Lisbon, Portugal

Language + Culture

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Information for term Language + Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Sep 5 – Dec 11, 2021 (14 weeks)
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

April 1, 2022

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Sep 4 – Dec 10, 2022 (14 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Sep 5, 2021 – May 7, 2022 (35 weeks)
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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The western tip of Europe is steeped in ancient history, creating a rich base to launch your study of the Portuguese language and culture. Spend the semester immersed in Portuguese culture at CIEE Lisbon while taking courses in English or Portuguese at CIEE and CIEE’s partner schools, FCSH-UNL (Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas - Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and ISCTE-IUL (Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e de Empresas-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa). All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Take classes in English

    and/or Portuguese with students from all over the world.


    for full immersion - and soak up the language and culture as you experience student life in the capital city.

  • Travel north up to the coast

    to Portugal’s second largest city, Porto, known for a historic center dating back to Roman times and a rich wine trade.

  • high speed trains

  • statues of Boris the Great

  • students


Location & Culture

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Older than London, Paris, and Rome, the hilly seaport of Lisbon has always been a major European political, economic, and cultural center. The capitol city is full of intriguing contrasts, witness tiny shops with fading facades versus mega malls, and narrow, cobble-stoned streets versus wide-open vistas. With a generous attitude towards foreigners, a holiday vibe, and a mild climate, it’s a welcoming place with plenty to explore.

The Culture


  • Visit stunning medieval walled towns like Óbidos and Sintra.
  • See the city of Porto like tourists rarely do - with a scenic walking tour that explores the gardens of Serralves.
  • Explore a Romanesque cathedral and gilded Baroque altarpieces during a tour of Évora, a historical center surrounded by 16th-century walls.
  • Get into campus life by joining a student association or sports team.
  • Take advantage of Lisbon’s vibrant theater and historic opera house, plus concert venues, galleries, and a dynamic cinemathèque.


Volunteering. Students who want to share their time and gain practical skills can connect with a range of organizations throughout Lisbon that need support.  
Peer support. Connect with Lisbon Buddies – students from FCSH – to discover local culture, routine student life, and practice Portuguese.  

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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    As long as the local health and safety regulations permit, students could stay in: 

    Homestay: Students can pair up or live alone with English-speaking Portuguese families – a great way to absorb maximum language and culture, and create lasting friendships. Host options may be traditional and nontraditional, including nuclear or single families with young children, single professionals, young couples with no children, and older couples whose children visit but do not live at home. Students have private bedrooms weekly cleaning, laundry access, Wifi and use of the kitchen and common areas for relaxing in a pleasant home environment. From all homestays, you can walk or take public transportation to campus (max 30-minute commute).
    Residence Hall: Students can stay in a a dorm-like facility within a 20-minute commute to campus, featuring single rooms, shared communal bathrooms, Wi-Fi and coin laundry machines. Residence halls in Lisbon are frequented by international and local students allowing you to meet other students while abroad.


    Homestay: Breakfast and dinner (seven days a week) provided. Dietary needs may be accommodated.
    Residence Hall:
     Meals not included; communal kitchen available.
    All students have access to the subsidized cafeteria on campus.

Lisbon, Portugal

Where You'll Study

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    Getting Around

    Students walk or use public transportation – funicular trains, trams, buses, and the metro.


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Students of all Portuguese language levels can dramatically increase their knowledge of Portuguese language and culture while taking business, social sciences, and humanities courses at CIEE partner schools, FCSH - UNL and ISCTE-IUL. Students begin the Language and Culture Program with a two-week intensive Portuguese class and then continue their studies throughout the semester. Language placement is determined by a language placement exam upon arrival.

Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas - Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCSH - UNL) was founded in 1977 and is now one of the highest ranking  social sciences and humanities schools in Portugal. It is dedicated to education, scientific research, and cultural creation. Courses are taught in Portuguese. The school hosts more than 2,800 undergraduate students and 16 research centers and is located in the heart of Lisbon.

Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e de Empresas - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) is a public university established in 1972, pursuing teaching, research, and community service activities with scientific and pedagogical expertise. The strategic objectives of ISCTE-IUL are: innovation, quality, internationalization, and development of an entrepreneurial culture. ISCTE-IUL offers a range of courses taught in English from areas such as business and economics to political science and psychology. ISCTE-IUL has been recognized by highly reputed foreign agencies and associations. For instance, ISCTE Business School is an AACSB accredited institution and considered one of the best Portuguese business schools and a reference both nationally and internationally in several programs. It is located in the business center of Lisbon.



Language Prerequisites

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Program Requirements

Students enroll in five classes per semester:

  • One two-week intensive Portuguese language course
  • One semester Portuguese language course
  • Three to four elective courses, choosing from:
    • CIEE content courses
    • FCSH-UNL courses taught in Portuguese
    • Up to two ISCTE-IUL courses taught in English (only Business Courses are available in Spring 2020)

Program Credit

Total credit: 15-18 U.S. semester/22.5-27 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
  • FCSH-UNL courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours, unless otherwise noted.
  • ISCTE-IUL courses: mostly 3 U.S. semester/4.5  quarter credits; 45  contact hours, unless otherwise noted.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Academic Culture

FCSH-UNL and ISCTE-IUL courses are academically rigorous and students should expect challenging work. Students must take exams as scheduled and turn-in all work on time. Both FCSH-UNL and ISCTE-IUL value active intellectual inquiry and exploration, particularly through interdisciplinary study and creative thought. Students are encouraged to think critically, work independently, contribute to discussions, and participate in university life. The academic calendar is close to the North American calendar. Both CIEE and FCSH-UNL and ISCTE-IUL fall classes begin in September and end in December, and spring classes begin in February and end in May. ISCTE-IUL exam dates go into January for fall and into June for spring. Special accommodations can be arranged for students doing ISCTE-IUL courses.

Class Format

CIEE Portuguese language courses are offered to CIEE students only. CIEE elective courses are open to CIEE students, as well as to other international and Portuguese students. Portuguese and English language content courses are kept small; direct enrollment courses are medium-sized.


In university courses, students are evaluated based on weekly homework, participation, group projects, presentations, quizzes, midterm and final exams, and/or papers. Professors assign letter grades of A-F with pluses and minuses in English-taught courses. The Portuguese grading scale ranges from one to 20; 10 is passing.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction

Portuguese and English

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


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Course Information

Course Notes

  • FCSH-UNL courses are typically taught in Portuguese
    • Permission to enroll in FCSH-UNL courses is based on academic background and the results of the language placement exam. The final decision rests with the CIEE Center Director and the University.
  • ISCTE-IUL business courses are typically taught in English. Other area studies are typically taught in Portuguese with a range of courses being offered in English. CIEE students may enroll in two English taught business courses. Starting Fall 2020, students can take ISCTE all area studies courses taught in English
    • ISCTE courses end later than other classes and exams are held in the month following the end of classes. The exam schedule is not available until after arrival. Center staff will determine if students can take a proctored exam. Home school approval is required.

Fall 2021 CIEE Courses

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Business, Economics, Management, and Marketing

Semester Credit

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Semester Credit

History, Philosophy, Religion

Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Semester Credit

Visual and Performing Arts

Semester Credit

Spring 2022 CIEE Courses

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Communication, Journalism, and Media

Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Semester Credit

Visual and Performing Arts

Semester Credit

Host Institution Courses

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CIEE students have the option to take up to four courses from any of the 14 social science departments at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas - Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCSH-UNL). FCSH-UNL courses are typically taught in Portuguese for 3 semester credits each.

The courses listed below are representative of courses historically available at FCSH-UNL but CIEE cannot guarantee specific courses are offered each semester. Visit the website for information on departments and classes available. Course registration occurs on-site.

