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Study in Lisbon and tips to learn Portuguese

Maria Almeida

If you’re going to do Erasmus in Lisbon or simply study and live in the Portuguese capital you should start thinking about trying to learn Portuguese – even if it’s just a few words. Enjoy Lisbon’s sunny weather, breathe in the Portuguese culture and learn Portuguese: it’s world’s 6th most spoken language!

When you first hear Portuguese it might sound a bit difficult to understand. We speak fast, have a weird accent and use a lot of complicated expressions. However, this is no reason for you to give up! There are a few tricks that will help you learn Portuguese better and faster! Challenge accepted? Then, follow these tips:

Live with Portuguese people

Learn Portuguese in Lisbon

Practice your Portuguese over dinner with your new roommates!

When you start looking for student accommodation in Lisbon you can make sure you’ll live with Portuguese people. You can easily rent a room and live with a Portuguese family for example, or book a place with Portuguese students. You’ll not only learn Portuguese faster by doing this but you’ll also learn a lot about Portugal itself from all the stories you’ll be told over tasty dinners.

Hang out with Portuguese friends

Students in Lisbon learning Portuguese

If you’re studying in Lisbon make some Portuguese friends and learn more about Portugal!

Don’t just hang out with the international crew, make some Portuguese friends! You’ll get to learn Portuguese and get the locals’ insights on what are the best things to do in Lisbon. They’ll also make sure you learn all the slang and complicated expressions. By the end of your exchange semester you’ll be a pro!

Take a language course

Class of international students learning Portuguese

Take a summer course of Portuguese at CIAL!

Obviously, there’s no substitute when you want to learn Portuguese than taking an actual course. We’ve heard that the best Portuguese courses are at CIAL (Centro de Línguas). For those who are in Lisbon during the summer they have a few summer courses that are bit more intensive and practical. This is the best option for beginners who don’t know anything of Portuguese but wish to learn it just in time for the beginning of the semester. However, if you really wish to learn Portuguese or improve it, you can take a longer course in the beginning of September.

Language Exchange

Language exchange or Tandem in Lisbon

Tandem is very popular within international students!

This is quite an interesting concept. You can teach somebody a language that you know very well and in exchange you’ll learn Portuguese from them. This is great practice and it can really improve your conversational skills. You have a few groups of language exchange in Lisbon, in case you’re interested. ESN Tandem is one of them, and it’s very popular amongst Erasmus Lisbon students. 

Take your time to know a bit more about Portuguese culture while you’re studying in Lisbon. The whole point of being an international student is to see different things and learn about different cultures. So, here’s your opportunity! Learn Portuguese, improve your CV and impress your friends and family back home.


Thanks for reading this post! We hope to see you soon, coming back for more. Did you enjoy our tips to learn Portuguese? Just drop us a line in the comment section below to let us know you did. And remember! If you need to find University housing in Lisbon – or you know someone that does – you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.com.

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