Updated: April 2, 2024


Situated on the northwestern coast of Portugal, Porto is the second-largest city in the country. Renowned for its port wine, rich history, and architecture, Porto is a city deeply rooted in its culture and traditions yet modern in its approach and lifestyle.

Suppose you are an expat planning to relocate to Porto with your family, especially your children. In that case, it is crucial to find the best international schools in Porto, Portugal, offering globally recognized curricula to ensure your children receive the best education and academic achievement possible.

In this international school guide will begin by sharing insight into the types of international schools available in Portugal, discuss public schools in Portugal, and how the national curriculum grading system works. We will then cover more about the international schools that offer the Portuguese national curriculum alongside Cambridge International examinations, International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.

This guide will help you find international schools in Porto, Portugal that offer superior educational standards and curricula fit for international students, plus, give you a tour of the neighborhoods in which these schools are located.

Public Education in Portugal

According to the 2023 Best Countries for Education Report by the US News and World Report, BAV Group, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Portugal’s education system ranks 24th compared to other European countries and many countries across the globe, in 2023. Moving up from the rank of 26th in 2022.

Portugal offers many excellent public schools and private schools. However, the national curriculum is taught in Portuguese. This may prove difficult for international students who do not speak Portuguese, but schools often provide students with language support and resources to help them overcome the language barrier.

Even though enrolling children in international schools is the more popular decision, foreign residents can send their children to public schools. Below is a list of general documents that you will need to present to enroll in Portuguese public schools, you should however check with the specific school your child will be attending pertaining to any specific documents or information that they will need that is not included in the list below:

  • Completed enrollment form provided to you by the school
  • Your child’s ID or birth certificate
  • One photograph of the child
  • Medical records and your child’s immunization records (Boletim de vacinas)

How Grading Works in the Portuguese Education System

When moving to Portugal and deciding to enroll your children in a public or private school teaching the Portuguese national curriculum, it is essential to understand the grading systems used from elementary school through to secondary education in Portugal. They are very different when comparing the Portuguese grading system to American or British school grading systems, so it is a good idea to understand how to compare the two and work towards your child’s academic excellence. Below, we share a basic guideline for the Portuguese grading system.

The primary school program in Portugal is simple:

  • Public and private pre-schools: Ages 3 to 6
  • Primary education: Ages 6 to 15
  • Upper secondary school: Ages 15 to 18

For primary schooling (grades one to nine), a five-point scoring system is used, with 50 percent being the lowest grade to pass:

  • 90-100 percent – Muito bom – Very good
  • 70-89 percent – Bom – Good
  • 50-69 percent – Suficiente – Satisfactory
  • 20-49 percent – Insuficiente – Unsatisfactory
  • 0-19 percent – Mal – Fail

For secondary education (grades 10-12) and higher education, a 20-point grading system is used:

  •  17.5-20 – Excelente – Excellent
  •  15.5-17.4 – Muito bom – Very good
  •  13.5-15.4- Bom – Good
  •  9.5-13.4 – Suficiente – Satisfactory
  •  3.5-9.5 – Insuficiente – Unsatisfactory
  •  0-3.4 – Mal – Fail

The Types of Portugal International Schools

There are many international schools in Portugal offering a range of different curricula. You will find British, American, German, French, and other international schools in Portugal, offering a variety of courses. In this section we will discuss the types of international schools you will find in Porto and the curricula they offer.

Schools with the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a pre-university education curriculum offered by certain international schools in Portugal, and other countries across the globe, focused on preparing students for more significant challenges in higher education. The rigorous academic program focuses on children’s creativity, international mindedness, sense of community, and professional development. There are also some English-speaking schools in Portugal where students can graduate with an IB diploma. You can find diverse educational institutions offering the IB diploma in the International Baccalaureate Organization.

American international schools and Advanced Placement (AP)

North American style education is made up of elementary school, middle school, and high school. From early childhood education and during the different cycles of American education, your children will study social studies, math, English, and science and receive multilingual education.

British international schools

British international schools in Porto are good options for expat parents considering a British education for their children, perhaps with the intention that they will be able to continue their studies in the UK in the future. Generally, students study science, math, history, English, and foreign languages. Of course, the language of instruction is English, and the focus is on problem-solving, confidence-building, and student growth.

