Why SiPN?

The Study in Portugal Network study abroad program is the only program of its kind in Portugal, fully designed for North-American students.

Why SiPN & Program Description (Top 10 Reasons)

1. It’s a Network:

Students can choose classes from any of the member universities in our network. They are located close to one another in the cities where we operate. Commute time between schools can vary from 5 to 30 minutes.

2. Academic and Research Excellence:

You probably didn’t know that Portugal’s oldest university dates from 1290, and is the ninth oldest university in the world. After a long period of stagnation under autocratic rule, Portugal is the European nation that has made the greatest strides in learning and innovation since its democratization in 1974. This amazing progress is reflected in the quality of education offered by its universities, several of which are well-placed in various world rankings. The dramatic growth in foreign students in Portugal over the past decade is reflective of this recognition.

3. Build your Own Program:

SiPN is designed to serve many different kinds of students. For those who are not yet ready to take all of their coursework in Portuguese, they can still cover their major or general education-type requirements through a wide array of offerings taught in English, while also taking whichever class level they require for a Portuguese language course. Or for those who are ready to direct-enroll in regular university classes taught in Portuguese, we can provide that too.

Consequently, we provide two main types of classes: core curriculum (taught in English) and direct enroll classes in our partner universities (taught in either language).

In order to make the search for these many options easier, we have organized your choices by semester or summer in the tabs under Build Your Program.

4. Affordable and All-inclusive Experience

SiPN is powered by FLAD, a major Portuguese non-profit foundation. This is why our program fees are so much lower than competing programs in Western Europe.

SiPN’s fees include: tuiton, housing, insurance, monthly transport pass, Portuguese SIM card, airport arrival, transfer and welcome orientation package, welcome and farewell dinners, guided tours, and 24/7 on-site support.

5. Student Oriented

All staff members are service-minded, and are ready to handle questions or problems from individual students or from parents, since the first established contact until the moment students receive their transcript package. SiPN operates on a 24/7 basis both for on-site purposes and also for emergency matters.

6. Scholarships

FLAD and SiPN provide several partial scholarships each editon. Also,  SiPN alumni will enjoy priority access to a Fulbright grant to Portugal.

7. SiPN field trips

Enjoy frequent visits to sites of historic and cultural importance not only in Lisbon and Porto, but also to other sites of interest located in different destinations throughout the country. Check out our videos here!

8. Learn Portuguese

Portuguese is the third most widely-spoken European language. Studying in Portugal will give you the chance to learn the language and explore the culture, economy, and history of the nearly 200 million people in the Far East, South America, Africa and Europe who use the most spoken language in the southern hemisphere.

9. Genuine European Experience

This sun-filled country in southwestern Europe is brimming with old-world charm and new-world excitement, a dazzling variety of landscapes, cultural attractions galore and some of the friendliest people in Europe.

Portugal has always welcomed new people and cultures. In 2015/16, Portugal received approximately 34,000 international students, and a large proportion of these are in the cities of Lisbon and Porto. The country has no significant anti-immigration political parties or movements, and remains incredibly open to foreigners, as evidenced by the many favorable testimonies of those who work or study here and the rapid growth in expatriates choosing Portugal as their residence.

Portugal has so much to see… but many students nevertheless want to take advantage of Lisbon and Porto’s location to visit other countries. Students can hop on a low-cost airline and visit some amazing locations in just a matter of hours.

Lisbon: There may be no better place on the planet to be young and bold – if only in spirit .” – The New York Times

10. Lisbon & Porto– A Perfect Combination of Natural and Cultural Attributes

Lisbon has long been one of the prettiest cities in Europe. Its pitched hills and valleys are like a Mediterranean-flavored San Francisco with way better weather, and the streets seem to wear art on every surface. In 2017 it won the World’s Leading City Break Destination from the World Travel Awards, which also considered Portugal “the World’s Leading Tourism Destination in 2017.”

Porto was voted a European Best Destination 2017 by the European Travel Awards and it is perhaps one of Europe’s hottest cities at the moment for everything that is design, arts & culture, and urban renewal. It was also voted European Capital of Design 2017 by the European Design Awards.

