Brown in Brazil

At a Glance
City: Rio de Janeiro
Partner: Pontificia Universidade Católica
Housing: Host Families
Language requirement: POBS 0400
Calendar: Fall or Year
Accepts Non-Brown Students: Yes


As the second largest city in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro provides students with the opportunity to study in a lively and culturally diverse setting. Rio is considered one of the world’s most striking cities, situated between beaches on one side and a jutting mountain range on the other. In Rio, Brazil’s emotional and economic center, life is as varied as both landscape and culture, and equally vibrant and intense.


Brown's Brazil program begins with a month-long intensive orientation, which includes instruction in Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. Weekend field trips help orient students to the country. The program includes a week-long module on Afro-Brazilian Culture. Held in Salvador (Bahia) in early August, this module consists of lectures, workshops, and visits focusing on art, history, religion, music, dance, race relations, and politics.


Students in the Brown-in-Brazil program enroll in courses at Pontificia Universidade Católica (PUC-Rio). The first private institution of higher learning in Brazil, PUC-Rio enjoys a reputation as one of the top five universities in the country. Students benefit from its rigorous curriculum and direct engagement with Brazilian students.  

During the academic semester/year, students enroll in a maximum of four regular courses per semester at PUC (sixteen semester credit hours). All courses are taught in Portuguese. Subjects available to Brown participants include history, political science, literature, anthropology, economics, sociology, art history, and studio art.

Academic Calendar

NOTE: The academic calendar below is an approximation based on previous schedules and observances. Specific dates may vary.

  • Intensive Orientation Course starts in July
  • Full Year: early July - June 30
  • Fall Semester Only: early July- mid-December 


All students are initially housed with local families, who are selected by the program's on-site coordinator. Students are strongly encouraged to stay with their host families for the duration of the program.

After the orientation period, students may make alternate living arrangements, such as renting an apartment, with the consent and supervision of the program coordinator. Visiting non-Brown students may need additional consent from their home university. Students who opt to move are required to verify that they have met all financial obligations to their host family.

Application Instructions

Apply by the deadline using Brown's online application system via the "apply now" and "return to application" buttons on the right side of this page.  Applications typically require faculty recommendations so it is important to begin the process early.