Officially open in April (but slowly opening since September 2020), United Lisbon, Lisbon’s new international school, quickly won over the growing community of high-income Brazilian families in the Portuguese capital.
Brazilians and Chinese compete for second place among the nationalities most represented in the institution, one of the few to offer the American program in Portugal.
With classes entirely in English, an international team of teachers, and subjects ranging from music to programming languages, tuition starts at 9.8 thousand euros (approximately R $ 62.4 thousand), for the first years of early childhood education, and can reach 20.6 thousand euros (R $ 131,000) at the end of the secondary equivalent.
To ensure mastery of the Camões language, students attend frequent Portuguese lessons, following a curriculum very similar to what is the traditional curriculum of Portuguese schools.
One of the school classrooms | Photo: Francisco Nogueira / Disclosure
The increase in Brazilian demand for bilingual education coincides with the arrival of more Brazilian families with high purchasing power in Portugal. In other international educational institutions, Brazilians also tend to feature in the ranking of major nationalities.
The United Lisbon project directly targets young international families who have arrived in the country. In 2020, despite the pandemic, Portugal surpassed the mark of 700,000 foreign residents: the highest record in the historical series.
With the country consolidating as a tech hub and the arrival of offices of big tech companies, the trend, analysts say, is for demand for international education to remain heated.
“It was clearly recognized that not having an international school in central Lisbon was an obstacle to foreign direct investment in the region,” says Chitra Stern, founder of United Lisbon International School.
The school is part of the Edu Hub project, an investment of 50 million euros (approximately R $ 317 million) which transforms an industrial zone into an educational hub.
Graphic design of Edu Hub, a 50 million euro project in the Parque das Nações area, in Lisbon | Photo: Disclosure
The complex also has residences and an office space. The first resident company, which moved in early May, is the Brazilian Atlantic Hub, specializing in the internationalization of companies from Brazil to Europe.
The Edu Hub initiative is driven by the Elegant Group, the Chitra and Roman Stern couple, owners of the Martinhal hotel brand, famous in Europe for “family” luxury.