On this page, you will learn everything you need to know as a student who will start at Forward College in September. Learn more about:

  • Academic Calendar
  • Accommodation in Lisbon
  • European Health Insurance Card
  • Visa Application for Non-EU students


Academic Calendar

Discover the key dates of the 2024-2025 academic year in Lisbon. 

Download the calendar


Book your accommodation

Forward College has a special agreement with Xior Benfica through which a certain number of rooms are blocked for Forward College students before they open their sales for students from other universities. Therefore, your room reservations are processed differently from students of other universities: it is done manually by Xior. 

 The available room options are: 

  • Good Suite – 700€
  • Super Suite – 720€
  • Boss Suite – 765€
  • Studios: from 835€

Please find more details on each room type here.

To book a room at the Student Residence Xior Benfica, please follow the following procedure:

1. Forward students will need to create a customer account at and fill it out with their personal data. This will allow Xior Benfica to have Forward students data registered in their system prior to the reservation.

2. Students must send an e-mail to including the following information:

  • that they are from Forward College
  • the user name they chose when creating the customer account
  • the e-mail address associated with the customer account
  • the type of room they want to book 
  • the respective rental period (11 or 12 months)

Please only send ONE email including all the required information mentioned in the bullet points above.

After Xior associates the reservation made by them to your customer account, you will receive an email with a link so that you can proceed with your reservation and payment. To make the reservation you will need to pay two rents (first and last months) and a security deposit of the same value of one month of rent. The security deposit is returned at the end of the stay if the room remains in good conditions.

After making the payment, you will receive a booking confirmation by email. Prior to your arrival you will also receive an email from Xior Benfica with the instructions for check-in.


European Health Insurance Card (for EU students)

As an EU national, you should have an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This is a free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during your stay under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as citizens who live in Lisbon, Paris or Berlin. EHICs are issued by your national health insurance provider. To find out how to apply from your country of residence, click on this link and follow the directions to order your card. 

However, if you want to have private insurance coverage, you can apply in your home country for private health insurance that has coverage in Portugal. This is probably the best option as it avoids facing bureaucracy when you get to Portugal. Although this is not compulsory, we strongly encourage Forward College students to apply, so please check with your private insurance.

But of course, you can also apply for private health insurance in Portugal, even though you will need to take care of some mandatory (and bureaucratic) steps before applying, such as getting a tax number in Portugal, for example. The cost is around EUR 30 monthly but it may vary depending on coverage).

All non-EU students must apply for private health insurance (they will need it for their Visa application). See more information about this below under the tab ‘Visa application for non-eu students’

Please contact Lisbon’s Campus Manager Eduardo Guerreiro ( if you would like further advice.

Visa Application for Non-EU students

As a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, you will need to apply for student visas and residence permits as you move across the Forward Campuses in the EU. The information below will help you navigate through the visa application process, but keep in mind that the process varies a lot across different countries and that you will need to follow through most of the steps by yourself, using the documents provided.

Depending on where you are applying from, it can take from a few weeks to three months for a student visa to be processed. Therefore, start your visa application as soon as possible, ideally as soon as you receive your Letter of Acceptance from Forward College. This will be sent to you once you accept your offer and pay for your deposit. We strongly recommend that you submit your visa application at least two months before your scheduled arrival date. 

Important: If you are applying late, and there is the possibility that your visa will not arrive on time for the start of the semester, make sure to contact the campus manager Eduardo Guerreiro so that we can make accommodations based on your case.

In order to come to Portugal as a student, you have the choice between applying for a Temporary stay E6-visa or a Residency D4-Visa:

  • Temporary stay visa for Bachelor’s Study purposes (E6)

Your Temporary stay visa will allow you to enter and stay in Portugal for up to one year. If you are the holder of a Temporary visa, the advantage is that you won’t need to change your Visa to a Residence Permit when you arrive, but the downsides of the E6 are that i) it won’t allow you to have a part-time job while in Portugal ii) and that you must  return to your home country in order to request a visa for France after your time in Portugal.

