With gorgeous, sun-bathed beaches, magnificent castles, and quaint medieval cities, Portugal seems like a fairytale land. Located on Europe's southwestern coast, Portugal is a hidden treasure for visitors and residents alike. In addition to its beautiful landscape comprised of rolling hills and dramatic cliffs, the country also boasts one of the highest quality of life indexes. Intern abroad in one of the world's most globalized and peaceful nations, and gain some great professional experience while learning to live your life to the fullest.
- Main Industries: Agriculture, fishing, forestry, automobile, electronics, textiles, tourism
- Popular Destinations: Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, Sintra, Coimbra
- Cost of Living: 850-1000 Euros (NUMBEO)
- Visa: A Portugal visa is not required for U.S. citizen staying up to 90 days.
- Education: Interested in helping out in a Portuguese classroom, planning teaching materials, or teaching children English? Intern in Portugal to gain some experience in the field of international education. There are also several internship programs that provide language education programs specifically designed to help you improve your Portuguese and become immersed in the Portuguese culture. This can supplement an internship placement in a local Portuguese education institutional or non-profit organization.
- Business Administration/Economics: The major cities of Lisbon and Porto are great places to get some professional internship experience in business administration or economics. As the top metropolitan hubs of the country, there are always several internship opportunities in growing businesses, international corporations, and financial institutions. Interns in business or economics may be carrying out a variety of tasks, depending on the internship placement. If the company conducts any international operations, be ready to utilize your English language skills to your advantage!
- Tourism/Hospitality: There's no doubt that Portuguese tourism industry continues to grow year to year. Queen Elizabeth II once even sailed down the Duomo River, and many have jumped on board cruises to see the country's gorgeous landscape. In this sense, an increasing number of tourist and hospitality services are springing up around Portugal's top tourist destinations. For those interested in hotel management, tourism, or food services, it is a great idea to intern abroad in Portugal to gain some hands-on experience in those respective fields. As a tourism or hospitality intern in Portugal, you will have the opportunity to observe the behind-the-scenes planning and organization processes of hotels and interact with international clients traveling from around the world.
When and Where to Look for an Internship:
Internships in Portugal are available year-round, but international interns tend to work during the summer. Unless you have direct connections with Portuguese businesses, it can be difficult to contact may be difficult to contact organizations about internship opportunities. Instead, it may be much easier to apply for an internship through a third-party program provider which already has established relations with local Portuguese organizations. Be sure to begin your internship research well before you plan to go and heed the application deadlines, as they may vary.
Cost of Living in Portugal
While the cost of living in Portugal is relatively inexpensive compared to its European counterparts. Living in a metropolitan area will be much more costly than living in a more rural area. Food and property costs tend towards the lower end of the spectrum, while transportation costs are continuously on the rise. Below are some examples of living costs in Portugal. Note that 1 Euro is approximately equal to 1.3 USD.
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Center: 400 Euros
- 1 pair of jeans: 7 Euros
- 1 way transportation ticket: 1.40 Euros
Work Culture in Portugal:
- Etiquette:The Portuguese are quite formal and conservative, especially in the business place. Since the people value hierarchy and place great importance on appearance, many are very fashion conscious. The vertical structure in work environments may be strict, so it is important to treat those senior to you with respect.
- Language: Portuguese is the official language spoken in Portugal. Unlike many other international internships, learning Portuguese will be extremely important in your internship placement. Most organizations do not conduct business in English and prefer to hire interns who have a good grasp of the Portuguese language.
- Networking: Networking in Portugal is extremely important, especially because the Portuguese prefer to conduct business with those they trust and have developed relationships. Face-to-face interaction is the best way to get to know your colleagues and meet others. Some internship program providers may organize intern networking events or provide access to other professional networking activities to program participants. Otherwise, if you are interested in joining an organized professional network, feel free to check out Portugal Network or the Portuguese Business Network.
Work and Labor Laws in Portugal
Portuguese work and labor laws provide specific guidelines for both employer and employee rights. It's possible to be paid as an international intern in Portugal, but it often depends on the employer or internship program provider.
Why Intern in Portugal?
Portugal's beautiful beaches and gorgeous are not the only reason people travel to the country from around the world. Indeed, the vacation spot grows more attractive and its tourism industry continues to develop and expand with time. Yet, the internships offered in Portugal also present several opportunities for professional development. If you are looking for a great internship experience abroad and maybe even vacation at the same time, travel to Portugal!
Do you think there is something missing in our guide to interning in Portugal? Contact us and let us know! We want to make sure our information is relevant and up to date.