Thanks to its landscapes, its culture, to its unique combination of location, climate, history, safety, cost of living and the quality of its universities and infrastructure, the experience of studying abroad in Portugal will be an unforgettable one.

Program description

The Study in Portugal Network (SiPN) study abroad program is managed by the non-profit Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), with the support of the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science, the US Embassy in Lisbon, the Fulbright Commission in Portugal, AICEP, and the Lisbon City Municipality, among others. It offers North American students the opportunity to spend a semester, year or a summer in the vibrant capital city of Lisbon, Portugal. Eventually, SiPN seeks to expand beyond Lisbon to include other quality Portuguese universities in other cities.

The program’s primary aim is to increase the number of students from North America who study abroad in Portugal. SiPN provides an academically rigorous but flexible study abroad program that is designed to meet the needs of undergraduates from a variety of majors. Its core curriculum is focused on Portugal’s place in Europe and Lisbon as a safe and attractive cosmopolitan hub from which to explore themes related to the larger Lusophone community of some 260 million people.

SiPN is designed to serve many different kinds of students. For those who are not yet ready to take all of their coursework in Portuguese, they can still cover their major or general education-type requirements through a wide array of offerings taught in English, while also taking whichever class level they require for a Portuguese language course. Or for those who are ready to direct-enroll in regular university classes taught in Portuguese, we can provide that too.

Consequently we provide two main types of classes: core curriculum (taught in English) and direct enroll classes in our partner universities (taught in either language).

The core curriculum is designed for students who do not yet feel ready to take their social science or humanities classes in Portuguese. They also provide the core identity for the program and its semesterly-offerings. The faculty of the core curriculum are published experts with Ph.Ds in their respective fields, hand-chosen by the academic council of SiPN to teach in our program. Many of them have previously taught or done graduate work in North America or other English-speaking countries. Our core classes also enroll Erasmus and local Portuguese students, for a truly international classroom experience, taught in English.

Direct enroll classes may be conducted in either Portuguese or English. For example, each semester SiPN provides all levels of Portuguese language courses (A1 – C2) for whichever level you require. More advanced Portuguese learners have even greater choices and can elect to take all of their coursework in Portuguese through direct-enroll classes at any of the 4 schools in the consortium in virtually any field, providing for a fully immersive experience. For those who are looking for other choices outside of our core, the SiPN universities provide hundreds of direct-enroll classes each semester in business, economics, and many other fields, all of which are taught in English and open to participants of SiPN. Nevertheless, for students who need at least some courses taught in English, SiPN strongly recommends that students take at least 2 courses from among our core offerings.

In order to make the search for these many options easier, we have organized your choices by semester or summer in the tabs under Build Your Program.

Students seeking such direct-enrollment courses taught in Portuguese (excluding the A1 – C2 language classes that is) should check out our partner schools’ website listings here:

ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon

University of Lisbon

Catholic University of Portugal

NOVA University of Lisbon

The program also includes a portfolio of internship options for credit, a range of cultural immersion tours and the option for students to connect with a Portuguese family through our Visiting Family Program

It’s a Network!

What makes SiPN unique is the fact that students can choose classes from any of the 4 member universities in our Lisbon network. The infographic below gives you an idea of how close each school is to one another and the SiPN student residence.

 Mapa Faculdades-Parcerias_SiPN-01

For an interactive Google Map showing exact locations, click here

What is FLAD?



The Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD in Portuguese) is a private, non-profit, financially independent Portuguese institution.

Its main goal is to contribute towards Portugal’s development by providing financial and strategic support for innovative projects by fostering cooperation between Portuguese and American civil society.

It was created in 1985, from a decision made by the Portuguese government to create a private institution that on a permanent, flexible and independent basis would promote relations between Portugal and the United States, in the expectation that this type of exchange would further Portugal’s economic, social and cultural development. Its initial assets were formed by transfers of funds from the Portuguese government and resources resulting from the Cooperation and Defense Agreement between Portugal and the USA in 1983. Its initial endowments were € 85 million and since 1992 it has lived exclusively from the income on its assets, which now total more than €147 million.

