Portugal. The best beaches and a thousand startups a year
I decided not to write the pros and cons in the expanded version. All this is very subjective, so everyone decides for himself.
I came to Portugal on a study visa at the University of the Algarve (Universidade de Algarve).
Algarve is a region in the south of Portugal, where there are many tourists, beaches, hotels, etc.
The university itself is pretty good and is located in a picturesque place and looks like this:
Universidade de Algarve
The cost of training in informatics engineering was about 1,500 euros per year, which by the standards of Europe is nothing. The quality of training is specifically in this area and at that time – from “very good” to “so-so”. Very good, because some professors were active employees of companies who knew modern things, plus they were very interesting, lively and gave a lot of practice. So-so, because not all professors spoke English (in 2 subjects the training was in the form: take lectures in English, read and there will be a test at the end of the year) and the organization of training for foreigners left much to be desired (the person responsible for our course was only called responsible, but in fact, achieving something from her was hard). A study visa gives you the opportunity to work, if you supplement it with a work permit, the main thing is that the work does not interfere with your studies. The studies for masters are mostly evening, and for a couple of months I found work in a small company that installs television and the Internet for hotels and private villas. Obtaining documents was not so easy, but if the employer does his part, then everything should go without special adventures. There are several companies in the Algarve that are engaged in development, but salaries are low, about 900-1000 euros net for Java middle. I lived for about a year in Faro – this is a city in the Algarve. There are very beautiful beaches, cozy cities, palm trees, the sensations of a resort, very nice and friendly people. The only problem is that in winter life freezes and there is nothing to do, nothing at all. Everything is closed or closes at 6 pm. Except one shopping center. Transport runs on weekends every 3 hours. In general, in winter you can go crazy with nothing to do, especially if you don’t have a car to go somewhere. After a year, I’m tired of all this. By that time, I had completed Java programming courses and started looking for work in Lisbon.
The search took some time, about 2 or 3 months. Basically, the salary or conditions did not fit, or did not want to take without the Portuguese language. As a result, I got a job as an intern at one large bank, which has a development office in Portugal. Further it was necessary to find housing. Everything is very bad in Lisbon.
Briefly about the housing problem in Lisbon
Lisbon itself is a controversial city. On the one hand, the city is very beautiful, quiet, comfortable for living and safe. On the other hand – dirty, graffiti walls, a bunch of immigrants and the homeless, some of which are not the most pleasant.
Now, actually, about IT
IT in Portugal is growing by leaps and bounds. That is about a thousand new startups a year, some of which are quite successfully working both in Portugal and around the world. Also, every year large companies come to Portugal, such as Siemens, Nokia (who does not know, Nokia is not only and not so much Chinese mobile phones, but telecommunications, 5G, etc.), Ericsson, KPMG, Accenture and so on. etc. Now they are talking about Amazon and Google, but so far it is not clear when. Each such company, which hires a lot at once, is given good tax preferences for 5 years, and there you will agree. Local IT specialists have a good education (in Portugal, education is generally good. By the way, do they still know that Harry Potter was expelled from Portuguese students in Coimbra?). Recently, smaller players have begun to create their own hubs for development here, like Mercedes, BMW, etc. In general, there is a company in any field that you may like.
But all this excitement is not just. Despite a good education, the Portuguese are in no hurry to ask for large salaries, so a middle with a salary of 1,200 euros net in Lisbon is a fairly common occurrence.
About taxes and salaries.
Also, Portugal has rather high taxes, with an income of 30 thousand a year – 34.6% will go to the state. With an increase in the amount, the percentage of tax will indecently rise. It will increase not only for you, but also for the employer, who pays social insurance and other taxes for each worker.