The best education for your children. International schools in Portugal

The best education for your children. International schools in Portugal

Table of Contents

The educational system in Portugal is radically different from that in other countries. The emphasis is not on gaining knowledge in general, but on applying it to life in the future. Compulsory, legal education lasts from age 6 to 15. This is the age at which the Portuguese as well as the Permanent Residents are obliged to study. It is not up to the government to decide about the further education. It provides opportunities. We will certainly tell you about the universities to which people from America, Great Britain, Spain and other leading world countries come to study. But before entering a higher education institution, you need to get a basic education, basic knowledge and skills. There are a lot of differences relative to our country. This is not bad, by no means. It’s just unusual and more modern, more thoughtful. But moving to Portugal and is conceived as a way to change their lives and the lives of children? So just prepare for the new, and we will try to provide you with as much information on the subject of interest.


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Education in Portugal

The Ministry of Technology and Higher Education, together with the Ministry of Science, are developing the country’s educational system.

And they are doing very well. Statistics show that in Portugal 93% of the population is literate. By comparison, in Russia 99.7%, Ukraine 99.3%, Belarus 99.6%.

The statistics show that Portugal is doing very well.

Why is it good if the level is lower than in other countries?

The statistics are “knocked down” by the native population of the country. It is a paradox, but from Portugal, where people from all over the world go to study, the student-age population leaves. to get an education elsewhere. This happens because of a desire for a change of scenery, to see the world. Portugal is a paradise for Europeans. There is a different climate, a different life there, it is warm there almost all year round, there is just a different standard of living, and those who grew up there are tired of this calmness and some monotony. They want a different, more active rhythm.

That’s why they go “out into the world.”

But that’s only to our advantage. The country, which has one of the lowest real literacy rates in Europe, in fact, provides the kind of higher education that can compete with graduates of the best universities in the United States and Britain.

You think that’s impossible? But who is teaching at Portuguese universities and colleges? There are a lot of distinguished PhDs and professors who have either moved to Portugal permanently or live and teach in two countries in parallel. So education in preschool, secondary and higher education is at an all-time high in a booming country.

You don’t believe me? Ask at any university in Portugal in which language educational material is taught. Can we imagine that the education in our local institutes-universities is conducted exclusively in English, French, German, etc.? Of course not!!!! And in Portugal it is the norm. They do it the way it’s convenient for the students. But let’s take our time and go back to primary education.

Education in Portugal
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Schools in Portugal

It is up to the parents to decide whether their child goes to kindergarten or not. But many children go to a preparatory class to get ready for a new routine and workload.

Pre-kindergarten class may be located in a day care center or, less often, in a school. It is called Pre-escola. Attendance is optional for parents. But you have to sign up in advance. A lot of people want to, there are electronic queues.

The unified school platform is mandatory for every young resident of Portugal.  Nine years a child receives knowledge, which is similar in scope to that received in Ukraine and Russia. Only the education document is different. The diploma of secondary education is of European standard. And this is a huge advantage. It is simply the greatest advantage. So, a graduate of high school can apply to any Higher Education Institution of the world without any additional training! To any! And he will be ready to study there too. At least in terms of communication with foreigners. And in terms of learning the material. And in terms of a different educational system from our native one, designed to maximize independent and practical study of the material.

Many schools have vocational training. It is an additional basic specialization to secondary education. It’s very convenient. No need to pay tutors or sign up for some courses. The school in Portugal actually prepares students for university.

Specialization does not put a mark on further education. High school graduates can further their knowledge in the courses they take, or they can choose something else if their preferences and interests change.

It’s strange, isn’t it? Basically, we’re talking about normal things. Finished kindergarten prepared for school, graduated high school prepared to go to college. But how surprising it is.

Let’s go back to education in Portugal.

Public and private school diplomas have the same meaning in Portugal. Cooperative schools are recognized, their educational programs are approved by the government and are steadily monitored. If a family wants their child to start school not only in the basics but also, for example, in astronomy or IT, they can easily do so.

What does “private school” mean to you, dear readers? A school with an in-depth study of subjects paid for by parents. Right? And there are over 100 private schools in Porto on full government funding. And parents don’t pay a penny for their child’s education there. So what’s the point? It’s clearly not about making money for the owners. It’s about the desire to train professionals who will work and earn money for themselves and for the country. Then why are they called “private”? Because the funding does not come from the state.

Art schools are actively developing. A variety of competitions and selections are regularly held to identify talent among students. Later, the payment for tuition is partly assumed by the state and partly by a patron of the arts. That’s why the news that the child got into a paid university is not shocking for parents who simply do not know where to get the money for it; it makes the whole family happy, who are confident that the state will help the child get a decent education in the chosen field and develop his or her innate talent.

