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Anyone Living In Portugal?

(3 Posts)
Lupins71 Sun 17-Jun-07 09:12:00

Where can I found out about living in portugal, dps parents are moving out there and have said we can go to if we want, if it were just the 2 of us I would rapidly jumo sticks, but with 2 dc's I want to find out whats involved with schools, health ect, I think they are looking at the northern/ mid area but quite near the coast. We went for a hol last year and it was lovely the people were fab, but are they just like that with hoiday makers because you are bringing in money? they dont seem like that I thought they were lovley people - any advice would be greatly aprreciated

kjaysmum Sun 17-Jun-07 10:29:17

Hi Lupins, I lived in Portugal for many years with and around lots of nationalities. My Father and his wife still live there as do many of my friends. I didn't have kids back then but many friends did. The Portugese are incredibly friendly people especially when you are away from the really tourist parts. They adore children but try to give them too many sweets! They did seem to have a particular liking for brits I think this was connected with the war (sorry it's a bit vague). I spoke not so good to average portugese which helps alot, so do study the language if you can. I have heard a mixed reaction to the school system, some who home ed now this may be more to do with my friends being somewhat alternative than anything but also alot of people prefered their kids to go to school to learn the language and be better integrated into portugese society. The country has definately had problems being such a rapidly changing country, from access to no money to borrowing too much. I live in Nz now but portugal is still very much in my heart and I miss it very much, I am about to go back to europe and have built in a trip to portugal, how could I not! I have written this rather quickly so it is probably full of generalisations, but it's just a few things which sprung to mind, hope you hear from someone who is actually there now and best of luck. By the way I was living in the Sierra d'estrella

chocolatequeen Thu 28-Jun-07 22:21:55

I live here (just!!!), we are moving back to UK in August. For work reasons, would have loved to have stayed a bit more. I have a different experience because my husband is portuguese, but am still very much a foreigner.

In short, the north outside porto is very very rural. No one will speak much english, and you may have problems adapting and fitting in. There are international schools in Porto, notably CLIP (I think that is the name), and I would imagine that to feel comfortable quickly unless you are a linguist, you would be better being near Porto or Cascais/Lisbon.

That said, I would definitely recommend the north over the south, just from a cultural point of view - once you start hitting algarveland, all hint of the true portugal disappears.

We live near Cascais, which has a nice balance. It is quite touristy in the summer, although nothing compared to the Algarve. Good schools, both international (there are 2 English, 1 american, 1 german and the french school in Lisbon). The area is safe (as is most of portugal) and very child friendly - nice creches and play areas, clean beaches and some great parks that far surpass any you will find in the UK. Healthcare is good, if you are prepared to pay for it, or have insurance. The public system is good in emergencies, but not for general health. There is a fabulous english GP that practises in Cascais, as well as an international clinic. A consultation would be about 60 euros if you paid privately, with insurance only 10 euros.

The portuguese people are great, whether you are a tourist or permanent. WE have only ever been met with kindness, courtesy and patience at my terrible portuguese. It is very child friendly pretty much wherever you go, apart from dodgy pavements for buggies! Also, in busier places, someone somewhere will speak English. The language is notoriously difficult.

It is a great country, we have been here 3 years and loved every minute, the only thing that could be difficult would be finding a job. Also, they are nearly as bad as the french when it comes to beauracracy and paperwork, so be prepared for a long haul if you want to become residents/buy a house/open a bank account/start a business etc......

Good starting point may be the IWP, International Women of Portugal. Lots of info and contacts, should be able to find it on google.

Can´t think of anything else to add generally, if you want more info, let me know!

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