The story of moving to Portugal.
Success stories are inspiring, motivating, and uplifting. But we publish these stories because they are real business cases. They are a step-by-step breakdown of what a person did that led them from point A to point B in their success story. As we understand it, point “A” is a life that doesn’t fit a person’s personal idea of happiness and well-being. A person in “A” will dream (or strive) for point “B,” which means a new level of life, achievement of the first goals, the realization of himself as a successful careerist. That’s exactly the path our guest took today.
About our hero – Vladimir
Vladimir is 28 years old and comes from Tula. He has 11 years of schooling and went to Tula State University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in management. It’s just like everyone else, but the results of this education were of no use to him in real life.
As Vladimir himself would later recount, his Russian education gave him a bachelor’s degree, and that was the end of it. His parents allowed him to stay in the family business and taught him how to run his own business. That’s point “A”
Point “B” consultancy in Europe, he has already helped his parents to reach a new level of service in his native Tula. This summer he will move his first branch office to Portugal and fully immerse himself in his business. In the meantime, he’s working as deputy head of analytics and data collection at a company where he received an internship from NBS.
Point “B,” his plans and goals, are to take his parents and family business completely out of Tula and move to Europe forever. Vladimir plans to get his citizenship: he has only 3 years to wait, and he will be able to apply for a Portuguese passport. The next goal in his career is to open a series of service stations, which would offer a full range of services for cars, as well as the introduction of self-service carwash systems. The next goal in his career is to open a series of service stations, which would offer a full range of services for cars.
These are ambitious goals, especially in Portugal’s competitive environment, but Vladimir is confident in his abilities. Being able to plan his professional and personal life is just one of the many skills he learned during his master’s program in Portugal.
How it all started: the motivation to move and the first steps
“Back in high school, I knew I was going to move towards management. All I could think about was what my future business would be. My father played a big part in this, he was very active in his campaign at the time and helped me in any way he could in any of my endeavors. It was decided that as soon as I finish my studies, I will be little by little join the family business. But first, my family really wanted me to get a good education.
How I came to business and learned how to work
“I didn’t have any stars in school, so we didn’t even consider studying in Moscow or abroad. In Tula, we had one more or less decent university – Tula State University – and I set my sights there. I chose the right specialty – management. But, unfortunately, education in Russia now leaves a lot to be desired.
After graduation, I finally started working. My father handed me the management of one department not far from our home. But I was determined that this would not be the end of my professional career. I did not skimp on spending the money I earned on courses, seminars, and consultations, which took place here or in Moscow. All the knowledge I gained I tried to put into my work.
That’s how I worked for two and a half years, and it was easy for my parents to leave me in charge and go – I became an excellent manager in our small company. But at one point I felt what they call burnout.”
Burnout and the decision to change things
“I loved this job, but gradually I began to think more and more that I was going to spend the rest of my life at my father’s car wash. These kinds of thoughts began to make me sad. At that point, I felt that I could and wanted to achieve something more.
Technically, I knew what to do in these situations. I needed a new purpose, a shake-up, or a complete change of activities. I started looking for options. I started looking at options for a job change, but it was a little too sluggish. I didn’t even know where to start. I was thinking at the time that even though I finished my bachelor’s degree, I still had gaps in my education, so it would be nice to finish my master’s.
I shared my problem with many people: parents, friends, colleagues. And I heard one piece of advice from someone that was the only true one for me: “So if you’re not satisfied with Tula university, then apply to the capital city or somewhere else overseas.
Of course! As I myself had not thought to go to study, for example, in Europe. I began to scour the Internet in search of information. Grants, scholarships, and other opportunities to save money, I did not even consider, because my goal was different – with a hundred percent chance of going to study this summer. I had a little more than six months to spare.
About Portugal, tough choices and travel
“I originally considered countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria – something about Slavic, closer to home, not too ‘foreign’. But there were enough problems there, plus, I always wanted to live in a warm European country. Belarus, Britain, France, and Germany were out of my reach. Then I started looking toward Italy, Greece, and then Portugal, and Spain.
