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Living in Lisboa

Lisboa is a city which blends past and present, historical traditions, culture and modernity. It is a melting pot with global influences perched just above the Tagus River.


Studying in Lisboa means enjoying the amazing weather, beautiful landscapes, low living costs and a safe and stimulating environment. Students will have the opportunity to contact with the Portuguese language and explore themes related to the larger Lusophone community of some 220 million native speakers namely enabling them with a unique chance to access regional, multi-market recruitment opportunities in a safe and cosmopolite city and in a University that is ready to offer a comprehensive support system aiming to maximize the international experience of our visiting partners.


Here is some information about living in Lisboa!



Although in Portugal, prices tend to be higher in the coastal cities, especially Lisbon, Porto and the towns of the Algarve area, generally speaking, however, if we compare with the rest of E.U. countries, the cost of living in Portugal can be considered to be lower.


As an estimate, a student in Lisbon will need somewhere between 600€ and 800€ per month for accommodation, food, study material and other basic expenses.


Getting the Money
Portugal has a national inter-bank network of ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines). "Multibanco" terminals are distributed among shopping centers, petrol stations, shopping areas and, of course, the banks.


Apart from providing cash withdrawals of up to €200 per day, other services are available, including bank transfers, bank statements, payments for public and private services, purchase of train tickets and even the purchase of tickets for public events like football matches and shows.


The ATMs can be used with a wide variety of international credit and debit cards. (For further information contact your bank).


You can also open a bank account in most banks as long as you intend to stay for more than 3 months. To open the account, you will need to present identification as well as a tax number. Students don’t pay tax in Portugal, but all persons are issued with a tax number anyway. To receive the tax number, you must go to the Direcção Geral dos Impostos (i.e. the tax office) located in the Loja do Cidadão (the Citizen’s Service Bureau).



ISPA provides no accommodation within its own structure but there are in the area surrounding the University multiple offers which the Erasmus office will be happy to direct you to.


You will find info on short term and long term housing offers at:

Uniplaces (use the promo code ISPA and have a 25% discount on the service fee of the booking service)

Erasmus Life Lisboa Housing  

Study in Lisbon 

Erasmus Lisboa

ISPA Students Union website


(Since the management of these requests is external to ISPA, we cannot assume any responsibility in this process).


Canteens and Bars
There are two bars and a Canteen within the building.

Portuguese Cooking
Like many aspects of Portuguese society and culture, Portuguese cooking is heavily influenced by the travels of the Portuguese people throughout the world, from India to Newfoundland. While the Mediterranean ingredients like olive oil, garlic, onions, lemons and bay leaves have an essential role in seasoning the main dishes, oriental spices and north sea cod are equally characteristic of the meals served in every home and restaurant.

The meat is seasoned with spices and often infused with wine, accompanied by potatoes, rice, and vegetables, and there are some curious meat and shell-fish combinations. The soups of Portugal can be light and nutritious with vegetables and pulses or made in a heavier country style with broad beans, kidney beans, chickpeas or rice.




Public Health Clinic

The Public Health Clinics (“Centro de Saúde”) are run through the National Health System in order to provide general health care for the general public. In case of sudden illness, you should go to the permanent attendance service (SAP), or to the nearest Hospital in case of a life-threatening situation or serious illness.

Payments and healthcare insurance
Healthcare must always be paid for, either directly by the patient or by means of a health insurance policy. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that he/she has an adequate health insurance policy.

Social Security System
Many students can benefit from the international agreements in which Portugal participates in order to gain access to the Portuguese Social Security System, and through it to the National Health System, particularly within the framework of the following:

At multilateral level, the Community Regulations on Social Security, no. 1408/71 and no. 574/72, which include the member states of the European Union as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, which are part of the European Economic Area, as well as Switzerland.
At the bilateral level, the conventions/agreements celebrated with Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Canada, USA, Guinea-Bissau, Morocco, Venezuela, and Uruguay.

For further information about these conventions and agreements, students should contact the social security services in their home country before traveling to Portugal.

Most pharmacies in Lisbon are open during the week from 09h00 to 13h00 and from 15h00 to 19h00. On Saturday the opening hours are from 09h00 to 13h00. They are closed on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday.

Special 24-hour services are made available by pharmacies on a rotation basis. The addresses and telephone numbers of the particular pharmacy on weekend and night duty are provided in the local newspapers and are listed in the front windows of all pharmacies as well as on-line.

For the purposes of entering, residing and studying in Portuguese territory, there are no statutory requirements with respect to vaccination. Nevertheless, the Portuguese Ministry of Health highly recommends that all citizens be vaccinated against tetanus, with a maximum lapse of ten years between doses.


ISPA is equipped to take in students with physical disabilities, as is required by law of all Public and Private Education Services in Portugal.



Students coming to ISPA should make sure that they are covered by either their University’s insurance policy or by one taken on by themselves before departing their country.



The Financial support for exchange students is funded by the E.U. and students should apply for it at their home University.



There are within the Institution several structures which support the activities of the students, notably:
A Documentation Center (open Monday to Friday. 09.30h/23.00h and Sat. 10.00h/18.00h)
A Study Room (open Monday to Friday. 09.30h/23.00h and Sat. 10.00h/18.00h)
A Student Computer Work Room (open Monday to Friday. 09.00h/23.00h and Sat. 09.00h/17.00h).



ISPA works with Universities across Europe in the framework of the LLP, and with several Universities in Brazil as a result of Bilateral Agreements signed with these Universities.

These initiatives comprise both Studies and Research projects.



ISPA accepts students from any University which as a Bilateral Agreement signed with us, within the framework of the LLP.

Students should make sure they have a Learning Agreement approved by their home university and that it arrives at our International Relations Office before the deadline expires.


The first Semester begins in late September and the Second in February, generally, all applications must be in until the end of July the latest.


There will be a welcoming session organized early September and late January to aide the students with all the administrative details and doubts.



ISPA provides a paying Portuguese for foreign students language course.



It is possible upon request and depending on the area of work desired by the student to arrange for the Erasmus students to have internships organized through our network of contacts.

In general, these requests have to be made until the end of June.



There is a wide range of sports activities organized by the Students Association and foreign students interested should contact them upon arrival.



All the off-campus and extra-curricular activities are published in our website.



You can find out all about our student's association from their website.