Lisbon-PortoWeek-Long Study Tour | Economics Program

Portugal was one of the earliest driving forces in globalization since the Age of Discovery. Now, this week-long Study Tour to Lisbon and Porto brings us to the heart of globalization in a modern context. We will journey through the history of the country’s development and see for ourselves how Portugal is establishing itself as one of Europe’s top FDI destinations and a driving force for tech and innovation, with several global companies now calling it home.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to experience the unique culture of one of Europe’s oldest cities – Lisbon. While Lisbon is historically a global trading center, it faced turmoil for decades, culminating in the country’s EU and IMF bailout in 2011. The recent recovery of the Portuguese economy has attracted attention and investment from some of the world’s largest companies. Today, Lisbon is the home of technology hubs for acclaimed, modern corporations such as Google, Amazon, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen, while also serving as a vibrant, young, hub for digital nomads. The city boasts panoramic views, spectacular architecture, a seaside location, and much more.

Porto has also become a magnet for FDI in recent years, even earning the title of ‘Europe’s best large city for FDI strategy’ by the Financial Times in 2023. Portugal produces 50% of the world’s cork supply and Porto is home to one its oldest cork manufacturers, exporting globally. During our tour we will visit the culture at the heart of this impressive country and unlock the stories of both colonial and modern globalization at play.

Tour Objectives

  • Trace the legacy of mercantilism in seventeenth-century Portugal
  • Investigate the strategies and outcomes underpinning Portugal's ever-evolving economic situation, looking at the causes and impacts of economic turmoil and the growth of Portugal’s economy from 'PIGS' status to a popular magnet for international investment
  • Study modern and historical leaders and entrepreneurs in Lisbon, searching for the keys to good leadership and strategic planning
  • Visit firms to learn about the methods and strategies of modern corporations based in Lisbon
  • Learn about Portugal's ‘Golden visa’ and ‘Digital Nomad visa’ schemes and the goal of attracting affluent, highly skilled individuals from across the globe

Possible Activities

  • Visit national public institutions such as the National Bank of Portugal, Invest Porto, Assembleia da Republica, the University of Lisbon, and the University of Porto
  • Take a walking tour through historical Lisbon to see early globalization brought to life by spots such as the Toree de Belém, the launch site major world navigators at the time
  • Meet with companies of varying sizes that are involved in Portugal’s economic evolution to hear about their journey in growing on a global scale
  • Visit a nomad coworking space
  • Explore a port wine vineyard and distillery, as well as a cork museum, to understand Portugal’s world of wine, a major global export