Learning in Portugal
Preschool is free for all families living in Portugal, but it may be difficult to find one in some areas. Children from three to six can attend. Education is mandatory between the ages of six to fifteen. At grade five level, students are asked to select either French or English as their second language. By the age of 15, a student can choose whether or not to continue in school.
There are two types of secondary education, vocational and general. Those who want to learn a trade usually choose vocational secondary education. Students choose to attend general secondary education if they want to pursue higher education after high school to obtain a degree or diploma.

Portuguese is the language of instruction for all levels. The curricula are formulated by the Ministry of Education. Private schools, especially those owned by the Catholic Church, have always had a secure place in the education system. Private schools receive subsidies based on enrollments and grades of instruction offered. Religious instruction is permitted in private, but not in public schools.

Special education is an option in both basic and secondary education. This kind of education allows for integration of physically or cognitively challenged students into the regular classrooms.

Higher education consists of two systems, universities and regional polytechnic institutes. There are state-owned and private-owned universities. The government of Portugal also supports an adult education program.

Did you know?

Portugal has an International University in Lisbon, where students from 19 to 90 can obtain a bachelor's degree after completing a three-year program.