Erasmus Students: please refer to this page for the information that's relevant to you.
Located at the extreme southwest of Europe, the Republic of Portugal is constituted by the continental territory and two Autonomous Regions, the archipelagos of Madeira and Azores (Açores). The Continent is divided into 18 districts. Portugal’s total area is of 92.000 Km2 and there are around 10 million inhabitants. The Portuguese Republic borders Spain North and East and has an extensive maritime coastline South and West that bathes the Atlantic Ocean. The country’s capital is Lisbon and the official language is Portuguese.
Portugal basic data
Portugal at a glance
Portugal, one of the world’s most ancient nations, is experiencing extensive and dynamic changes. From the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, Portuguese discoveries were responsible for important advances in technology, nautical sciences, cartography, astronomy and ship building. Five centuries later, Portugal is writing new pages of its history.
Our country is the homeland of companies that develop some of the finest technologies that are impacting our world. Some examples are the following: Portuguese technologies permit the owners of electric cars to be informed, by a text message, of the need to recharge their cars. Solar roof tiles that absorb the sun rays that heat your house water. The production of the world's most efficient clean energy wind tower. Software that allows you to purchase a ticket, by mobile phone, at the movie theatre of your choice.
Portugal's profile also goes beyond innovation. It is also made of recognition that some of the best traditional products have our country as a birthplace. For example, Portuguese wine brands and olive oil brands are among the best in the world.
But a country also defines itself by the talent of its people. Vasco da Gama, and Álvares Cabral shaped our history with their bravery in the discoveries age giving “new worlds to the world”. Today, and on a different level, Cristiano Ronaldo, one of world’s top soccer players, José Mourinho, one of world’s best coaches, top neuroscientist António Damásio,actress Daniela Ruah, famous Fado singer Mariza, Pop singer Nelly Furtado or plastic artist Joana Vasconcelos are shaping our history with their talent.
Portugal is also a safe country with great logistic infrastructures, advanced communication systems, and a friendly economic environment. These are some of the reasons why many world leading companies are choosing Portugal to invest.
Furthermore, Portugal is not only a good country to invest but also a most desirable place to live. A place to visit and enjoy. You can find here a safe, environmentally responsible, with privileged nature, rich leisure and culture and with high quality healthcare facilities. Portugal is blessed by abundant sunlight and warm temperatures that, certainly, makes you feel motivated and productive.
Think Portugal to study, research, invest, buy or live.
(crédits to: http://www.portugalglobal.pt/EN/Portugalataglance/Pages/WelcometoPortugal.aspx)
The North of Portugal - A Unique Region:
(crédits to: www.ccdr-n.pt)
Portugal has now 35% of its 20 year-old youngsters enrolled in higher education levels. Public policies are investing additional 100 million euro to qualify the current workforce, stimulating the upgrade of their qualifications to the highest levels. Public policies and incentives are also encouraging companies to hire PhD graduates.
Various steps have been taken to upgrade the academic and professional experience of the Portuguese workforce over the years. Consequently, Portugal has increased the age of obligatory schooling and developed a program of international cooperation between top-level international schools and Portuguese universities.
Portugal is part of the restricted group of “countries of excellence” that contribute to the top 1% of the world’s most highly cited scientific publications.
The Portuguese population is particularly "language skilled". Forty-two per cent of the population can hold a conversation in, at least, one foreign language and 23% can do it in at least 2 languages. The most widely spoken language in the country is English followed by French and Spanish.
Portugal is a Parliamentary Republic. The President is directly elected by universal adult suffrage every 5 years. Executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament. Since 1975 the party system is dominated by the Socialist Party (Partido Socialista) and Social Democratic Party (Partido Social Democrata). Other political parties include: Bloco de Esquerda, Partido Comunista Português, CDS/Partido Popular.
After the accession to the EU in 1986, Portugal benefited from a significant economic growth and development throughout the 90s, largely thanks to the funds allocated by the European Union to improve the country's infrastructures. Portugal is a modern economy where the service industry, particularly tourism, is playing an increasingly important role. Today Portugal is also part of the “euro area” (Economic and Monetary Union).
Since January 2002 the Euro has replaced the Escudo as the national currency.
Although Portugal is a laic country, most Portuguese citizens are Roman Catholics and many holidays have a religious character.
Mainland Portugal is blessed with both an Atlantic and Mediterranean climate, providing mild year-round weather with no excessive variations of temperature (usually between 10º C in winter and 30º C in summer).