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CIEE Portugal Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Summer, Fall, Spring, Academic year


Lisbon, Portugal




2.5 GPA, good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

Fall & Academic Year:
Mar. 1

Spring: Sept. 20

Summer: Mar. 1

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

This semester or summer program allows students to explore contemporary Portuguese culture in Lisbon while developing their skills in Portuguese language skills. No previous study of Portuguese language is required. During the semester program, students take Portuguese language courses and English-taught content courses in business, social sciences, and humanities. The local Lisbon universities of ISCTE-IUL and FSCH-UNL serve as host institutions for the program by expanding course offerings available to students. During the summer program, students take one content course in English with an optional Portuguese language course.

This program is administered by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) on behalf of an academic consortium of which the University of Iowa is a member. UI participants on the program join a group of students from other U.S. colleges and universities. University of Iowa students earn resident credit for this program.

Academic Program - Semester


Students enroll in at least five courses (15-18 sh) per semester:

  • One required two-week intensive Portuguese language course at CIEE (beginner through advanced)
  • One required semester-length Portuguese language course at CIEE (beginner through advanced)
  • Three or four electives chosen from CIEE content courses (in English), up to two business or social science courses at host university ISCTE-IUL (in English), and humanities and social sciences courses at host university FSCH-UNL (in Portuguese)
  • Note: Students who wish to take courses at FSCH-UNL must demonstrate proficiency in Portuguese through a language placement exam.

Academic Program - Summer

Students enroll in one to two courses (3-4 sh) per session:

  • One required three-credit business or social science course (in English) at CIEE
  • Optional: Communicative Portuguese (in Portuguese, 1 sh) at CIEE

For updated course offerings, descriptions, and syllabi, visit CIEE's semester program webpage. or CIEE's summer program webpage.

Cultural Activities

Excursions & Cultural Activities

Students visit nearby museums, theaters, and cultural sites throughout the program. One-day excursions may offered to locations such as the medieval walled towns of Óbidos and Sintra.

Language Immersion

Students can focus on daily language acquisition by living with a host family. Other language immersion opportunities include peer support programs with students from FCSH and local volunteering.

Program Dates

Fall: Early September to mid-December

Spring: Late January to mid-May

Summer Session I: Mid-May to mid-June

Summer Session II: Mid-June to mid-July

For exact program dates, visit CIEE's semester program webpage. and CIEE's summer program webpage.

For More Information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application with USAC, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa. 
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive  program application instructions.

Contact Information

Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353

Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)

ISCTE-IUL is a public university with specializing in business and social sciences. With a total student enrollment of approximately 11,000, ISCTE-IUL offers English-taught courses in business, economics, political science, psychology, and other disciplines. Highly respected with the Portuguese higher education system, the ISCTE Business School is also accredited internationally by the AACSB and AMBA.


Lisbon is a fast-modernizing metropolis that has retained many elements of its historic past. The cuisine, music, and architecture draw visitors from around the world. Built on seven hills, transport includes the metro, buses, trams, funicular trains, and even an elevator. The city is positioned where the Tagus River flows into the Atlantic, resulting in beautiful views of the water from many parts of the city.


Portugal is considered by many to be one of Europe's best-kept secrets. Located next to Spain on the Iberian peninsula, this country is filled to the brim with medieval castles, picturesque cobblestone villages, and some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. The Portuguese are a lively and fascinating people who take great pride in their history, culture, and delicious cuisine. Portugal is a dream study abroad destination for those who are looking to take classes while living in a truly picturesque setting.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

CIEE students participating in this program have two housing options: a Spanish homestay or an off-campus residence hall with other international and Spanish students.


Students live in Spanish-speaking homes where daily breakfast plus seven meals a week are provided. Students can purchase the rest of their meals at on or nearby campus. Each home accommodates one or two students. Homestays are the optimal housing arrangement because of their contribution to the program’s goals of language and cultural immersion.

Residence Halls

If space is available, students can live in a university dorm in the heart of Lisbon with students from all over the world. The modern dorm has single, double, and triple rooms with shared bathrooms, laundry facilities, and common spaces for studying and gathering. Meals are not included. Students can prepare meals in the shared kitch or eat in the subsidized university cafeteria.


U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens who do not have a passport should apply for one as soon as possible. More information about how to apply for a passport is available on the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. US citizens who need to renew their passport can find more information on the US Department of State’s website. The passport must be renewed before applying for the Spanish visa required for semester or academic year programs.

Expedited processing service is available at an additional cost. UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Students who are not U.S. citizens should contact UI Study Abroad ( for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.

Travel Arrangements

Students book flights independently. Participants are responsible for being at the orientation site on time.

Local Transportation

Within the host city and around Portugal, students will utilize public transportation such as metro, buses, and trains. The Portuguese are also very used to walking, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes!


This program is open to UI students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA: Student must have at minimum a 2.5 cumulative GPA to participate in this program.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad. In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance, will not be allowed to study abroad, and are wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.


The most recent cost sheet for the program is included below. The cost sheet outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid and planning purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill (CIEE program fee, Study Abroad Administrative Fee, and mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance), as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic. Please see the respective websites for further details. Contact your Study Abroad advisor with questions regarding the cost sheet.

Summer Cost Sheets

PDFCost Sheet for CIEE Summer in Lisbon, Summer 2023, Session I

Semester Cost Sheets

PDFCost Sheet for CIEE Lisbon Language & Culture, Spring 2023

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

Scholarship opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities.


How to Apply

Interested students should make an appointment with the designated UI Study Abroad advisor to discuss the program and the application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 319-335-0353. During the appointment, the advisor will provide full application instructions. Note: Application materials will not be reviewed unless a student has already met with the advisor to discuss the program.

The application process consists of the following steps:

• Complete the UI Online Application for Study Abroad. Applicants will be charged a $50 non-refundable application fee. As part of the UI Online Application for Study Abroad, applicants will need to upload a copy of their passport picture page and a list of courses to take while abroad, as well as a statement of purpose

• Complete the CIEE Online Application.

Application Deadlines

Fall and Academic Year: Mar. 1

Spring: Sept. 20

Summer: Mar. 1

Acceptance & Confirmation Materials

Acceptance and confirmation materials will be posted after the next application deadline.

Health & Safety Planning

All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


U.S. passport holders must obtain a student visa from Portugal in order to participate in the semester or academic year program. U.S. passport holders should follow the visa application instructions provided by CIEE. Students are ultimately responsible for obtaining the necessary visa to enter Portugal.

Non-U.S. passport holders should consult with CIEE regarding their visa requirements.


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.