To make my final choice I put aside my rose-colored glasses (for the umpteenth time in recent years) and began to look at the conditions of living and getting a visa, the quality of education, the prospects for starting a business by foreigners. I realized that once I graduated I might want to stay there forever.
When the final decision was made, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders and I was finally rid of my depression. I felt a thirst for action because there was a new goal ahead of me: to conquer Portugal. Why Portugal?
“I agree, the choice isn’t exactly obvious. But I researched a lot of information on the subject – it gave me a chance to get to know the way of life in the country and understand the locals. As it turned out, we are not so different. The Portuguese love to work and have a good time, and they strive for a better life, incorporating the best of European, American, and Oriental culture into their cities and offices.
Yes, there’s a diverse population here, with large diasporas from a wide variety of countries. And that’s a good thing because I wouldn’t be an outsider. Spoiler: I immediately became “my own” and made friends from all corners of the world. Of the other pluses of Portugal, you can immediately see the difference in the quality of medicine, education, and the atmosphere for business.
Selecting a university
“You know how hard it is to choose a college, right? I’m sure you do because we’ve all been through it: choosing a profession, subjects on the USE, an institute. I initially decided to look exclusively for specialties with management. And I was so obsessed with it that I almost missed the idea – an MBA.
I used to safely ignore business schools, thinking they were something major. A waste of time invented by the coaches who wrote those useless books I used to buy in stores.
But when I came across scathing articles and then researched the issue myself, my perception proved to be fundamentally wrong. Those who want to become leaders, businessmen, analysts – that is the audience of business schools. And it is graduates of such institutions in the overwhelming majority become successful in their profession.
Now let’s be more specific about MBA, which stands for Master of Business Administration. This is a prestigious academic degree that certifies qualifications in management, economics, and administration.
Masters of Business Administration become middle and senior managers – high-level managers, with a corresponding position in society and a salary. Best of all, they easily launch their own startups and grow as individuals.
For admission, I had to take the GMAT, which is the kind of exam in European schools, as well as the language exam. It’s not that hard, you just have to prepare a little.
“It was just a matter of a little: finding a business school in Portugal, finding out about the conditions of admission, getting the budget for the trip, opening a visa, preparing for the exams… Now I thought that was not “little” at all, it was very significant. But I want to tell everyone – do not be afraid. Believe me, when you have a goal and a desire, any obstacles are surmountable, you will not even notice that they stood in your way.
I found out about Nova School of Business & Economics very quickly – simply because it’s considered the best business school in Portugal. And it’s not just the best school in the whole area – I took a swing at one of the best schools in Europe.
There were students and business people going there from all over the world, and I was required to be among the best. I started to prepare for the entrance exam. I had to take a test that determined my knowledge in management, economics, law, management science, and analytics. During the admission process, skills in mathematics, psychological health, and, of course, languages: English and Portuguese were checked.
In the course of the admission process, there were tests in mathematics, psychological health, and, of course, languages: English and Portuguese.
The school’s requirements were a challenge for me, I saw them as an opportunity to get better before I even got in, so I didn’t worry too much. I studied 24/7. I didn’t mind.
Before I applied, I had to figure out my visa issue.
“With all the preparations I somehow didn’t immediately remember the fact that I had to, like, get a visa to enter another country. I was reminded of such a small thing as permits by my dad. But here’s the problem – I had absolutely no time to do it. Exams! And that’s when I came across Move To Cascais, which offered the most convenient features for me: help with preparing documents, advice during the move, and assistance afterward.
I was given all the up-to-date information about collecting documents. In addition, they advised me on the smart idea of applying to several business schools and universities at once, with Nova Business School as the first priority.
