Finished High School? Study in this Portuguese Paradise

A Portuguese Paradise: Leiria

Although Leiria may seem like something of a country town at first, nothing could be farther from the truth. Leiria is home to loads of international students that have chosen this area for its safe nature, its excellent beaches and of course its first-rate education options.

To find out more, contact the Polytechnic of Leiria directly via the form below.

Leiria is considered particularly interesting to live, study and work, not only for the quality of its economics and material resources, but also for the richness and beauty of its nature and culture.

Leiria, the capital of the regional district, is a small city where you can find both the old and the new, hand-in-hand with a safe environment and good quality of life. Guarded by a beautiful castle, Leiria has plentiful areas to walk and enjoy alongside the Lis river, as well as cinemas and cultural spaces. In the historical center, besides the traditional flea market, you can find cafes and bars, terraces and other places of interest. In the evening, which is always lively, especially in the Rodrigues Lobo Square (Praça Rodrigues Lobo), you can find students enjoying the balmy weather and peaceful setting; around 11,500 students study and live in the city.

Alcobaça Monastery

The Leiria region is rich in historical and cultural heritage, including two of the most beautiful Portuguese monuments, the Batalha Monastery and Alcobaça Monastery. 

The beauty of the sea and nature are perhaps the most wonderful things in this region. A few miles further along the coast, the beaches gather and number more than a dozen. Nazaré is the most visited beach, due to its big waves and it was where Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara's broke the world record by riding a 78ft wave. Research The North Canyon Project to better understand how these uniquely waves are formed.

Foz do Arelho

But there are many beaches around Leiria too: S. Pedro de Moel is a very beautiful and serene beach, the perfect balance between preservation of the natural environment and man-made dwellings. Further north, you can find Pedrógão beach, which allows numerous sports events in the summer. S. Martinho do Porto has a magnificent bay, while further south, Foz do Arelho (Caldas da Rainha) or Supertubos (Peniche), have conditions conducive to practicing water sports such as surfing, fishing, diving, sailing, rowing, jet skiing, windsurfing and bodyboarding. Do not forget to visit Óbidos on the way.


Besides the beaches, this region is in the presence of a mountain, where one can feel the purity of the air and can go hiking, contemplating the landscape or if you’re feeling brave, perhaps engage in some extreme sports. The Serras de Aire and Candeeiros are inhabited by protected species and dominated by limestone, with a world of things to do up there. While further below are some of the most spectacular caves in Portugal. 

Most importantly of all, however, is the Politécnico de Leiria, which is located in this region.

The Politécnico de Leiria

Students from over 70 countries have chosen the Politécnico de Leiria as their study destination, choosing an excellent education and a life-changing experience for themselves. Their reasons include:

  • Modern study facilities: The Politécnico de Leiria has five campuses offering exceptional learning facilities, including more than 130 high-tech laboratories equipped with the latest technology.
  • Innovative teaching: The Politécnico de Leiria has invested in advanced student facilities and the latest technology to bring courses to life.
  • Research: High-tech research units like CETEMARES or CDRS’p are part of the Politécnico de Leiria’s strategy, where work and science go hand-in-hand in developing new solutions.
  • Employment: Leria has a great economy, particularly excelling in fields which include plastics, ceramics and glass, engineering, fisheries, tourism, food and biotechnology.
  • Industry partnerships: Many courses are partnered with leading companies. Cisco, Phoenix Contact, Oracle and Siemens are just some of the major brands involved.

Instituto Politecnico de Leiria

  • Location: Three great city campus locations: Leiria, Caldas da Rainha or Peniche. These are wonderful cities to both live and study in.
  • Friendly atmosphere: The friendly environment both on campus and in the city helps students settle into a new life away from home. 
  • Affordable: The housing in Leiria is cheaper than it is in Porto or Lisbon. Moreover, the cost of living is one of the cheapest in Europe. The average spending per month on housing and food is around 1700, 1800 reais. 
  • Entertainment: While studying is a key part of university, it’s important to make use of the excellent leisure activities available in Leiria, which includes live music, the theatre, exhibitions and conferences.


If you are interested in applying to the Polytechnic of Leiria, then you should be aware that they provide international students with scholarships, including some based on ENEM grades and they have now a quiz for an enrolment fee waiver.

To find out more, contact the Polytechnic of Leiria directly via the form below.