One of the highlights and the biggest reasons why people consider a British school is that most offer International General Certificates of Secondary School (IGCSE), facilitating more accessible access to universities.

Other international curriculum-based schools

Porto, Portugal, also offers private and international schools teaching other international curricula. Besides American international schools and British schools teaching the English national curriculum, you could also enroll your children in a French international school or a German school in Porto.

Neighborhoods with the Best International Schools in Porto

In the sections below, you’ll learn more about the types of international schools in Porto, their international curriculum and tuition fees and discover which neighborhoods you will find each school in.

Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde

douro river portugalFamous for its charming beaches, quirky restaurants, delectable cuisine, fantastic art galleries, and excellent infrastructure, and in particular schools, Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde is a perfect neighborhood for those with children. CLIP Oporto International School offers an international curriculum based on the British curriculum modified to suit the school’s philosophical and pedagogical objectives. The annual tuition fees range from €7,988 to €12,692 for the 2024 academic year.

In addition to CLIP, located in Foz do Douro, the Oporto British School is the largest British international school in mainland Europe. The school provides education to children between the ages of 3 and 8. Expat children and Portuguese students are tutored according to the British curriculum until the completion of the Cambridge IGCSE examinations, and senior pupils study the IB Diploma Program. The annual tuition fees range from €8,735 to €14,585. Established in 1894, this is the oldest British school in the neighborhood and one of Porto’s most respected international schools.

Paranhos, Porto

Located near the sought-after district of Paranhos, you will find the CJD International School on Rua do Porto Feliz.

CJD International School is a private school celebrated for its multiculturalism, inclusivity, and creativity.

It gives children access to an educational environment based on the British curriculum and the Portuguese national curriculum and in the bilingual languages of instruction of English and Portuguese.

Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos

Populated with hipster coffee shops, great cafes, restaurants, and bars, Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos is one of the most student-friendly areas in Porto and is among the best neighborhoods in Porto if you are looking for international schools.

Lycée Français International de Porto is a French international school offering French students in kindergarten, elementary, high school, and college French education.

Deutsche Schule zu Porto is a German school that offers the German curriculum in Portuguese and German to kindergarten, primary, and high school students. Both Deutsche Schule zu Porto and Lycée Français International de Porto are top international schools in the area that provide excellent curriculum options and professional assistance to achieve your children’s learning objectives.


Braga Portugal Real EstateLocated just 45 minutes from Porto, Braga is renowned for its rich architectural history and culture.

CLIB– The Braga International School is the best international school in the area and has an excellent education system that caters to children of both Portuguese and global communities.

Established in 1999, the school provides a holistic education and ensures the professional development of all students. Access to an international school makes Braga an excellent location for the expat community.

Admission Requirements for Private and International Schools in Portugal

Private and international schools in Portugal can sometimes have strict admission processes. It’s worth checking with the school you are interested in about their procedure, but most will have the admission documents on their website.

You will typically need to provide the following documents:

  • School enrollment form (available from the school’s website)
  • ID cards for the parents and child
  • Three passport photos of the student and their sponsor of education (encarregado de educação)
  • Proof of residence
  • Previous school records and reports
  • Medical certificates and the child’s immunization records (Boletim de vacinas)
  • Proof of payment of the application fee
  • Language tests, if applicable

Some schools will require an entrance exam and past school records, and many will ask for a personal interview with the student.

Frequently Asked Questions About Porto Neighborhoods Close to International Schools

The coastal city of Porto has various lively neighborhoods where you can choose to live. Some of the best areas in the city are Ribeira, Cedofeita, Boavista, Vila Nova De Gaia, Sé, Aliados & Bolhao, Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde and Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos

Most expats in the city prefer to live in central Porto. Moreover, since areas like Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde, Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos, and Braga have access to international schools, many expats also choose to settle down there.

Yes, Porto has many international schools. Some of the best include Clip Oporto International School, Oporto British School, Lycée Français International de Porto, and Deutsche Schule zu Porto.

Most expats in the city prefer to live in central Porto. Moreover, since areas like Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde, Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos, and Braga have access to international schools, many expats also choose to settle there.

Yes, Porto has many international schools. Some of the best include Clip Oporto International School, Oporto British School, Lycée Français International de Porto, and Deutsche Schule zu Porto.