Sunny Portugal’s one of the most popular destinations for British expats to live abroad – and our two countries go back a long way (in fact, the world’s oldest extant alliance is between Portugal and the UK). Many expats are retirees choosing to enjoy their golden years in the warmth of the southern sun, but others still are families looking for that relaxed, laid-back lifestyle they remember from their own childhoods. In fact, 5% of known British citizens in the country are aged under 15. So, if you’re moving to Portugal with children, what should you expect?
Property is much cheaper
If you’re living in a typical British house – two medium sized bedrooms and a box room – the kids will undoubtedly be delighted with the space you can afford in Portugal. Although property prices are steadily rising, you can easily find four-bedroom townhouses with pools in desirable areas like Lagos for €400,000.
As such, you’ll all benefit from having plenty more room to run around in. Who would say no to a sea-view terrace or even a balcony directly opening from the master room?
The lifestyle is much more active
Many parents look back to the days before phones – remembering their own childhoods of running around and getting up to mischief outdoors. It can be hard to prise kids away from the lure of an electronic screen, but weather in the thirties and a beach on the doorstep is often the trick! Many people who move here remark on how much less sedentary life is, while still somehow feeling more relaxed and less hectic.
Plus, many expats move to smaller towns – meaning your kids will soon make friends and really fit into the community. The anonymity of suburban sprawl doesn’t exist so much here.
Education is top-class
There used to be certain stereotypes about the quality of education both Portugal and Spain floating around, but a huge push over the last two decades have left them in the dust. In 2015, Portuguese students scored above average in reading and science in the PISA assessments, and on average for mathematics.
Education’s free in the public system, and divided into a number of ‘cycles’ (like in Ireland, or a bit like key stages in the UK). Primary education lasts nine years, with three cycles. Secondary school is specialised depending on whether your child goes for an academic scheme or a vocational one. There’s still a common requirement for some subjects to be studied, including Portuguese, PE, philosophy, RE and an MFL.
You have international options too
There’s a huge international community in Portugal, especially in the Algarve. As such, if you have older children or you expect them to need to re-integrate into the education system back, you’ll be pleased to know that there are a number of schools teaching to the British curriculum and the international baccalaureate.
If you are ready to buy in Portugal download the Portugal Buying Guide
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