10th, 11th and 12th years of schooling). It is geared towards anyone who intends to continue studying or to join the labour market. It includes science and humanities and specialised artistic, technological or vocational training courses, and is provided by secondary schools and vocational schools.
Higher education in Portugal involves universities and polytechnics. The academic year generally begins in October.
The academic qualifications of Graduate (1st cycle), Master (2nd cycle) and Doctor (3rd cycle) can be obtained by university and polytechnic students. Undergraduate courses last for three years on average, and Masters from one to two years.
Admission to higher education institutions depends on the number of vacancies available, which is regulated by the national entrance exam organised by the Direcção Geral do Ensino Superior [Directorate-General for Higher Education]. Applications are normally submitted in July and early August to the admission services in the applicants area of residence or through the Internet (electronic applications available via the website of the Direcção Geral do Ensino Superior [Directorate General for Higher Education]. In order to be accepted, EU/EEA nationals must present an academic qualification equivalent to the 12th year of schooling.