I regularly received reports: so-and-so a list of documents is needed to the embassy, another one – to the university. What kind of doctors to go through, how to open a card with the right amount to open a visa. Where to find good Portuguese courses. How to pass IELTS. Thousands and thousands of little things solved by experienced people, for whom all this is a regular routine. Of course, for those who have done the paperwork for migration to Portugal dozens and hundreds of times, it seemed something simple and straightforward. Honestly – I still don’t understand what I was doing and why. But they gave me a visa at the first attempt and very quickly.
The time of the exam came. I arrived in Moscow, where there was an official representative office of Portugal, that offered me to take the test (in English, by the way). It took a few hours. The next day I went to the second part of the exam. The next time I came to Moscow I had to take the IELTS exam, which confirmed my fluency in English.
Further on there was the last exam in Portuguese (good for the lowest level, I applied for A2). The studies were in English and there I needed at least C2, or better than that. I needed Portuguese for life and communication.
I did it! What to do next?
I’m insanely glad I decided to apply to NBS, even though I got lucky with the entrance exams, I wasn’t among the best, rather the opposite – I squeezed into the last five places. But I did it, I got in.
Now I had to get confirmation from the school, pick up my documents, and go get my visa. And to make the first payment for the contract, of course.
The documents were collected and sent to the embassy in just a few weeks. Another three months later (in mid-summer) I received my student visa and went straight to Portugal.
The first days in the new place I don’t remember well. I found a decent hotel for the first time, but of course, I had to look for rented accommodation.
In the fall my studies began. It was difficult but interesting. It was definitely the best year and a half of my life.”
Life after graduate school. Business
“Six months after I studied, I started an internship with a company in the assistant manager position. This is a person who has about 10 employees reporting to them, managing all the processes in their department. I got the best out of this internship (in fact, like all my classmates) – I was hired by this company, where I still work. I don’t plan to stay too long. While I’m learning from the experience of my older colleagues and keeping a close eye on the work of top managers and CEOs.
I defended my final paper in high school. I have exams to take – but I’m absolutely ready for them. I can’t get tired of repeating – in Europe they have great specialists, teaching methods that turn the student into a sponge that soaks up the knowledge. And a lot of practice that will not let you forget what you once learned.
The next step is for me to move my parents’ business to Portugal. After I graduate, I’m moving to a new city (even cooler than the one I live in now). There I have already prepared a place to live thanks to the help of MTC managers. I’m moving to a new city (even cooler than the one where I live now).
Quality of Life
Portugal is a country where fast living, rushed meals and fast food are not popular. It’s a country that appreciates wholesome home-cooked or healthy restaurant meals. It’s an incredible plus. Gyms, fitness facilities, swimming pools, the ocean for surfing are all within walking distance, budget-friendly and present in the life of every Portuguese, whether a child or an adult.”
“I can earn and save. I know I can provide for my family and accumulate a safety cushion for my old age. Traveling, changing appliances, and furniture in the apartment are all affordable and don’t seem prohibitive. It turns out that you can just do what you love and get a decent wage. But immediately dispel myths – not everyone lives this way. There are the unemployed and workers with low wages. But if you are educated and can offer the employer competitive skills, then there is no question about finances.
Leisure and Recreation
“I’ve said before that I’ve made a lot of friends, it was in the new place that I got rid of all the blocks to socializing. Maybe it’s because of the education in business school, where they teach us how to talk and develop confidence. But the fact remains – every week we get together with my new acquaintances. By the way, thanks to them, I became acquainted with surfing.
“I can’t get over the fact that Portugal is open to startups and creates all the conditions for small businesses. My parents can get a visa if they declare that they are bringing equipment and capital for car washes. I am confident that opening a business here is realistic, given that many niches are still unoccupied.”
In summary Conclusions
Vladimir’s experience says only one thing – you need to be clear about what you want from the move. It can be knowledge, money, a new life, but be sure to put something invaluable and important to you personally. Then you won’t see any obstacles in your way. And the bureaucracy is taken care of by Move To Cascais, a service that handles everything related to relocation. From visas to university admissions, it’s quick and easy.