The best education for your children. International schools in Portugal 10

“Second” level of schooling

You’ve already learned about the nine-year compulsory school platform. It is the first level of education, and after that there is a second, noncompulsory and fee-based one.

You have already learned about the nine years of compulsory schooling.

Is the fee amount interesting? There isn’t one. There is no fixed amount. Each family is assigned an affordable one.  This is not a joke. There is a concept in the world of “affordable pay.”

The Port is serious about taxes and income control.

The Port is serious about taxes and income control, so who earns how much is known thoroughly.

There are different areas of study in the public schools. They distinguish:

  • Social science and economics.
  • Social sciences.
  • Science.
  • Creativity.
  • Creativity.
At the end of general education, the student receives a Certificate of Secondary Education. Still in doubt about the level of education in Portugal? Then read the following information very carefully.

The secondary school certificate is considered by employers to be a stronger document than the vocational training diploma.

There are many schools with a technology focus. Only “technological” specialty in Portugal is fundamentally different from our country and our understanding.

In-depth study of schoolchildren:

  • electronics and computer science;
  • electronics and multimedia;</li
  • administration and marketing.
Lots of hands-on training. Lots of field trips to potential jobs. And if it’s a highly specialized technology, the training can even be done on the job.

It turns out that while students in our country are going to lectures, they’re already learning on the job in Portugal.

Yes, and they’re learning more actively and with gusto. They’re more engaged and eager to learn. They know where they’re going and why they’re going there. People who graduate don’t waste time on mastering the obtained knowledge. He is already ready to go to work. They can start right away.

Virtually all educational institutions are closed. The heightened security requirements have nothing to do with any threats. It’s just that it’s okay to be responsible for a child who comes to school here. If a little guest comes into the house, the adults will keep an eye on him, right? They won’t let him or her unknowingly endanger his or her life and health, will they? And for school every student is not just a guest, but a member of the extended family.

The entrance to any school building is equipped with an auto-control system or there is a security post.

Full High Schools
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Full High Schools

Specializations of full high schools in Portugal
No School type Learning destinations
1 General education economics;social sciences;artistry;natural sciences.
2 Technological education construction; electrical engineering; computer science; design; electronics; marketing; nature and environmental protection; sports; land management.
All universities are divided into higher polytechnics and academic universities. Polytechnics train engineers, practitioners, and researchers. They work according to the Bologna system and complete their education at the bachelor’s level. The main mass of universities is concentrated in Lisbon. But we’ll talk about that next time. For now let’s study as much information about the schools as possible.
 project - Russian school in Portugal
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New project – Russian school in Portugal

Educational institutions with a Slavic bias exist in every region. They do not work according to the Portuguese program and are designed to support immigrants and to keep the memory of the historic homeland. A kind of weekend club. It’s really a lot of fun for the kids. On weekdays, they continue to study in Portuguese schools, learning about the local science and culture.

Can you name one country in the world that has a school for immigrants in every city? In Portugal, no one is surprised anymore. And it is positioned as the absolute norm.

The choice of schools is enormous. You can send your child to a Portuguese educational institution: public or private, or you can educate him in a Russian or Ukrainian school.

Selecting an educational institution for a child, especially if he already went to school and even more so if he went to another country, is an incredibly difficult and responsible task. You need to approach it responsibly. It doesn’t hurt to have not only general information, but also advice from psychologists and teachers.

Escolas internacionais de Portugal (international schools in Portugal)
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Escolas internacionais de Portugal (international schools in Portugal)

The vast majority of our former fellow citizens give preference to international schools in Portugal. These are institutions with bilingual education, in which the use of the native language by students is actively encouraged. So far, all such schools are private, for a fee, but the level of education is worth it.

St. Peter International School (St. Peter’s School Lisbon)

The school’s staff is proud of the more than 25 years of experience of the establishment. The school is located near Lisbon. It is aimed at pre-school, primary and secondary school groups.

Acceptance begins with the registration of a potential student on the school’s website. The requirements are strict. All students are interviewed and take a short “entrance exam.”

The school pays a fee.

There is a tuition fee; the amount is not listed on the website. You need to clarify during registration.

Cascais International School

Member of ACSI (international association of Christian schools). Opened in 1980, it is accredited by the National Association of Private Schools. Registration for the student takes place on the website. Then comes an invitation to a personal meeting with the school director (!). The next step is to test the future student with the help of a specially designed for this author’s application.

There is no fixed fee. It depends on how many services in addition to the passage of the mandatory program will be provided to the child. This includes meals, extra lessons and a variety of recreational activities.

St. Julian’s School

Located in Carcavelos, it was founded by the British back in 1932. There are more than 1,000 students of about forty nationalities ranging in age from three years old to adulthood.

There are three programs of study:

  • local;
  • English-based;
  • IB system.
In order to enroll, you need to fill out an online application, then apply to the school and, if confirmed, pay the enrollment fee.

