Skip over navigation

The Brown-in-Brazil Program

(PUC-Rio de Janeiro)
Professor Luiz F. Valente, Director

One of the original Brown-sponsored foreign study programs, the Brown-in-Brazil Program was established in 1984 and was located at the Federal University of Bahia until 1990. In the fall of 1991 it moved to the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RIO), the oldest private institution of higher learning in Brazil and one of the top five Brazilian universities. Although adjustments are constantly being made in response to changing student needs, the Brown-in-Brazil Program has retained its unique features: five and a half months of instruction, as opposed to most other study-abroad programs in Brazil, which generally offer only four months; high academic standards; outstanding support services, including the close supervision by a local faculty coordinator as well as the comprehensive facilities of PUC-Rio's Office of International Programs (CCCI).

The program is designed for students who have the equivalent of at least three semesters of language instruction, preferably Portuguese 110 and Portuguese 400, plus at least one related course on Brazil in another discipline, such as Literature, History, Political Science, Sociology, Development Studies, Africana Studies, etc.

Although the Brown-in-Brazil Program was originally designed for Brown undergraduates, it is open to students from other universities. In the past the program has welcomed students from the following universities: Colorado, Columbia, Connecticut College, Cornell, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Middlebury, Mount Holyoke, Notre Dame, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Smith, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Vassar, Virginia, Washington, Wesleyan, and Yale.

Students participating in the Brown-in-Brazil Program have the option of spending the fall semester (August 1-December 15) or the full academic year (July 1-June 30) at PUC-Rio. The fall semester is preceded by a mandatory month-long, intensive orientation session (July 1-31), which is included in the semester tuition at no additional cost. The orientation session includes two modules: 1. Three weeks of intensive instruction in Portuguese language and Brazilian culture, with three hours of scheduled classes every day, additional lectures by various noted specialists twice a week, and field trips to historical towns like Paraty and Petrópolis, as well as within the city of Rio; and 2. A week-long seminar on Afro-Brazilian culture, held in Salvador, Bahia between the conclusion of the intensive course and the beginning of the academic semester, with airfare, hotel, lectures, field trips, and most meals covered by the program.

During the academic semester(s) Brown-in-Brazil students enroll in a maximum of four courses, to be chosen from the offerings of any unit of the university, provided that the appropriate prerequisites can be met. One of the courses may be replaced by an independent study. For Brown students these independent studies generally take the shape of a "Global Independent Study Project" or GLISP. Upon completion of the academic program, students are issued an official transcript documenting their work at PUC. Normally students are able to transfer up to the equivalent of four Brown courses per semester for participation in the program.

Additional trips as well as other program-specific events take place at various points in the academic semester. Among them is a dinner in early August with representatives from various organizations for the purpose of assisting participants in possibly securing unpaid internships or opportunities for volunteer work.

Participants are housed with local families. Although it is preferred that they will stay with their host families for the duration of the program, students are allowed to make alternative housing arrangements, such as apartments, after the first two months. All housing changes must be approved by the local coordinator and students must give their host families proper notice. Students from other universities who are participating in the program may need to secure permission from their home institutions to move into apartments.

The program is supervised by the Brown campus Director, Professor Luiz F. Valente, and by the local Coordinator at PUC-Rio, Professor Karl Erik Schøllhammer.

The Brown-in-Brazil Program was created by the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, which continues to have close involvement with its operation. The Brown-in-Brazil Program is the only program in Brazil supported by the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies.

The deadline for applications to the Brown-in-Brazil Program is March 1.

For more information about the Brown-in-Brazil Program, please contact Professor Valente or visit the Office for International Programs.