The Foundation is a member of the main national and international foundation networks, namely the Portuguese Foundation Centre (CPF), the European Foundation Centre (EFC), the Council on Foundations and the Bellagio Forum for Sustainable Development.

The Foundation headquarters in Lisbon also house the bulk of the Foundation’s contemporary art collection.


Portuguese Host Universities

Every semester the host-university of SiPN rotates between our 4 member universities in Lisbon.

ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon – Fall 2015, Fall 2017

ISCTE-IUL is constituted by four schools (all located on the same campus):

  • ISCTE-IUL Business School (IBS)
  • School of Social and Human Sciences (ECSH)
  • School of Sociology and Public Policy (ESPP)
  • ISCTE-IUL School of Technology and Architecture (ISTA)

ISCTE-IUL also has an institute dedicated to executive education:

  • INDEG-IUL – ISCTE Executive Education

ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) is a public university established in 1972. Pursuing teaching, research and community service activities, it plays a major role in educating qualified specialists and personnel, whose cultural, scientific and technical skills enable them to contribute to sustainable development both at the national and the global level. The strategic objectives of ISCTE – IUL are: innovation, quality, internationalization and development of an entrepreneurial culture. While preserving its public university nature, ISCTE – IUL is currently one of the three Portuguese universities (along with the University of Porto and the University of Aveiro) which opted for the Foundation Regime, which allows the school’s management to follow Portuguese private law.

With approximately 9000 students enrolled in undergraduate (52%) and postgraduate (48%) programs, 400 faculty and 200 non-teaching staff, ISCTE – IUL is proud to be one of the most dynamic and innovative universities in the country. Facing high demand, student vacancies at ISCTE – IUL have always been fully occupied.

ISCTE-IUL is today part of both the Fundação das Universidades Portuguesas (Foundation of Portuguese Universities) and the Conselho de Reitores das Universidades Portuguesas (Council of Rectors of the Portuguese Universities).

 All degrees are fully recognised and accredited, and comply with Portuguese and European higher education requirements.


Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) – Lisbon campus – Spring 2016, Spring 2018

The Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) is privately funded and recognized by the Portuguese State as a free, autonomous university institution of public utility. UCP is recognized for the quality of its teaching, excellence in research, and education for citizenship and human values, boasting amongst its alumni a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, several of the top CEO’s in the world, and recognized leaders in European politics, international law, economics and the arts.

The Catholic University of Portugal is a national university with 4 regional campi: Lisbon (headquarters), Porto, Braga and Viseu.

There are 3 Schools of UCP-Lisbon that integrate SiPN (they are all located on the same campus)

* Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics is a triple crown accredited School ranking 25 on the Financial Times Business School List. Membership in this Elite group means the School is among the top 1% of business schools worldwide to be accredited by all 3 management associations EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB. CLSBE is the only Portuguese School among the FT Top 25 and the best Business School in Portugal for the 7th year. Currently, 40% of CLSBE’s Professors are foreign and come from diverse countries, such as Italy, Turkey, Canada and Finland. The increased internationalization of the School can also be felt in the classroom, where more than half of the students are foreign, representing more than 50 nationalities.

** UCP’s Law School has also been consistently recognized by the Financial Times, which has selected Católica Global School of Law as one of the most innovative law schools in the world, with its LL.M. programmes being included for the fourth consecutive year in this prestigious selection. Católica Global School of Law is the first global Law School in Europe.

*** UCP’s School of Human Sciences has been recently recognized by the prestigious Eduniversal ranking, with its Master in Arts Management entering straight to the Top 3 in the worldwide Ranking of Masters in Management.

All degrees are fully recognised and accredited, and comply with Portuguese and European higher education requirements.


University of Lisbon – Fall 2016, Fall 2018

The University of Lisbon (ULisboa) is a public research university in Lisbon, and the largest university in Portugal. It was founded in 2013, from the merger of two previous public universities located in Lisbon, the former University of Lisbon (1911-2013) and the Technical University of Lisbon (1930-2013). The history of a university in Lisbon dates back to the 13th century.