  • Long stay (more than 1 year) residency visa for Bachelor’s Study purposes (D4)

Your Residency Visa will be valid for four months. During that period, please note you will only be allowed two entries and will be required to request a Residence Permit with the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA), which will replace your visa. Important in this case is that when you receive your D4-Visa, you should automatically have an appointment with the AIMA scheduled for you. Make sure you have this information, because it will spare you a lot of headache. The D4 Visa allows you to have a part-time job in Portugal and it may facilitate the process of getting a Visa to France as you might start the Visa process while in Portugal and doesn’t necessarily make you travel to your home country before moving to Paris.

→ You can find out more about the different types of visas on this website.

Here is an outline of how your application process is going to look like (once again, be aware that this process varies according to your country, and therefore it is important to check your official country specific information):

1 – Receive your Letter of Acceptance (you cannot apply without it.)

2 – Find out where to submit your application on the official website.

3 – Follow the instructions given by the institution to which you are submitting your visa.

Usually the visa application steps will be:

4 – Schedule an appointment/interview

5 – Compile the documents needed and pay the required fees

6 – Attend the interview

7 – Wait for your visa to be processed

You can find the full list of the documents required to apply on the official website of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the E-Visa and for the D-Visa.

  • Higher Education students need to present, as an additional document, proof that they have been accepted for the study program and that they have enough financial resources to attend such a program. In your case, this document is going to be your Attestation of Enrolment, signed by Forward, as well as the proof of the payment of your deposit (and the proof that you are the recipient of a financial aid offer document, if that is your case).

→ For more information about visas, check the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the official AIMA website.

→ For any problems relating to visa procedures, contact the Campus Manager Eduardo Guerreiro.

Residence Permits

The information below only applies to holders of D-type Residence Visas or to non-EU/EFTA citizens who entered Portugal without a visa. Holders of a Temporary Visa (E6) do not need a residence Permit.

Holders of a residence D-Type Visa are only allowed two entries in Portugal during three months. During that period, the visa has to be replaced by a Residence Permit after an interview with the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA).

Under the Immigration Law, AIMA is now obliged to automatically book you an appointment for an interview, when a positive decision is made regarding a request for a residence visa. Once you receive your D-Visa make sure to take note of the date of the appointment for your residence permit request interview.

If you do not have a visa (eg. holders of other Schengen residence permits), or if you were not automatically booked an appointment when you obtained your visa, then upon your arrival in Portugal you must contact AIMA (only by phone) and request an appointment to apply for your residence permit. We recommend that you do this very soon after your arrival, rather than risk leaving it until near your expiry date, as there is a long waiting time of up to three to four months.

Schengen Travel Insurance (for non-EU students)

If you need a visa to travel to Europe, you will have to get travel insurance. This is a mandatory part of the visa application process. If you do not have a valid travel health insurance policy, the Embassy will automatically reject your request for a visa.

As it is required at embassies for the visa application, most insurance companies (e.g. MondialCare, AXA, Europ Assistance) offer policies designed specifically to meet the Schengen travel health requirements. When you apply for a visa, the Embassy will ask to see proof of a purchased Schengen travel health insurance plan. This usually goes by the name of “travel insurance certificate” and your insurance company will give it to you when you subscribe to one of their plans.

Your plan should cover these basic costs: cost of medical treatment (in-patient and out-patient medical treatment, doctor visits, hospitalisation, surgery, prescription medication, emergency dental care), cost of repatriation or evacuation (if you become gravely ill or get into a serious accident which requires medical attention from your home country, travel insurance covers the cost of repatriation). This is what a basic policy has to cover to be valid for a visa application.

Please note that some insurance companies offer additional, more comprehensive coverage, such as insurance for your trip or liability. The cost of travel insurance can vary greatly depending on your individual circumstances. The minimal coverage has to be for the whole Schengen area and have the mininum coverage of 30 Euros. A basic coverage plan for 1 year is estimated between EUR 200 and 500.

Please note that this requirement may be waived in the case of a Bilateral/International Agreement between Portugal and the country of origin concerning medical assistance that qualifies certain beneficiaries with recognized insurance, as for example in the case of Brazil (PB4) and the United Kingdom (S1). Reference

→ Find out more about the Schengen travel insurance below: