Skip to main content

Nestled along the sun-kissed shores of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal emerges as an undiscovered gem waiting to captivate the hearts of adventurous travelers. From the pristine beaches of the Algarve to the enchanting cobbled streets of Lisbon, this mesmerizing country effortlessly blends rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant cultures. Portugal’s charm transcends iconic landmarks, such as the picturesque Douro Valley, extending into the warmth of its people and the delightful flavors of its cuisine. Join us on a journey to uncover why Portugal has risen as a top-tier destination, offering a timeless blend of elegance and contemporary allure.

So why go to Portugal? Well, this obviously beautiful country also boasts a distinct personality that is shaped by centuries of marine history and cultural influences. As one of Europe’s oldest nations, Portugal extends an invitation to travelers and passionate interns alike, encouraging them to immerse themselves in its compelling narrative, retracing the footsteps of explorers like Vasco de Gama. The echoes of Portugal’s maritime heritage resonate in every nook and cranny, from the maritime museums of Porto to the maritime-inspired architecture of Lisbon. Beyond its historical richness, Portugal urges you to indulge in its culinary delights, with seafood-rich dishes, renowned pastries like Pastel de Nata, and world-class wines elevating the overall culinary experience. Continue reading as we unravel the best reasons to do an internship in Portugal and discover why it stands as an unparalleled destination, where the past gracefully meets the present in a harmonious dance of culture and beauty.

Why go to Portugal for an internship?

Embarking on a professional journey in Portugal isn’t merely about gaining valuable experience; it’s an immersive plunge into a country that seamlessly melds a diverse historical fabric with a modern and dynamic work environment. Portugal, with its vibrant cities like Santarém and Porto, presents an optimal backdrop for internships that promise professional growth, personal development, and cultural exploration. Spanning fields from content creation and education to animal care, Portugal extends a diverse array of opportunities for interns across various industries. Prepare not only to refine your skills in a global context but also to be embraced by the warmth of Portuguese hospitality and the appeal of its stunning landscapes.

In addition to the professional perks, Portugal’s allure as an internship destination resides in its unique fusion of tradition and innovation. In this realm, ancient history coexists with cutting-edge industries, creating an enriching environment for interns seeking a harmonious balance between old-world charm and modern vibrancy. Whether you’re enticed by the historic charm of cobblestone streets or the flourishing contemporary art scenes, Portugal stands as a destination where work and life effortlessly intertwine, promising an internship experience that transcends the boundaries of the workplace. If you find yourself contemplating the prospect of an internship in this captivating country and need some convincing reasons to visit Portugal, then this blog is tailored just for you.

1. Rich Historical Fabric

Portugal’s captivating historical narrative unfolds like an enchanting tale, weaving together a millennia-spanning tapestry. The Age of Discoveries stands as a pinnacle in Portugal’s history, marked by explorers like Ferdinand Magellan and Vasco da Gama who boldly navigated unexplored waters and connected continents. The echoes of this maritime legacy resonate in landmarks such as the Tower of Belém, an enduring symbol of the country’s golden era. Whether strolling through the narrow alleys of Lisbon’s Alfama district or marveling at the iconic Gothic architecture of Santa Maria da Graça Chruch in Santarém, each step unveils layers of history, revealing a nation that embraces its heritage with pride. Portugal’s rich historical fabric is not merely a collection of monuments but a vibrant testament to a culture that has endured, evolved, and continues to inspire with an enchanting allure.

The Praça do Comércio in Portugal

2. Vibrant Cities

For interns embarking on a professional and personal journey in Portugal, exploring the diverse cities is an enriching and worthwhile experience. Lisbon, the vibrant capital, encapsulates the essence of Portugal’s modernity and history with its dynamic cultural scenes and historic landmarks like the São Jorge Castle. Porto, known for its port wine and stunning riverside ambiance, presents a unique fusion of tradition and innovation. Santarém, situated along the banks of the Tagus River, stands out with its medieval charm and historical significance, providing an exclusive opportunity to explore Portugal’s rural traditions. These cities, each with its own unique character, contribute to a well-rounded internship experience, offering a blend of professional growth, cultural immersion, and the chance to uncover the diversity within its identity, which are just a few reasons to visit Portugal.