According to one of the most notable rankings, Academic Ranking of World Universities 2015, the newly founded University of Lisbon is ranked 1st in Portugal and 201-300 (overall) in the world. In the discipline of Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences, the university is ranked 76-100 worldwide.

There are 5 Schools of ULisboa that integrate SiPN – FL and IGOT are located in the same campus;  ISEG and FA are located in two different campus (about 30min away from each other by bus), ISA is located on the west part of the city, close to FA.

FL – School of Arts and Humanities

ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management

FA – Faculty of Architecture

IGOT – Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning

ISA – School of Agriculture


All degrees are fully recognised and accredited, and comply with Portuguese and European higher education requirements


NOVA University of Lisbon – Spring 2017, Spring 2019

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa was founded on the 11th of August 1973, and is the youngest of Lisbon’s three public state universities. Integrated within a framework of expansion and diversification of higher education, the University adopted a new model within the Portuguese system that stressed interdisciplinary approaches, technological developments while, at the same time, safeguarding offerings in traditional academic domains including medicine, sciences and humanities.

NOVA is a decentralised university; its faculties and institutes enjoy a great deal of autonomy. In the academic year 2009/2010, NOVA had 18.343 enrolled students, 1 449 teachers, 769 non-academic staff and 237 researchers.

There are 4 Schools of NOVA that integrate SiPN (located 15 away from each other on foot)

*NOVA SBE is a triple crown-accredited school with three Masters programs and Executive Education programs in the FT rankings, and classified as a Universal Business School (5 Palms) with 11 Masters among the best in the Eduniversal rankings. Nova SBE is also a member of the prestigious CEMS network, having twice won the title of CEMS School of the year (2010, 2011). Unfortunately, due to incompatibilities in academic calendars, NOVA SBE classes are not currently recommended unless the student is willing to stay during the summer session in order to sit final exams in June or July. We hope this situation will change by 2021. 


**Founded in 1977, the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais  e Humanas (Faculty of Social  Sciences and  Humanities)  is an interdisciplinary unit with teaching and research objectives, characterized by the diversity and creativity of knowledge. Located near Lisbon city center,  it hosts a total of 5,269  students, 2,909  in undergraduate programmes, 1,718  in masters and 642 in PhD programmes. It has 325 professors, almost  all holding a PhD degree.

FCSH offers 14 undergraduate programmes (two of them  in after-work schedule), during  which  students can  benefit   from  mobility  initiatives (e.g.:  Erasmus),  annually involving more  than 350 students. In graduate training, FCSH offers nine postgraduate programmes, 50 master’s degrees and 26 PhD degrees, all provided  in after-work schedule.


*** Founded in 1989, NOVA IMS  is the School of Statistics and Information Management of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. Nova IMS  has the 1st Bachelor Degree in Europe accredited in Information Systems by ABET, a North American accrediting agency, recognized as the worldwide leader in assuring quality and stimulating innovation in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technologies. It is also is the 1st university outside the USA to obtain the GEOINT (Geospatial Intelligence) accreditation by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) . The USGIF is the only global organization dedicated promoting professional practice of Geospatial Intelligence and building a community of interest across the industry, academia, the Public Administration and professional organizations.


**** The Faculty of Law at the NOVA (New) University of Lisbon is usually known by its acronym FDUNL, or by the more affectionate ‘Nova – Direito’. It is the youngest and most advanced Portuguese provider of education in law. It was founded in 1996, under the initiative of Professor Diogo Freitas do Amaral, in order to challenge a rather conservative, traditional way of teaching and learning law in Portugal. For a list of the undergraduate-level classes taught in English at Nova Law, see the Build Your Program button.

All degrees are fully recognised and accredited, and comply with Portuguese and European higher education requirements.

Institutional Partners in Portugal

The SiPN program has received tremendous support from major institutional players in Portugal, in particular those whose mission is to bridge and foster the ties between Portugal and the US. All the universities in the SiPN network are accredited by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.



