Volunteer Teaching Program in Portugal

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from CIEE Teach Abroad.

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Teach English Abroad and experience Portugal’s beautiful landscapes, language and culture. You will volunteer for 12 hours a week at a public school, assisting the lead teacher while sharing your own culture and language skills with your students and colleagues alike. As a native speaker of English you’ll facilitate activities that build your students’ oral proficiency in English and complement the lesson plans of local teachers.

This three-month volunteer teaching program offers a low-cost gateway to the Portuguese culture and language, with lodging and meals included. And, by living with a host family, you’ll improve your Portuguese while also helping your hosts learn more conversational English. This is a chance to dive into Portuguese culture, gain language skills, and explore this beautiful country.

A CIEE TEFL Certification will give you the tools you need to succeed at being a teacher starting on your first day. Learn more about CIEE’s TEFL Certification Courses.

Questions & Answers


7.75 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 75%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 25%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Benefits 8.3
  • Support 6.3
  • Fun 7.5
  • Facilities 7.3
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Espresso and Friends for Life

My time volunteering as an English teacher in Portugal was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The "teaching" is quite minimal as it's a volunteer program for an assistant teacher. I assisted two different teachers with classes in grades 1-3. If you're looking for a lot of teaching experience, this might not be the program for you. BUT, if you're looking for a memorable and relatively short term experience in another country then this is definitely worth considering. The best parts of this experience were definitely the friends I made and the tiny little glimpse into Portuguese daily life that I was fortunate enough to receive. I didn't know much about Portugal before venturing there, but it is one of my favorite places now. Especially the city of Oporto!

Staying with a host family was amazing and the hospitality and general friendliness of everyone I met was very comforting. Since I ended up having a lot of free time, I traveled to many other parts of Portugal and really had a once in a lifetime opportunity to just explore. I've even considered moving to Portugal after this experience (though as an American it is not easy)!

What would you improve about this program?
Some more organization in terms of placing volunteers with their host families. I wouldn't have traded my host family for anyone, but I ended being very far from my school and it became difficult for everyone involved just to get me to the school everyday.
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Teach in Portugal Review

I had a wonderful time in Portugal. My host family and school were incredible. However, the program staff were not very helpful. Most of the success in my experience, was due to my amazing host family and the school setting up everything from transportation to work hours. However, I did not know anything about my host family, the town, or the school until right before I arrived in Portugal. Luckily, my school had sent me an informative presentation about the school and the town, but CIEE did nothing to inform us about where we would be and the curriculum we would be helping with. Also, CIEE did not help any of the volunteers with getting back to Lisbon when it was time to leave, or provide accommodations. The program fee was quite steep for only 2 days in Lisbon, without covering any airfare, return accommodations, or helping pay the host family for the necessary bills. Overall, I had a great experience, but again that was not due to the program staff, but to the excellence of my host family and school system.

What would you improve about this program?
Include accommodations for the return trip and possibly help the host family with bills. Also the program fee is quite high for one that doesn't include airfare and has only 2 days of hotel in Lisbon and a train ticket to our host location.
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

Portugal Volunteer 2018

Portugal is an incredible country and I had a great experience with cultural immersion with my host family, but everything else in the program was disorganized and the constant lack of communication was frustrating. You pay $900 to CIEE (none of it goes towards the host family or the schools) and they are minimally involved in making sure your placement and experience is going well. If you speak Portuguese the communication issues at school may be less of a problem, but if you don't then working with teachers and trying to plan lessons will be a major issue. My assigned "supervisor" at the school was condescending and rude and made almost no effort to meet with me during my volunteer experience. I would recommend looking at teaching programs through other organizations before pursuing this program through CIEE.

What would you improve about this program?
Placing at least two volunteers in a city or region would be benficial. Having a basic Portuguese requirement would also lead to a more effective teaching experience at the schools. CIEE could send surveys throughout the duration of the volunteer experience to track our transition and see what can be improved rather than just sending one at the end.
1 person found this review helpful.
Response from CIEE Teach Abroad


Thank you very much for taking the time to review our program. Your input, and the feedback from all of our participants, is vitally important to us. We are constantly looking to improve the program and hope to use your feedback to make future experiences for teachers better.

Please reach us directly at teach@ciee.org if we can be of further assistance.

Thank you again,
The CIEE Teach Abroad Team

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent short-term experience

I had a great time in Portugal with CIEE. The CIEE staff in Maine and Lisbon were great with their pre-trip coordination and assistance. My coworkers and supervisors at school were very helpful and regularly gave me chances to contribute to the school lessons. Although the program is not paid, CIEE sets you up with a homestay and the school gives you three hours of weekly Portuguese lessons. So, there is still plenty to take from the experience aside from money.

1 person found this review helpful.