3. Warm Hospitality

The culture in Portugal is not only reflected in its rich history, cities, and lively traditions but is also synonymous with the nation’s exceptionally warm hospitality. From the moment you step into this captivating country, you are engulfed in an embrace of friendliness that defines the Portuguese way of life. Locals exude an authentic and welcoming spirit, eager to share their cultural treasures, from the artistry behind crafting the perfect pastel de nata to the lively rhythms of traditional Fado music. Whether in a bustling market, a family-run restaurant, or a historic neighborhood, the warmth of Portuguese hospitality transcends mere politeness, making every encounter an invitation to exchange stories, connect, and immerse yourself in the heartwarming essence of a culture that appreciates the joy of human connection. In Portugal, hospitality isn’t just a customary gesture; it’s an esteemed part of the cultural fabric, leaving a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to be embraced by its genuine warmth.

4. Affordability

For anyone contemplating international experiences, Portuga’s appeal transcends its cultural riches to the realm of affordability, making it an enticing choice. Why go to Portugal? The answer lies in its accessible cost of living, enabling a fulfilling exploration of this European gem without breaking the bank. With affordable accommodations available in vibrant cities like Lisbon, Porto, and Santarém, coupled with reasonably priced meals featuring delectable local cuisine, Portugal caters to anyone seeking a fulfilling experience on a budget. The cost-effective public transportation system and discounted student rates for cultural events further contribute to its appeal. Whether diving into historic neighborhoods or engaging in an internship program, Portugal emerges as a destination where the pursuit of knowledge and hands-on experience aligns with practical considerations, offering an economically viable yet culturally rewarding internship experience.

a train between buildings in Rossio, Lisbon, Portugal

5. Exciting Festivals

Portugal’s cuisine is a tantalizing culinary journey through a medley of flavors that captivate the senses. Celebrated for its abundance of fresh seafood, the country’s coastal proximity guarantees a menu brimming with the freshest catches. From the tasty salted cod dishes to the succulent grilled sardines, each bite tells a story of maritime heritage. The exploration of Portuguese cuisine extends to the aromatic wonders of traditional dishes such as Caldo Verde, a vibrant green soup, and Feijoada, a hearty bean stew—a reflection of the diverse tapestry woven from locally sourced ingredients. Essential to the experience is indulging in the country’s irresistible pastries, where the sweet ensemble is directed by the iconic Pastel de Nata. Accompanying these culinary delights are Portugal’s exceptional wines, ranging from the iconic Port wine to the refreshing Vinho Verde, creating a dining experience that embodies the essence of Portuguese culture—a celebration of flavors, life, and shared moments around the table.

6. Exciting Festivals

Portugal bursts into life with exciting festivals that showcase the nation’s vibrant spirit and cultural heritage. Among the eagerly anticipated events, Carnival takes center stage, transforming cities into vibrant spectacles of color, adorned with elaborate costumes, and lively parades that infuse an infectious spirit of festivity and celebration. For music enthusiasts, Fado festivals resonate with the soulful tunes of Portugal’s traditional music, filling historic districts with melodic and emotional performances. In the summer, the entire country participates in the joyous celebration of Santos Populares, marked by traditional music, street parties, and tantalizing local cuisine in honor of popular saints. The lively folklore festivals, such as Romaria, offer an immersive dive into Portugal’s rural traditions, featuring dance, music, and artisanal crafts. These festivals, held throughout the year, not only provide captivating entertainment but also serve as a unique opportunity for locals and visitors to unite, celebrating Portugal’s vibrant and diverse cultural identity.