SiPN has enjoyed support from the governments of Portugal and the US since its creation, given its goals to deepen the bi-lateral ties between the two countries.






Message from the Executive Director, Fulbright Commission Portugal

The Fulbright Commission is proud to partner once again with the Luso-American Foundation in the launch of the innovative Study in Portugal Network. The program’s nature fits perfectly within Fulbright’s goal of fostering mutual understanding through academic and cultural exchange between Portugal and the United States.

We believe that the Study in Portugal Network will amplify the promotion of Portuguese institutions of higher education in the U.S. and contribute to increasing the number of students choosing Portugal as an educational destination.

Otília Macedo Reis


 graça fonseca-20


Message from the former Deputy Mayor for Education, Economy and Innovation, Lisbon City Council. Presently Graça Fonseca serves as Portugal’s Minister of Culture:

The Study in Portugal Network partnership is the next step in an already extensive and successful set of efforts geared to cooperation, with the clear purpose of getting to know Lisbon as an excellent destination for study, research and entrepreneurship. Lisbon has a fantastic climate, magnificent scenery and a fabulous social life, together with modern and diversified research centers and high quality universities. Students from the USA who wish to come to Lisbon doing part of their studies can enjoy a rich academic and personal experience. Our universities have well-structured, consistent and innovative academic curricula and our city allows students to be in touch not only with European culture, but also to know a bit of history from around the world, resulting from more than eight centuries of history.   At the end of your studies, who knows if instead of saying “goodbye”, you will just say “see you soon”!

Graça Fonseca


Message from the former AICEP President:

FLAD, through its support of the Study in Portugal Network, allows American students to enroll in a world-class study abroad program at the best Portuguese universities. All of these institutions are ranked in the World’s Top 500 Universities (CWUR- Center for World Universities Ranking). It will also make a positive contribution to Portuguese companies, as they will benefit from those students who opt to enroll in internships for academic credit offered through the program.  This is the reason why AICEP is wholly involved with SiPN, since it aligns so well with our mission. The Portuguese Government entrusted AICEP with the mission of encouraging the best foreign companies to invest in Portugal and thereby contribute to the success of Portuguese companies abroad in their internationalisation processes or export activities. The agency board is also confident that this program will enhance the quality of the curricula of both the American students and Portuguese universities and companies that receive them.  

AICEP believes that this program is an excellent opportunity for many American citizens who might not be aware of the opportunities that Portugal offers, for example to learn about the quality of its education system and universities, the return to economic growth that the country is experiencing, and the investment opportunities that Portugal offers in a number of different sectors. Besides this, it provides opportunities for American students to have prolonged contact with a safe and hospitable country with a fantastic quality of life.

Miguel Frasquilho


Partner Schools in the US

Besides the support in Portugal, SiPN (through FLAD, which articulates the various aspects of the initiative) has been receiving many inquiries from universities located in the US with whom FLAD has provided support in the past. SiPN welcomes inquiries from North American schools interested in developing partnership agreements with us.

As SiPN has just kicked off, the agreements with various colleges and universities in the US are underway. Check out our Facebook album regarding SiPN’s 5-week 2014 roadshow. SiPN visited various universities and colleges in the US.

If you are from a school that does not yet have an agreement with SiPN, please contact your home school Study Abroad Office regarding your desire to enroll in the SiPN program or send us an e-mail – info@studyinportugalnetwork.com – so we can establish contact.

Academic Council


The SiPN Academic Council seeks to provide SiPN with tangible recommendations regarding academics, program policies, student issues and general programming.


  • To serve as a sounding board for current issues in study abroad, and how those issues should affect SiPN programs and services
  • To provide feedback for future direction of SiPN editions
  • To assess current SiPN policies
  • To formally evaluate SiPN sites and programs, and provide recommendations for improvement

Intended Outcomes 

Achieving the mission and goals of the SiPN Academic Council should result in the following outcomes:

  • Detailed monitoring of program learning outcomes
  • Continued excellence in SiPN program offerings
  • Further strengthening of SiPN’s policies and student services
  • Strategic improvements for stateside operations and program function in Portugal
  • Promoting programatic changes based on regular external assessment of program outcomes

Current SiPN Academic Council members


Coordination Council

SiPN’s Coordination Council (CC) assures the vision and the day-to-day operation established and envisioned by the Academic Council.

