Portuguese is like Spanish’s talented younger brother that is often ignored by the world when in actuality, its influence and usefulness is quite broad. In addition to Portugal and Spain, several countries including Mozambique and Angola have adopted it as an official language. An estimate of 260 million people in the world speak Portuguese. It is perhaps the most spoken language in the southern hemisphere and the sixth most spoken language in the world.

As a romance language, Portuguese developed from Latin with its earlier form as Old Portuguese. Cervantes once said that Portuguese was “the sweet and gracious language” and many other famous literary figures have also praised the language for its “sweet” feature. Brazil even has a Museum of the Portuguese Language in its capital of San Paulo, the first ever language museum in the world. Once you master the poetic language of Portuguese, tackling Spanish also becomes much easier.

Read the guide on this page written by the Go Overseas team, just for you. Then choose a Portuguese language program from the list below. You'll be on your way to becoming a fluent Portuguese speaker!

Photo credit: Artur Luiz dos Santos.

Portugal and Brazil are definitely the two top choices for studying abroad. There are general language courses at language schools as well as more comprehensive programs focused on language and cultural immersion. Intensive language courses are offered on more of a short term basis and are great choices for people with less time available. Many programs, especially in the more popular options of Portugal and Brazil, offer joint programs between language study and meaningful travel.

Program Types

  • Group 
: Many language schools offer courses for language students of any age to participate in short or long term immersion programs. Language schools have a wide range of classes that cater to people with different schedules and proficiency. Even if you’ve never been exposed to Portuguese in your life, language schools will for sure have a course for beginners. If you are short on time and just want to focus on improving your portuguese in an academic setting, this is the choice for you.

  • Language
 and Culture 
: Language study and culture immersion programs combine more of the cultural aspects to learning the language. In this case, students will have to make a choice as to where the study abroad according to what culture they want to experience more. In addition to the dialectic differences between countries, Mozambique will undeniably have a different vibe from studying in Portugal.

  • Language 
: Some programs offer language courses concurrent to a placement in an internship position in your host country. These are more likely to be restricted to urban areas so if you’re looking to go off the beaten path in more rural areas, a volunteer option might be better. Although there is definitely a minimum language requirement for this option, it can be a great choice to improve your Portuguese, gain experience for your resume, and have a kick ass time traveling overseas!


Portuguese is not an easy language to learn. Although it is often compared to Spanish due to Portugal’s close proximity to Spain, Portuguese can be argued to be more difficult than Spanish. They differ in pronunciation but of course even within the Portuguese language, there are many different dialects and differences in regional pronunciations. If you do speak Spanish however, Portuguese will be much easier to learn as the written language and certain words share a lot of similarities.

Why Learn Portuguese Abroad?

If you want to master a language that is spoken in several different regions in the world, Portuguese is a beautiful language to expose yourself to. Especially with the diverse cultural associations with the language, why wouldn’t you want to learn how to speak Portuguese and travel around the world?!

With 9 countries boasting Portuguese as their official language, there is no shortage of choices as to where you can go. As mentioned earlier, Portugal and Brazil are the most popular choices but alternatives such as Macau or Cape Verde might catch the attention of those seeking for a different cultural experience. The Daman and Diu as well as Goa states in India also have a strong Portuguese presence as they were once Portuguese territories. Language program may be harder to find in these places although it can definitely be a great cross cultural experience.

  • Portugal: Right next to Spain and right above Morroco, Portugal is the go-to destination to learn Portuguese.
  • Brazil: The other population would be to travel to Brazil in South America. In addition to dialectical different in Portuguese, going to Brazil will expose you to a passionate culture quite different from Portugal.
  • Macau: Macau is a tiny territory next to Hong Kong. Portuguese is a co-official language here and a great choice for anyone interested in traveling to Asia. Hong Kong is also a quick ferry ride away, hello weekends!
  • Mozambique: Mozambique is another country that speaks Portuguese and a wonderful opportunity for anyone wanting to go to Africa and learn a language that can be spoken in other countries as well. 

Choosing a Portuguese Learning Program

The first step to choosing a language study program is to decide whether you want to learn European Portuguese or Brazilian Portuguese as this will help narrow down your study abroad destinations by a lot. Portuguese is also widely known to be harder than Spanish so a lot more commitment is needed to truly learn the language. The results are totally worth it though, since you’ll be able to communicate in several countries across the world.




O que é que é surdo e mudo mas conta tudo? (What is deaf and mute but tells it all?)
Answer: O livro (a book)


Atirar-se de cabeça
Literal Translation: Plunge head first
Meaning: Face a problem without hesitation

There are a few different dialects of Portuguese, mainly classified into European and Brazilian as these are the two most often taught to international students.

Costs differ according to where you choose to travel to as studying in a European country will obviously be more expensive than a developing country. With the price difference also comes higher standards of living and safety, so it’s important to weigh out the pros and cons to decide what you’re looking for in this experience. It’s possible to find a job teaching English at the same time if you have the right credentials and a longer time commitment. This can help you earn a salary as well as provide an extra level of language and cultural immersion.



Portuguese Language Programs Abroad

Displaying 1 - 15 of 48 programs
Aprende Portuguese
Aprende Portuguese Language Immersion Program
Cape Verde
10 •4 reviews

“The best way to learn Portuguese: fast, fun, immersion." As a...

Intensive Portuguese Language with BridgeAbroad in Brazil
9.25 •4 reviews

BridgeAbroad has organized an exciting full-immersion program in Rio...

Caminhos Language Center
Study Portuguese in Brazil at Caminhos Langauge Center
10 •1 review

Caminhos Language Center teaches all levels of Brazilian Portuguese to...

Ailola Latino
Ailola Latino: Study Portuguese in São Paulo

Our school is located in the neighborhood with many restaurants, parks...

Live Languages Abroad
Learn Portuguese in Portugal with Live Languages Abroad

If you want to learn Portuguese in Portugal we have an amazing range...

Braziliando: Learn Portuguese exploring Rio!

If you want to experience Rio as a local, learn Portuguese in amazing...

Nikitas Language Abroad Schools
Affordable Portuguese Courses in Portugal

Our Portuguese Standard Course consists of group instructed 3 hour...

Nikitas Language Abroad Schools
Affordable Study and Learn Portuguese in Brazil

Spend a few weeks to a semester in Brazil studying the Portuguese...

NRCSA Portuguese & Volunteer Programs in Lisbon

Study up on your Portuguese language skills in Lisbon, Portugal with...

Center For Study Abroad
Budget Low Cost - Portuguese Studies in Portugal

Study Portuguese language and culture in Lisbon, or Porto. Low cost...

EF International Language Campuses
Learn Portuguese in Lisbon with EF

Discover Portuguese in the "sunniest" capital city in Europe, boasting...

Fala Brasil School
Portuguese Cultural Immersion and Language Experience

At Fala Brasil, we teach Portuguese in a dynamic, innovative and...

A2Z Languages
A2Z Languages: Study Portuguese in Maceio

Here at A2z, we have a Portuguese language school (AZ Maceio) in...

Immersion course in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil? Football, beaches, carnival… these are the most common clichés...

Basica Lingua
Basica Lingua Portuguese Classes

Classes are held in the neighborhood of Salvador called Barra...

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As a Portuguese learner, I have always wanted to visit the countries in Africa that speak Portuguese. When I found Aprende Portuguese, I knew it was my chance. I was able to live the island life, and...

beach tarrafal cape verde

From the day 1 that I enter the school, my trip in Brasil started to become a life chnaging experience. I was all a month in Rio de Janeiro, but felt a little bit lost. Because I the social ambiance...

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