The amounts vary. In the last academic year, they ranged from €9930 to €23,000 per year.

The amounts vary.

There are several fees, all negotiated individually.

Carlucci (American International School in Lisbon)

One of the most popular international schools is located between Cascais and Sintra (about 20 minutes from Lisbon).

On the website you need to fill out a form, providing transcripts of the potential student’s last three years of study. If tests have been taken, if the child has taken courses or attended a club, this should all be indicated. Could be an extra “plus” for admission.

The fee in 2020/21 was between €8,700 and €18,500 per year. Can be made several times a year.

International preparatory school

It is intended for children aged 3-11, i.e. it does not offer a complete secondary education. It is suitable for foreigners who are rapidly “integrating” into Portuguese life. Here all the necessary work is done with children to adapt and prepare them for mainstream schooling.

It is enough to fill out a registration form and wait for an invitation to meet with the management and pay the tuition. In addition to the children’s documents, the results of the medical examination, a copy of the parents’ passports and a copy of the results of previous years’ studies are enclosed.

In addition to the children’s documents.

Payment for kindergarten (first half day) from 2180 euros per month, and for school from 4200 euros per month.

Luiseau-French College

Has been around for about 80 years. It was founded on the basis of a Catholic school, located in a real palace.

Luzo-French College

Has been around for about 80 years.

One of the most revered for its level of education and form of teaching, not only in Portugal, but also in the countries of Europe. The teaching is unique. There are no analogues in the world.

Fill out a special form on the college website to enroll.

Registration is paid (€30) and admission fee is mandatory (€250).  The price of preschool education = 290 euros x 10 months. School education €435 per month.

Please note. This is one of the few schools that offer discounts for families with more than one student (after the fourth child enrolled, 25%).

The Oporto British School or simply “Porto”

This is a British school. It is one of the oldest in Europe. It was opened back in 1894. It has International Baccalaureate IB. The school’s program is aimed at maximum ease of adaptation of the students. The class maximum is 20 people. Usually not more than 15. Admission consists of several stages:
  • filling out a questionnaire;
  • payment of the “admission” fee of 70 euros (if the student does not enter, the money is not refunded);
  • interview and evaluation;
  • filling out the form+payment of 300 euros.
The annual rate for the current year is approved between 7,195 and 1,300 euros. It can be broken down into 10 payments. To this amount is added annually 500 euros for school expenses and 20 euros for the student’s insurance.

Indeed, it is possible to pay 10 payments.

Colégio Luso Internacional do Porto (CLIP)

The school was founded in 1990. At that time it had 44 students. Today there are more than 1,150; ages 3-18.

It is the most famous international school in Portugal, with students from more than 50 countries. Each applicant is interviewed by the principal. Interviews and tests are conducted. The level of English is necessarily assessed.

The cost of tuition depends on the grade and the number of children from the same family attending the school.

The first one pays 10175 euros, the second one already pays 6912 euros per year. It is possible to pay in 10 payments.

French International Lyceum Porto

The Serralves Park is home to the Lycee Francais, an international school founded in 1963 and part of the Worldwide Network of the Agency for the Study of French Abroad.

There are more than 1,000 students enrolled from preschool through 12th grade.

An application is submitted by a child’s representative online, then you have to wait for a response from the school. The 20/21 fee is 5326 euros for the school and 4588 euros for the kindergarten + one-time registration fee of 674 euros.

German Alemao College in Porto

It originally (in 1901) opened for Germans. Now there are more nationalities of students. The age range is from kindergarten to 18 years.

Annual registration of prospective students requires information about knowledge of German and their native language.

The elementary school costs 3998 euros, the secondary school 4,295 euros + 550 euros registration fee. It is possible to pay in 10 instalments.

Algarve. International Schools
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Algarve. International Schools

There are several international schools located in this region at once. The area, which attracts foreigners, creates the best conditions for their comfort. It is in the interest of Portugal that the inhabitants are not inconvenienced, actively working for their own good and developing the country in parallel.

It is in the interest of Portugal that the inhabitants are not inconvenienced.

Vilamoura International School

The Algarve’s educational institution consists of a kindergarten and a school. Registration for kindergarten costs 250 euros, after a year you have to pay 300 euros. There are additional costs for the education of the child. The amounts range from 4,600 to 5,700 euros. The payment is allowed to be split into 10 installments.

The administration pays special attention to the historical and geographical values of the country and fosters confidence, calm and poise in the students. Many graduates, later become diplomats.

International Nobel School

Located in Lagoa and Almocil (Algarve). It has a unique curriculum, although it consists of a mix of British and Portuguese. Communication is bilingual. The school strives to attract as many students from different countries as possible, tries to create a multicultural environment.