Anthropology and Colonialism
Anthropology of the Family and Relatives
Anthropology and Human Rights
Anthropology of Religion
Anthropology of Space
Contemporary Portuguese Anthropology
Economic Anthropology
Ethnicity and Nationalism
History of Anthropology
Political Anthropology
Urban Anthropology

Industrial Archaeology
Medieval Muslim Archaeology
Modern Archaeology
Roman Imperial Archaeology

Art History
Culture and Contemporary Art
History of Colonial Art
History of Gothic Art
History of Non-Western Art
Introduction to Museology

Communications and Social Science
History of Media
Sociology of Communications
Theory of News

Geography of Rural Space
Human Geography
Physical Geography of Portugal
Urban Geography

Contemporary History
History of Contemporary Portugal
History of Medieval Portugal
History of Modern Portugal
History of Portuguese Expansion

International Relations/Political Science
Contemporary International Politics
History of the Idea of Europe
History of Political Ideas
History of Portuguese International Relations
History and Theory of State in Portugal
Political Systems
Portuguese Political Thought
Security Studies, International Institutions

Language, Literature, and Culture
Brazilian Literature
Portuguese Culture
Portuguese Language and Culture
Portuguese Linguistics

Music History/Ethnomusicology
History of Music in Portugal
Music and Information
Musical Cultures of the World
Philosophy and Music

Philosophy and Culture in Portugal

Class and Social Structure
Contemporary Social Themes

History of Translation
Introduction to Terminology in the Social Sciences and Humanities
Linguistic Diversity in the Iberian Peninsula


Students have the option to take up to two courses taught in English at ISCTE-IUL, which are typically 3 semester credits each. Visit the website and click on the appropriate semester. CIEE cannot guarantee that all classes will be offered every semester. Course registration occurs on-site.  

Below you will find a sample course list of ISCTE-IUL courses recommended for study abroad students.

Business School
Marketing Management
Fundamentals Finance
Taxation for Non-Residents
Business Law
Human Resources Management
International Human Resources Management
Management in International Organizations
Comparative International Management
Marketing Services
Applied Corporate Finance
Health Economics
Game Theory and Economic Applications

School of Social Sciences
Crisis and Catastrophe - Anthropological Readings 
Colonization and Decolonization: XIX-XX Centuries 
Crisis and Catastrophe - Anthropological Readings 
Minorities of Southeast Asia 
Understanding Culture: Readings in Art and Fairytales 
Europe and the World in the Nineteenth Century 
History of Portuguese Expansion 
Israel/Palestine: History, Anthropology, Politics 
Portuguese History and Culture 

School of Sociology and Public Policy
Public Policies of Culture 
Social Movements in the Digital Era 
Sociology of Law 
Using Graphic Methods in the Social Sciences 
World Economy XIX and XXth Centuries

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple CIEE sites.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

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Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2021 14 weeks Deadline Passed Sep 5, 2021 Dec 11, 2021
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $14,553 **

Housing = $2,930 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $17,950

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $2,000

International Airfare = $1,100 ††

Local Transportation = $150

Books & Supplies = $50

Visa Fees = $150

Personal expenses = $2,000

Other = $100 †††

Total Estimated Costs = $5,550

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

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This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required by their US home institution to study abroad via CIEE's School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** homestay includes two meals daily; no meals are included for students in the dorm

for students in alternative housing; homestay students should budget $1,000 per semester for meals not included in fees

†† round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

††† Covid test fees for entry to the US

Academic year 2021-2022 35 weeks Deadline Passed Sep 5, 2021 May 7, 2022
Spring 2022 15 weeks Oct 1, 2021 Jan 23, 2022 May 7, 2022
Fall 2022 14 weeks Apr 1, 2022 Sep 4, 2022* Dec 10, 2022*

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

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What's Included

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What's Included

Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city
On-site Staff
Full-time program leadership and support in your city
Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
Excursions and/or Study Tours
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

    You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 

    Apply Now
  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 

  • 3

    Contact Us

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.