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Internet as a Tool for Immigrant Integration in Portugal

After moving to Portugal, the internet can be a great tool for your integration in the country! It’s very common to meet people, learn languages or get to know a country’s traditions online nowadays. So good internet access is definitely critical.

Come find out how the internet can be used to improve your inclusion and overall living experience in Portugal!

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
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Expat integration in Portugal

The Portuguese government has taken many steps to help immigrants get integrated into Portuguese society! The establishment of the Portuguese National Immigrant Assistance Centre (CNAI) is one of the most significant initiatives performed in recent years. This center strives to give numerous services to immigrants, such as language classes, legal advice, and social support. This is an even greater option when combined with all the possibilities the internet provides you with.

Most major cities organize expat-specific events, also. InterNations is a good website to find out when the next activity will take place in your city. These types of events range anywhere from getting drinks after work hours to guided tours through specific areas. 

How you can use the internet to get integrated in Portugal

As previously stated, certain organizations arrange events for expats, especially in Porto and Lisbon. Connecting with people that are or have been in your situation is never a bad start – you’ll be met with empathy and can bond over your experiences of immigration. Apart from these events, something that can be very useful is Facebook and WhatsApp groups. Try to look for something specific so that you’ll have as many things in common as possible, e.g: ‘Spanish people in Portugal’, ‘Brazilians in Braga’ or ‘British retirees in the Algarve’. After you’ve found “your people”, it’ll be easier to face integration together.

Social media in general is a great tool to delve into a country’s culture and people. Try to follow Portuguese accounts and pages on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok – it’ll give you great insights.

Staying in touch with family

Internet connections can also assist immigrants in staying in touch with family and friends back home. This is especially crucial for those who are homesick and feel alone in a new nation. Immigrants may keep connected with loved ones and preserve relationships of every kind by using social media and video conferencing capabilities. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are the most popular mediums for this in Portugal. 

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How the Internet can help you learn Portuguese

By following Portuguese accounts on social media, you can not only learn a lot about the culture, but also get a great understanding of the language, especially more colloquial conversation terms, expressions and accents.

Language learning websites (such as Duolingo, Babbel and Busuu) can also be great, especially when it comes to vocabulary.

Portugal Telecom Services

In recent years, the status of communication services in Portugal has greatly improved. The Portuguese government has made significant investments in the development of the country’s communication infrastructure, resulting in high-speed internet access throughout the country. In terms of internet speed and broadband coverage, Portugal is among the top countries in Europe, but we would still recommend that you test the internet coverage in the area you plan to stay in, just in case.

Portugal’s telecom providers include three significant players: MEO, NOS, and Vodafone. These companies provide a variety of services, such as mobile and fixed-line internet, television, and phone service. The competition among these providers has resulted in lower rates for customers, with several bundles and plans available to meet a variety of demands, or as they are known in Portugal – “Pacotes TV Net Voz”.

Yet, despite advancements in communication services in Portugal, there are still issues that must be addressed. The digital divide, which refers to the difference between those who have access to technology and those who do not, is one of the most serious concerns. 

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