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I currently live in Brazil with my Brazilian wife. In a few years time, when our kids are 4/5/6/7, we are going to move back to Europe to escape the ridiculous amount of crime here, and to give our kids a better education and not have to pay hundreds of reais in private health insurance every month.

Since we're all bilingual English/Portuguese, the most obvious destinations are the UK or Portugal (we know there's a BIG difference in accent and more between EU-PT and BR-PT but are confident in getting over that). We both work as freelancers from home so jobs are no issue wherever we live. We're thinking about Portugal because we want to live somewhere rural with a couple of acres of land and that is SOOOO much cheaper in Portugal! Actually it's unaffordable in the UK for us. Plus, we really would prefer the Portuguese weather.

A couple of questions -

Since this move is largely related to the benefit of our kids, how does crime, [state] education and [state] healthcare compare to the UK? Would we be depriving our kids by choosing Portugal over England? Bear in mind all three are awful in Brazil so Portugal will definitely be a significant improvement. State education at Primary/Secondary level is really what we know nothing about in Portugal, quality-wise.

How to find somewhere to live? We plan to visit multiple times, but it's still a whole country, where to start!? Location is irrelevant to our jobs. We want rural, with acreage but near enough to small towns with schools, supermarkets, etc. We like the mountains (perhaps near Coimbra) but also love the coast (somewhere around Caldas da Rainha maybe, or anywhere along the silver coast?). Inland I'm sure we could get more bang for our buck, though.

We're not interested in expat communities and our budget is not huge so algarve is probably a no I imagine.

Any help would be hugely appreciated! :)
 

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Nobody? :(

If anybody has kids at state schools there it would be great to hear how you feel state education in Portugal compares to the UK!
 

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I can't comment about education but can say the PT NHS beats the heck out of the UK version from my experience.

As to area, if it'll help, something in the region of €50k and upwards will buy you a smallish but habitable house with land in many parts of the central zone.

Thanks. It's good to know about the health service, since what with us bringing kids, that and education are both important.

Re: property, that's what I'd noticed so far in my search too. I think Coimbra and the surrounding areas will have to be our first visit.
 

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Hello Caju,

As to your question about primary/secondary schools in Portugal, I would say they compare well to schools anywhere. I am speaking as far as quality of education is concerned, and how well they prepare you for adult life.
However, one serious limitation is school budget; they seem to have no money for anything beyond the bare minimum. So, walls need paint, buildings need repair, etc. Teachers salaries are also at a minimum, so that aspect of the education system is very weak.
When we arrived here from South Africa in 2006, our pre-teen kids spoke only English, but the schools gave extra help to get them speaking Portuguese fluently, very quickly. So, your kids speaking Brazilian Portuguese will have no language trouble at all.
Overall, I would not let your children's education hold you back from moving to Portugal, as they can do as well here as they could anywhere else, in my opinion.
All the best to you and yours!
 

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I recently moved from Lisbon to Lousa near Coimbra and there are several modern schools including a new primary school and a new medical centre and the university hospital in Coimbra is rated as one of the best in Europe. A visit to my English speaking doctor costs 5€. My Portuguese neighbour's children 11 and 15 both speak good English as do most of their friends. There are several properties for sale in my village in good repair for as little as 39.000€ here is the link to the agent who sold me my property Property Shop Portugal
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello Caju,

As to your question about primary/secondary schools in Portugal, I would say they compare well to schools anywhere. I am speaking as far as quality of education is concerned, and how well they prepare you for adult life.
However, one serious limitation is school budget; they seem to have no money for anything beyond the bare minimum. So, walls need paint, buildings need repair, etc. Teachers salaries are also at a minimum, so that aspect of the education system is very weak.
When we arrived here from South Africa in 2006, our pre-teen kids spoke only English, but the schools gave extra help to get them speaking Portuguese fluently, very quickly. So, your kids speaking Brazilian Portuguese will have no language trouble at all.
Overall, I would not let your children's education hold you back from moving to Portugal, as they can do as well here as they could anywhere else, in my opinion.
All the best to you and yours!
I recently moved from Lisbon to Lousa near Coimbra and there are several modern schools including a new primary school and a new medical centre and the university hospital in Coimbra is rated as one of the best in Europe. A visit to my English speaking doctor costs 5€. My Portuguese neighbour's children 11 and 15 both speak good English as do most of their friends. There are several properties for sale in my village in good repair for as little as 39.000€ here is the link to the agent who sold me my property

Thanks guys, you've really helped.

I just hope the property market stays as it is because our move won't be for a few years yet!
 

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Welcome, I used to live/work in Belém do Pará but assume you are somewhere in the South. The public education systems in both UK and Portugal are both good but variable. A big generalization but, from the UK school league tables, the more expensive areas have better achieving secondary schools so your income will determine the quality of your children's education. For a modest 4 bedroom house in a nice area of Surrey at today's exchange rate try upwards from 700,000 euro whilst in Nottingham they can be less then 250,000 euro. One of the overriding topics in the UK is getting into the "catchment" areas of good schools. The employment opportunities in the UK are much better then Portugal. Looking at Coimbra it has many fine secondary schools and is the oldest University town (city) and has everything you would need for living and with housing much cheaper then the UK but a good proportion of iit's University graduates (and others) have to leave Coimbra if they wish to have careers in their chosen field.
 

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I have been here just over a year and have 3 little ones too. The oldest here is just 7, middle is 5 and youngest is just 2. I live near Torres Vedras and the two older ones go to a newly built kindergarden & first school which has taken over the roll of several little village schools.
Education was a big concern of mine before we moved here but I now have nothing but praise for the teachers. My son has had some difficulties but all the team have worked together and he is now making good progress. None of my children could speak PT so I'm sure yours will cope just fine.
My Irish neighbours have been here over 20 years and their children have gone through the state system just fine too. Two have well respected jobs and the youngest is studying in lisbon uni.
One thing I guess you need to ask about is good internet access for your work?
Good luck with the move and feel free to ask mr anything more about education.
 

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Thanks everyone, it's been helpful. Sounds promising, and education there will be infinitely better than it is here in Brazil, of that I'm sure!

Yeah, reliable internet is a must for our work, so is gonna be an important factor, especially as we want to live in the countryside. Knowing how much of a pain that could be makes me not even want to think about it just yet!
 

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As the internet has no problem, much of the interior has optical fiber with good and reliable speeds.

Education through I know schools are good and even in higher education courses have been improving for what they say many multinational companies have to hire, engineers, nurses, doctors, trained in Portuguese universities.

Coimbra has a big beautiful university in historical terms is 45 minutes away from me, has good hospitals (probably the best in the country public) and good private hospitals as well.
 
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