7. Diverse Outdoor Activities

Portugal, with its beautiful landscapes and favorable climate, entices outdoor enthusiasts with countless activities tailored to every preference. Along the rugged coastline, surfers ride the Atlantic waves, and the stunning beaches of the Algarve extend a warm invitation to sunbathers and water sports enthusiasts alike. The lush Douro Valley provides a picturesque backdrop for hiking and wine tasting within terraced vineyards. Adventure seekers can explore the dramatic landscapes of the Azores, trekking through volcanic craters offering breathtaking coastal views. Cyclists can revel in the scenic routes of the Alentejo region, weaving through historic villages and olive groves. The Douro River sets a tranquil stage for kayaking, while Madeira’s diverse ecosystems attract nature lovers to its best hiking trails. From sun-soaked beaches to mountainous terrains, Portugal reveals itself as an outdoor playground where the possibilities mirror the diversity of its landscapes. With a range of activities catering to different interests, Portugal ensures there’s something to fill your leisure time with excitement and enjoyment.

The vineyards in Douro Valley, Portugal

8. Ease of Travel

Traveling through Portugal is a seamless and enjoyable experience, thanks to the country’s well-established and efficient transportation network. Whether you choose to travel by train, bus, or car, navigating the picturesque landscapes and historic cities is remarkably straightforward. Portugal’s expansive train network connects major cities and scenic regions, ensuring a comfortable and awe-inspiring journey. Complementing this, the bus system provides reliable and affordable transportation, catering to both urban and rural destinations. For those seeking more flexibility, renting a car opens up a world of exploration with well-maintained roads and clearly marked routes. Even within cities, efficient public transportation options, including trams and metros, simplify navigation through urban centers. The country’s compact size further enhances travel convenience, allowing you to explore diverse regions without lengthy commutes. Whether strolling through the charming streets of Lisbon, winding through the Douro Valley, relaxing on the Algarve coast, or immersing yourself in the captivating historical richness of Santarém, Portugal’s accessibility and ease of travel enhance the overall enjoyment of the journey.

Top NGO Internships in Portugal

Embarking on an internship journey in Portugal promises a distinctive and fulfilling experience, blending professional development with meaningful contributions to societal well-being. Portugal, with its rich cultural heritage and dedication to social causes, sets an ideal stage for interns aiming to make a positive impact. Engaging with NGOs in this dynamic European nation allows for the application of academic knowledge in real-world contexts, offering interns the chance to contribute to initiatives addressing pressing global challenges.

Whether you’re focused on environmental sustainability, community development, social justice, or animal welfare, interning with the top NGOs in Portugal presents a valuable opportunity to gain practical skills, enhance cross-cultural understanding, and actively contribute to ongoing efforts shaping a more equitable and sustainable future. Explore the diverse internship opportunities available at Roots to embark on a transformative journey of learning, growth, and impactful engagement.

1. Environmental Education Internship

Participating in an environmental education internship in Portugal as a foreigner offers a unique chance to integrate your passion for the environment with hands-on experience in a country recognized for its dedication to sustainability. Portugal, with its diverse ecosystems and a strong commitment to environmental conservation, serves as an optimal setting for interns eager to contribute to environmental education. It enables you to actively foster ecological awareness, develop educational programs, and collaborate with local communities to promote sustainable practices. In the course of your internship, you’ll undertake various tasks, including planning and delivering lessons to youth, developing curriculum frameworks, establishing youth groups, monitoring and evaluating educational programs, and assisting with general work. Beyond serving as a platform for applying theoretical knowledge in real-world contexts, this experience offers a chance to make a tangible impact on Portugal’s environmental ethos and contribute meaningfully to the global community’s commitment to sustainability.

