Office of International Programs

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 cultural center, life is varied, 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. This module is provided in cooperation with the Brazilian-American Cultural Association. 


All courses are taught in Portuguese. Students in the Brown-in-Brazil program enroll in courses at Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC-Rio). The first private institution of higher learning in Brazil, PUC-Rio enjoys a reputation as one of the top research universities in the country. Brown-in-Brazil students benefit from its rigorous curriculum and direct engagement with Brazilian students.  Participants develop their individualized course of study in consultation with the Brown Program Director and on-site Program Coordinator. Students may pursue academic interests in areas as varied as history, politics, environmental studies, international relations, literature, economics, education, art history, and studio art.

During the academic semester/year, students enroll in four regular courses (sixteen semester credit hours) per semester at PUC, including a mandatory Portuguese language course, which is designed to bring students’ formal language skills to the highest possible level. Courses in all PUC departments are open to Brown-in-Brazil participants, provided the necessary prerequisites can be met.

Academic Calendar

Approximate dates are provided based on past semesters; students should expect program dates to vary by year.  

  • 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.

On-Site Support

The Brown-in-Brazil program is managed by the Brown Program Director and a local program coordinator who coordinate orientation, advising, and housing. 

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. 

Grant Opportunities

Our grant database offers a wide range of funding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and researcher in different fields of work.

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