Besides SiPN’s On-Site Coordinator, Ricardo Pereira, who will be available every weekday from 9am-5pm in  designated office located at the host-university (+ 24/7 availability for emergency purposes), SiPN’s CC assures a peer-point based strategy so SiPN interests are always physically represented at each school of the network allowing a short lead-period response for all the program and students needs.

Members of the Coordination Council:

  • FLAD (Luso American Development Foundation) – Ricardo Pereira (Study in Portugal Network, On-Site Coordinator) – ricardo.pereira@studyinportugalnetwork.com
  • UNL – School of Business and Economics – Susy Rodrigues (Undergraduate Programs, Executive Coordinator) – rodrigues@novasbe.pt
  • UNL – Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities – Sandra Matias (Student Services Office, Director) – matias@fcsh.unl.pt
  • UNL – Information Management School – Ana Sousa – asousa@novaims.unl.pt
  • ULisboa – FL – School of Arts and Humanities – Ricardo Reis (Executive Director) – rr@letras.ulisboa.pt
  • ULisboa – ISEG – School of Economics and Management– Filomena Ferreira (International Relations Office and Public Relations Office, Director) – fferreira@iseg.ulisboa.pt
  • ULisboa – FA – Faculty of Architecture – Paulo Pereira Almeida – pmalmeida@fa.ulisboa.pt
  • ULisboa – IGOT – Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning – Alina Isabel Esteves – alinaesteves@campus.ul.pt
  • ULisboa – ISA – School of Agriculture – Luisa Louro – luisalouro@isa.ulisboa.pt
  • UCP (Faculty of Law, Faculty of Human Sci., Lisbon S. of Business and Economics – Clementina Santos – c.santos@fch.lisboa.ucp.pt
  • ISCTE – Universitary Institute of Lisbon – Sonia Henriques (International Relations Office, Director) – sonia.henriques@iscte.pt


On-site Coordinator’s bio

Ricardo Pereira is a Portuguese native from the Lisbon area who spent his 12th grade year attending a U.S. high school in Ohio, where he lived with a host family and developed a close familiarity with American culture and near-native fluency in English. After returning to Portugal in 2006, he started university-level studies in Electronics and Computer Engineering at UNova, followed by a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hotel Management from the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria. During and after his undergraduate studies, Ricardo worked in various tourism-related organisations. In 2012 he interned for 6 months with the Portuguese Consulate in Boston, helping to organise the Boston Portuguese Festival. In August 2012 he was hired by the UMass in Lisbon Study Abroad program as its On-Site Program Coordinator, where he oversaw the first 2 years of that program’s operation, based at ISCTE – IUL. He received his Masters degree in International Management at ISCTE-IUL in 2016. Based on his experience running the day-to-day operations of UMass in Lisbon and successfully serving the needs of nearly 40 study abroad students for that program, Ricardo was tapped by SiPN’s Program Director in 2014 to develop the SiPN Program for FLAD and to take over as SiPN’s Program Coordinator in June 2015.

Fulbright Grant exclusively for SiPN alumni


Starting in 2016, SiPN alumni will enjoy priority access to a second Fulbright grant to Portugal, which will be funded entirely by the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD). FLAD presently co-funds one of the Fulbright – Luso-American Foundation Study/Research Grants to Portugal.

These 8-month student grants to Portugal are open to US citizens with at least a Bachelor’s degree and who are pursuing masters or PhD level research in any area. Applicants who are SiPN alumni and whose candidacy passes through the initial selection process conducted by the International Institute for Education will enjoy priority access to the pool for this second Fulbright, dramatically increasing your chances of being selected for a Fulbright. For more information on how to apply for a Fulbright and eligibility requirements, go here.

See here a message about SiPN’s partnership with Fulbright Portugal by the Commission’s Executive Director, Otília Reis.