With its rich history and a good standard of living, it’s no wonder why families are drawn to Portugal. With this in mind, we have created a complete guide to international schools in Portugal, focusing on the country’s two main cities: Porto and Lisbon.
Cities like Lisbon and Porto combine old-world architecture, independent boutique shops, and a vibrant arts and culture scene with access to a multitude of outdoor activities. The energy is unpretentious, relaxed, and safe, with family festivals throughout the year.
Residence in Portugal can be obtained through a number of different methods, among them is the highly popular Golden Visa program.
What can international schools in Portugal offer my child?
Choosing a school in a foreign country can be challenging for parents who want the best for their children’s future. On the positive side, education in Portugal is of a high standard, with plenty of reputable international schools to choose from.
Some families choose international schools in Portugal because they focus on children becoming curious and collaborative individuals. Other international schools excel in STEM subjects or place an emphasis on arts and music.
Thinking about the future
It’s at school that children develop tools to conquer the rapidly changing job market. With high-quality public and private education, renowned educational institutions can be found in abundance across the country.
Private and international schools in Portugal
There is a large network of private and international schools in Portugal.
The advantages of private schools are smaller classes, a stronger system of extracurricular activities, and more modern facilities. Some offer comprehensive study options and even boarding school.
International schools in Portugal are very popular with international residents because of their high standards of education and variety of curricula. Often, they have rigorous admissions processes, which vary from school to school, some requiring admission exams, school history, and even an interview.
Why should I enroll my child in an international school in Portugal?
For those interested in helping their children become global citizens, international schools are the best option because they offer degrees such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) program or British GCSE and GCE examination systems, as well as programs recognized by the Education Department of Germany or France. All these curricula are recognized by the best international universities.
What is the International Baccalaureate?
For children of parents who live abroad, the IB program can make it easier for the student to adapt to a new school. All schools that follow the IB curriculum are similar, and no matter the country your child can be assured consistency in their academic development.
How do I find the ideal school for my child?
The journey to choosing your child’s school can be stressful and exhausting. You have to visit schools, talk to teachers and principals, read up on the school curriculum, and take into account your child’s abilities and personality.
The choice can be made easier if you know where to start. To help you, the Global Citizen Solutions team in Portugal has prepared a complete roadmap of the main international schools in Portugal (focused on Porto and Lisbon).
List of international schools in Portugal
International schools in Porto
Oporto British School
The Oporto British School (OBS) is one of the oldest British schools in continental Europe. Founded in 1894, OBS is the only school with the IB program in the north of Portugal.
Website: Oporto British School
CLIP – Luso-International College of Porto
CLIP was founded in 1990 and has an area of 25,000m2, offering excellent conditions to welcome more than its 1,000 students.
Website: Luso-International College of Porto
The Luso-French College is a teaching institution of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, which celebrated its 82nd anniversary in 2018. The Catholic school is housed in a mansion dating from the early twentieth century.
Website: Luso-French College
Lycée Français International de Porto
Established in 1963, the school is located in the middle of Serralves Park and currently receives 1,050 students from pre-school through the 12th grade. The LFIP is part of the AEFE (Agency for Teaching French Abroad) World Network.
If you are interested in moving to Porto, take a look at our guide on where to buy property in Porto.
International schools in Lisbon
United Lisbon International School
Located in central Lisbon, next to the Park of Nations, the modern and innovative United Lisbon International School opened in 2020. The school offers English-language academic programs from Early Childhood to grade 12, with a curriculum based on US-standards (NEASC).
Website: United Lisbon International School
British School of Lisbon
The British School of Lisbon is a new international school based in Cais do Sodré. It is a preparatory school for children aged three to eight covering Nursery to Year Four. The British curriculum is recognized worldwide and regarded as one of the finest in the world.
Website: British School of Lisbon
Greene’s Tutorial College, Estoril
Greene’s Tutorial College in Estoril offers personalized education and is run by a team of world-class tutors and professional staff. The college applies a tutorial method of learning so pupils learn by doing and discussing topics in class. Small group teaching ensures each student gets the most out of their schooling, challenging each pupil to sharpen their critical thinking skills, develop confidence and presentation skills and consolidate learning.
Website: Greene’s Tutorial College
Cascais International School
The Cascais International School is an international Christian school, founded in 1980. It offers an American teaching style and is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International.
Website: Cascais International School
St Julian’s School
Located in the Carcavelos (Outer Lisbon) the school was founded in 1932 and offers three different educational curricula: the IB system, the Portuguese local curriculum, and IGCSE (based on the English educational system).
Website: St Julian’s School
Carlucci American International School of Lisbon
Located between Sintra and Cascais, CAISL is a 20-minute drive from the center of Lisbon, with easy access to Oeiras, Carcavelos, Estoril, Cascais, Sintra and Mafra.
International Preparatory School
Founded 25 years ago, IPS is an elementary school (students aged 3 to 11). This school is recognized for paying attention to each student’s needs in detail.
Website: International Preparatory School
Park International School
Park International School is recognized by the Cambridge Schools Network and ECIS (The Educational Collaborative for International Schools). In 2017, the school was also included in the Changemakers School Network – a network of global schools that divide the spirit of teaching empathy and teamwork to inspire people to transform the world into a better place.
Website: Park International School
St Peter’s School
In secondary school, the school offers the International Baccalaureate curriculum which prepares the student to enter Higher Education.
Website: St Peter’s School
German School of Lisbon
For those who prioritize the teaching of German as a second language, the German school in Lisbon offers kindergarten, primary school, and secondary education.
Website: German School of Lisbon
St Dominic’s International School
Initially founded by the Irish sisters of the Dominican order, the school is managed by Veritas Education, SA, and also offers an IB diploma.
Website: St Dominic’s International School
International schools in the Algarve
Nobel International School Algarve
The Nobel International School Algarve is one of the oldest in southern Portugal and offers a variety of academic programs for children aged 3-18 years. It is located in between Portimão and Albufeira, near Carvoeiro.
Website: Nobel International School Algarve
Vale Verde International School
The Vale Verde International School was founded in 2002, and caters to students from the ages of 3-18, focusing primarily on the British school curriculum. It is located in Praia da Luz, near Lagos.
Website: Val Verde International School
Colegio Santiago Internacional
This school in the center of the tranquil town of Tavira teaches students in English and Portuguese, following the British curriculum.
Website: Colegio Santiago Internacional
Vilamoura International School
This international school in Vilamoura offers a wide-ranging educational program to children from the ages of 3-18.
Website: Vilamoura International School
Aljezur International School
This small school on the western coast of the Algarve provides children of secondary school age with a nurturing environment in which to learn.
Website: Aljezur International School
If you’re looking to move to the Algarve, take a look at our guide on where to buy property in the Algarve.
Choosing the best school for your child
Picking the best international school, whether in Porto, Lisbon, or the Algarve will depend on the priorities chosen by the parents for the education of their child. You should also take into account your new location and your family’s lifestyle.
Want to learn more about moving to Portugal? Contact us today to see how we can advise you on your investment and residency abroad.