There is a boarding school option. That is, students can live in a separate building if their home is far from the school.

Applications are accepted all year round. The applicant is sure to meet with the principal for an interview. There is a special “waiting list” on which people sign up in line.

There is a waiting list.

The cost of tuition varies depending on the class and campus. In the Lago complex the tuition costs 4,524 to 5,604 euros, in Almancil – 6,330 to 10,250 euros. Payment per year, per quarter, per month is accepted.

Algesura. International School

Founded in 2010. Teaching is from the 7th grade. Today there are students of 26 nationalities. There are about 80 people in total.

The entrance fee is 1,500 euros. 1,200 of them are refunded at the end of the first semester. This is such an insurance that parents will not change their minds, take their child, and the place will not be empty.

Indeed, it’s the only way to make sure that the school will not be empty.

The cost of tuition is 6,300 regardless of grade or school year.

Selecting a school for a child who has moved to Portugal is difficult. And in their home country it is difficult. And in any other country it is difficult. It is normal when parents try to find the best when they work hard to develop their child.

Tips from MoveToCascais
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Tips from MoveToCascais

The “tips” were prepared by parents who moved to Portugal a few years ago and are well established in the country, as well as child psychologist Maria Kowal.

This is Maria’s advice:

“If your child has just reached school age, don’t hesitate to send them to Portuguese educational institutions. The younger they are, the more quickly they adapt. Especially since there will be children from other countries in the class. That is for sure. In Portugal no one is surprised by a foreigner, no one will laugh at his speech or the fact that he does not understand something.

On the contrary, such a child will make more friends because of the desire of others to help him.

A high school student as young as 12 may need help from a guidance counselor. By no means because of any problems that arise. Don’t get me wrong and don’t be intimidated by the name of the profession. A psychologist will help you adapt to new conditions, calm you down, learn things that you can’t always trust your parents. In fact, even in the home country a schoolchild after the age of 12, a psychologist is not a bad thing. It is just not accepted in all countries, it is considered shameful and inappropriate. In Portugal, communication with a psychologist is no more frightening than a visit to a pediatrician. It is considered the norm.

Teachers’ attitudes are at first perceived as negative, as picky of the child. But it just seems that way. It’s just different. In my country the student told the material, then they would repeat it in class, then check it, and only then would they go on. In Portugal, the teacher’s presentation of the lesson was like a lecture by a university professor. Come-told-told, come-checked-evaluated. An interest in learning develops quickly in students.

Teachers receive, compared to ours, enormous salaries (from 1000 euros per month), and are always in great esteem. Teachers are not harsh or strict. It’s just the form of teaching here.

If there is a lack of confidence.

If you are not sure that the school in Portugal can do, you can choose a Russian school closest to home. For most students it is an “adaptation step” rather than a permanent place of study. All the same for those who stay for permanent residence it is better to study in Portuguese schools. But those who choose a school at the embassy are understood and are not rushed in their choice.

Adults are clearly more worried than children and many problems are simply imagined. Learning in Portugal is conducted in an interesting way, a lot of assignments are done on PCs, a lot of excursions, field trips, just lessons in the open air. Parents and grandparents are just unaccustomed to such a format, unaccustomed to the small number of tasks at home. But this is the European educational system. Proven and repeatedly proven effective. So we shouldn’t panic that the child either won’t understand or will fall behind, that he will have some problems.

Certainly, there can and probably will be problems. Did you have school in the same breath? The country doesn’t matter. Communication problems, quarrels, misunderstandings can be slightly complicated by a language issue. And on the other hand it’s what slows down the development of conflict. You do not have to prepare for trouble. No one in Portugal wants to hurt anyone.

Tips for parents of school children
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Tips for Parents of Schoolchildren

And now some advice for parents of schoolchildren from those who have already been down their path. The MoveToCascais staff conducted a small survey among families with children who have moved to live here and used the data to put together a little handout.
Tips for parents of schoolchildren:
do not be afraid that the child will not learn or understand the material; remember, the child gets used to the new team and conditions faster; do not scare difficulties in the new school; do not prepare to hire a tutor; do not try to master the program yourself to help your child; don’t limit your child in communication with children from other countries; they understand each other better than adults; don’t compare education in two countries; don’t look for faults in the school; don’t expect a catch from the teacher; don’t prepare for trouble; remember, you always have someone to talk to and ask for advice!
It’s very encouraging that the schools are closed. Exit and entrance is controlled, in many entry is by special pass cards. Adults can wait at the entrance or go by invitation of the teacher. In this case, at the entrance will be transcribed all the passport data, will be given a written direction to the right room and even the reason for visiting the school.

Any questions? Write, call. We’ve been down the road of relocation many times with our clients. We’ll help, advise, and literally walk by the hand through all the difficult parts of the move.

We’re here to help.


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