The Portuguese began travelling to all parts of the world as early as in the 13th century and knowledge exchange has been systematic since the early Discoveries period in the 15th century. Portugal is also known for its hospitality, shown over the centuries to people of all races and beliefs.
With advances in information and communication technology, the world has become smaller, and business is now done worldwide. As part of this process, universities are encouraging international student exchanges, and mobility programmes for students as well as for professors and researchers are growing in importance all over the world. Some, like the US Fulbright Program, have existed for more than 50 years, but many others have appeared in the framework of the European Union, such as ERASMUS, Leonardo Da Vinci, and others.
UTL's strategy is to maintain and increase its participation in international exchange programmes. ERASMUS has had the highest impact, with an annual average in the last five years of 800 exchanged students. Movement of researchers from and to UTL is quite common under various programmes and funding schemes.