2. Media Internship

Dive into a transformative experience by immersing yourself in a media internship, where your exploration of communication and advocacy aligns with impactful social initiatives. Portugal’s vibrant cultural diversity serves as an inspiring backdrop, encouraging interns to delve into media-related roles and effect tangible change. This internship provides a distinctive platform to refine your skills in storytelling, media production, and digital communication while contributing to meaningful causes. As an intern, you’ll actively engage with the NGO’s mission, crafting compelling narratives and utilizing media tools to amplify awareness and instigate positive change. Your responsibilities may include collecting content for a monthly TV show, operating various equipment to bring content to life, editing nature sounds, and assembling content to enhance audience engagement. This immersive experience not only enhances your media proficiency but also establishes a profound connection between your passion for communication and the NGO’s dedicated commitment to creating a lasting impact through volunteer opportunities in Portugal and beyond.

a woman sitting while using her laptop

3. Marketing and Fundraising Internship

Are you eager to enhance your skills in the realm of strategic promotion and impactful fundraising? If so, this marketing and fundraising internship awaits you with a wealth of benefits, promising a rich and dynamic experience in these pivotal areas. As an intern, you’ll gain exposure to a vibrant cultural landscape, providing valuable insights into diverse market dynamics and enabling you to tailor strategies effectively. Moreover, the internship offers practical experience in crafting and executing fundraising campaigns, exposing you to the intricacies of mobilizing resources for impactful initiatives. Working within Portugal’s social and cultural fabric, you’ll have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of effective communication strategies and donor engagement tactics. You’ll participate in tasks such as planning and creating content, building fundraising campaigns, researching funding options, and monitoring and evaluating data. Besides the professional development opportunities, this internship is a chance to contribute to significant causes, leaving a long-term effect while honing essential skills in the vibrant environment and culture of Portugal.

4. Veterinary Internship

Engaging in a veterinary internship with NGOs in Portugal offers a host of advantages, creating an immersive and enriching experience tailored for individuals aspiring to explore and build a career in veterinary medicine. Portugal’s rich biodiversity and varied ecosystems provide a distinctive setting, offering interns a unique opportunity to work with a variety of animal species. From farm animals in rural settings to domestic pets in urban areas and bird species in their natural habitats, interns encounter a broad spectrum of cases, contributing to a well-rounded understanding of veterinary practices.

As an intern, you’ll actively engage in a range of tasks, including nurturing and monitoring animals, conducting physical examinations of sick animals, administering treatments, and participating in decision-making processes. This hands-on approach not only enhances practical skills but also provides invaluable insights into the intricacies of veterinary medicine and practices, making this internship a comprehensive and enriching stepping stone toward a fulfilling career.

5. Reforestation and Conservation Internship

Nestled in the heart of Portugal’s environmental initiatives, a reforestation and conservation internship with an NGO extends a compelling invitation to interns to become stewards of the planet’s well-being. This volunteer opportunity in Portugal transcends the acquisition of practical skills; it positions interns as advocates for the environment. By joining this internship, you immerse yourself in the crucial realm of reforestation, actively contributing to the restoration of ecosystems, combating deforestation, and championing sustainable practices. As an intern, your responsibilities encompass the management and care of forest lands, data collection on various species, strategic planning to enhance forest biodiversity, and more. The hands-on experience unfolds as you participate in tree planting, engage in habitat restoration projects, and collaborate with environmental experts, fostering a profound understanding of conservation principles. This internship not only equips you with practical skills but also empowers you to play a pivotal role in the vital cause of environmental conservation.

Choosing an Internship in Portugal with Roots

Choosing an internship with Roots is a decisive step towards a transformative journey that intertwines professional growth with meaningful contributions to societal well-being. Root’s unwavering commitment to fostering impactful initiatives and providing enriching experiences sets the stage for a unique and fulfilling internship opportunity. Here, it’s more than just acquiring practical skills; it’s about becoming an integral part of a community dedicated to positive change, which is among the best reasons to do an internship in Portugal with the support of Roots. These diverse internships extend beyond traditional boundaries, offering you the chance to learn, explore, and actively contribute to initiatives addressing pressing global challenges. Whether your focus is on environmental sustainability, community development, or animal welfare, opting for an internship with Roots is an investment in a comprehensive and impactful professional and personal development experience.

What’s stopping you? Select your next internship destination right here and begin your exploration.

Get in Touch With Our Team to Get Started

This blog was written by Sophia Brown