FLAD and the four partner universities signed on Wednesday the renewal of the Study in Portugal Network Program protocol, a program of the Foundation that promotes the exchange of American students in Portuguese universities.

The pandemic has limited the movements of all of us between geographical areas, naturally affecting the arrival of foreign students to Portugal. FLAD, together with partner universities – Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Universidade de Lisboa, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, and ISCTE-IUL – continued to work and the result is already in sight.

The renewed protocol was signed on Wednesday by the Executive Council of FLAD, representing Rita Faden, President, Elsa Henriques and James Kelly, Administrators, and the Deans of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Universidade de Lisboa, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, and the Vice-Rector of ISCTE-IUL, at an event held at the Foundation’s headquarters, in Lisbon.

“We have to start preparing for the future, and that’s why we’re here, because we believe that this protocol is an important step in enabling us to grow and gain scale,” explained by Rita Faden at the opening of the “Evolve to Grow” event.

Elsa Henriques, FLAD’s Administrator, presented the news and made a state of affairs about the evolution in the five years of the program, noting that in this period SiPN has already brought to Portugal more than a thousand North-American students.

“We have to grow, but we can only grow with universities. Lisbon at this point. Evolution time will tell. There is a very great potential that is not exploited.” – Elsa Henriques, FLAD’s administrator. 

The meeting was also attended by the directors of the SiPN’s partner universities and schools, and representatives of the United States Embassy in Lisbon, who praised the role of FLAD and the program, expressing the embassy’s support in the SiPN mission.

“We also pose the same question, why aren’t more Americans coming here, as this is an amazing place to live and learn from? We will continue to work on increasing these numbers. (…) Every time we are here, with this beautiful climate and in this beautiful neighborhood, we are reminded that Portugal is still in fashion, and for all the reasons.” – Kristin M. Kane, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Portugal.

The Minister of Science closed the event, stressing the importance of study abroad, both for Portuguese students and teachers who choose to obtain a period of their academic career abroad, as well as the importance for Portuguese universities of receiving foreign students in Portugal.

Manuel Heitor also stressed the importance of FLAD in renewing its commitment to a program in an area so affected by the pandemic.

“It is above all a recognition, especially at a time when FLAD insists on mobility between people, in particular students and researchers. It is an act of courage, and something that is increasingly part of our position of being in the world” – Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education.

The Program keeps applications open for the spring semester of 2021. More information here.