An internship in Portugal: it’s possible to work and surf! In fact, one of our team members did his surfing internship in Portugal, and he had the time of his life before having to return to France. Portugal is a dream destination for those who want to enjoy the sun or those who don’t want to get lost: Portugal has a very large French-speaking community, and it’s a stone’s throw from home, with direct flights several times a day from the 4 corners of France. Portugal has a wealth of resources and a reputation for being very welcoming. The team, as usual, has been checked out (several times, you never know…!) and we approve: the Portuguese are ultra chill and always ready to chat or lend a hand. This country, which is far from the clichés you might think it is (except maybe for the codfish 🐟), has everything to please and could be your future internship destination abroad. Portuguese is much less widely learnt than Spanish, which has led the country to become very English-speaking, so it’s very easy to communicate, whether you’re doing an internship or not: here’s a quick recap of what you need to know before deciding where to go during your internship abroad.
The budget for your work placement in Portugal
Despite Portugal’s economic recovery in recent years, the country remains relatively affordable; it has to be said that the country is increasingly attracting foreign investors, as well as French individuals, for example, who come to the country to improve their standard of living. We would therefore advise you to plan on a budget of €650 a month to cover your accommodation, food and travel needs. The first economic advantage is that there are flights from all over France to Porto, Faro and Lisbon! Nantes, Lille, Paris, Lyon, Marseille and even smaller airports like Lorient offer regular flights to Portugal. What’s more, if you don’t like flying, you can also get there by car – provided you’re willing to sell a kidney to take the motorway – or by train, where you can find affordable fares. And if you’re really brave, you can go the whole hog and book yourself a bus, and off you go on the great adventure: long, but absolutely unbeatable in terms of fares and ecology. Rent is really affordable, no matter which city you choose. Lisbon, the capital, is a little more expensive, but still not very expensive. And, as with all destinations, you can either get your own flat, stay with a host family or take our favourite solution: ERASMUS shared accommodation. In Portugal, it’s not difficult to find one, as there are many websites and Facebook groups offering them. The country welcomes a growing number of ERASMUS students every year, and it’s easy to find flatshare places on the internet. It’s the cheapest and nicest solution: you share the costs of energy and day-to-day living, and it’s easy to build up a network of friends when you arrive at a flat-share. It’s easy to get to know each other, go out and start making the most of the country right from the start. A flat-share is also the best way to make rapid progress in foreign languages: it’s a real Spanish hostel. Well, Spanish hostel was my age: let’s say Greek salad to be more up to date! The food is also affordable: you can find very nice specialities like barbecued sardines just about everywhere in the towns and at very low prices. Whether you go to the supermarket or to a restaurant, food prices are much cheaper than in France; which is one of the reasons why the country is attracting more and more French entrepreneurs. The standard of living, combined with the sunshine: it’s easier to take a risk there than to stay in a big French city! There are a lot of start-ups in Portugal, and the same goes for coworking spaces, which have developed rapidly! Transport is not free, but even for the capital, the budget is derisory compared with the average transport budget in France. On the other hand, it’s imperative, because Portugal is very hilly: it’s going to be complicated to do everything on foot without exhausting yourself or burning up in the sun.
What you need to know
Portugal is not the country of masonry: stop the clichés. Portugal is the country of surfing in Europe – you can also go as far north as Vigo in Spain for that – festivals and churches. The Portuguese are very welcoming as soon as you make the effort to speak their language. They’re quite resistant to hearing people speak only in Castilian. Speaking of music, Portugal is really renowned for the quality of its electronic festivals: you don’t have to go to Brittany or the Château-Perché festival 👀 to enjoy some indie electro! Advantage: you’re pretty sure you won’t get big lines of water tapping your feet near the speakers; pro Breton out of chauvinism, unfortunately I can’t say the same for my region! As well as festivals, it’s also the land of wine, port and vinho verde! Portugal has many vineyards, and is internationally recognised for the quality of its wines, which are exported very widely: production increases every year, and demand always follows. But the country’s gastronomy isn’t just limited to its excellent aperitifs: there’s also fish in all its forms, or its cuisine based on fresh vegetables; but that’s the subject of the blog on culinary specialities in Portugal, which I invite you to discover for more information on how to fill your belly during your work placement in Portugal. One of our former interns, Achille, did a placement in Faro and loved it. And he really loved it, because now when we see him, he talks so much about Portugal that I’m on the verge of being drunker than a bottle of red Porto drunk on the banks of the Douro! ah ah. And Portugal is of course surfing, with some of the biggest and most beautiful waves in Europe, the land of water sports, a country where you can relax between a few waves, while doing a quality course: isn’t it all our dream to have busy days, but with good ways to relax after a big day? Portugal has a lot going for it, and its cities are no exception: Faro, Porto and Lisbon are very different, but all three have what it takes to become your favourite destination for a work placement abroad! If you’d like to find out more about our experience, I invite you to read the article on our website, which was written some time ago but is still relevant today!
Your work placement in Portugal
Portugal is a country that offers many opportunities for your work placement abroad. However, the primary and tertiary sectors are more represented than the industrial sector. But don’t worry, young reader: International Horizons can find you any internship abroad in Portugal, in any of the three major cities. Choose the ones you like best, and the team will take care of the rest! When planning your work placement in Portugal, you should be very clear about what your school expects of you in terms of teaching, what you’d like to do and your level of Portuguese and/or English, because the higher your level of English, the more responsibility you’ll be given in the workplace. However, you need to be fair when estimating your level – you can use the free European platform to do this – because if you overestimate yourself, the company will be disappointed and you will be overwhelmed by the work. The whole point of an internship, abroad or otherwise, is to learn, not to get beaten up or feel sick to your stomach when you go because you’re not up to the job. Ready to go? The International Horizons team will find you a tailor-made work placement abroad. Send us your CV in Portuguese or English, so that we can call you back and work on your project together. We’ll help you improve your CV to maximise your chances of landing your international placement. Convinced that your next internship abroad is in Portugal? Let’s GO, contact us! For more general questions, visit the International Horizons Internships Abroad FAQ.