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Quick Info

Quick Info

By Term

  • Fall 2014
  • Fall 2015
  • Spring 2015
  • Spring 2016
  • Academic year 2014-2015
  • Academic year 2015-2016
  • Calendar year 2015
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Dates:
07/15/2014 - 12/14/2014
Deadlines:
03/15/2014
Credit:
18 - 20 semester / 27 - 30 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
Dates:
TBA
Deadlines:
04/01/2015
Credit:
18 - 20 semester / 27 - 30 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
Dates:
01/04/2015 - 06/28/2015 *
Deadlines:
10/01/2014
Credit:
18 - 20 semester / 27 - 30 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
Dates:
TBA
Deadlines:
10/01/2015
Credit:
18 - 20 semester / 27 - 30 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
Dates:
07/15/2014 - 06/28/2015 *
Deadlines:
03/15/2014
Credit:
see credit information below
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
Dates:
TBA
Deadlines:
04/01/2015
Credit:
see credit information below
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
Dates:
01/04/2015 - TBA *
Deadlines:
10/01/2014
Credit:
see credit information below
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
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Study Abroad in Rio de Janeiro
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Program Overview

Program Overview

Just imagine studying sustainability in a country home to 30 percent of the world’s rain forests. CIEE takes you there. On our Environment and Sustainability Studies program in Rio de Janeiro, you’ll dive into some of mankind’s greatest issues, studying everything from biology to urban planning in the most biodiverse country on the planet. Improve your Portuguese, see an endangered animal or two up close, and make a difference while you’re at it.

Study abroad in Rio de Janeiro and you’ll:

  • Live in a vibrant, culturally rich city and global capital of environmental sustainability and sustainable development
  • Enroll directly in courses at one of Brazil’s most prestigious universities
  • Explore the city and country through a series of excursions and guided visits
  • Take advantage of engagement opportunities at environmental organizations such as the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS), Brazilian Institute for Engineering, Architecture, and Environmental Protection (IBEA), SOS Mata Atlantica, Greenpeace, and more
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Scholarships & Grants

Scholarships & Grants

We want as many students as possible to benefit from studying abroad. That’s why CIEE awards more than $3 million every year – more than any other international educational organization – to make study abroad affordable.

Applicants to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

To be considered, simply check the “Scholarships and Grants” box on your program application.
Apply now

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The CIEE Difference

The CIEE Difference

Coursework

Before you start the regular semester or year, you’ll participate in our monthlong Intensive Portuguese Language and Culture Program (ILCP). This unique language program – designed specifically for international students – combines with exciting cultural immersion activities to help you develop a higher level of Portuguese language fluency, and gain a critical appreciation of Brazilian life and society.

You’ll then choose your courses from a robust selection at one of the country’s top universities. Courses and subjects at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) include environmental law and ethics, conservation and sustainability, environmental risk analysis, geohistory, planning, land management, and more.

Community Engagement

study abroad in Brazil

During your time in Rio, we arrange individual and group community engagement activities with a variety of local NGOs, schools, organizations, and communities. These projects are designed to give you a firsthand look at the environmental and social challenges facing Rio and its surrounding areas. Working with community centers in squatter neighborhoods on the fringe of the Tijuca National Park or the edge of Guanabara Bay, you’ll share your passion for sustainability with underprivileged children. You’ll also inspire youth to recycle with Sister Fatima in the Ladeira dos Tabajaras favela, and help with neighborhood cleanup in Rio.

Excursions

On a three-day trek through Serra da Bocaina National Park and a hike on Cabritos mountain, keep an eye out for endangered species, majestic waterfalls, and well-earned views of Rio. You’ll explore the underbelly of the city, too, taking drum lessons in a favela. Working with the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Brazilian Institute for Engineering, Architecture, and Environmental Protection, and Greenpeace merits some tai chi chuan lessons on the beach, don’t you think? You’ll also go on tours of Rio, guided visits to the city’s numerous national museums, and tours of historical neighborhoods; attend soccer matches; participate in Carnival; and so much more.

Fieldwork

Local field activities will give you hands-on experience. You might monitor inequality in state-provided water supply and sewage systems, or learn about the politics of squatter settlements on protected land. You might also go on expert-led daytrips to areas of biological and sustainability interest in and around Rio.

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Dates, Deadlines & Fees

Dates, Deadlines & Fees

We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.

The program fee includes:

  • Tuition and housing
  • Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
  • Full-time program leadership and support
  • Field trips and cultural activities
  • CIEE iNext travel card, which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
Program
Application Due
Start Date
End Date
Costs
Fall 2014 (22 wks)
03/15/2014
07/15/2014
12/14/2014

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

Estimated Additional Costs

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

More Information
Fall 2015
04/01/2015
TBA
TBA
$18,850

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$15,172
Housing ***
$3,265
Insurance
$113

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes breakfast

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee
$1,750
International Airfare *
$1,550
Local Transportation
$750
Books & Supplies
$200
Visa Fees **
$270
Potential travel to consulate for visa
$500
Personal expenses
$1,300
Other ***
$200

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

** average cost

*** local government registration

More Information
Spring 2015 (25 wks)
10/01/2014
01/04/2015
06/28/2015
$18,850

Program Date Notes

Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$15,172
Housing ***
$3,265
Insurance
$113

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes breakfast

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee
$1,750
International Airfare *
$1,550
Local Transportation
$750
Books & Supplies
$200
Visa Fees **
$270
Potential travel to consulate for visa
$500
Personal expenses
$1,300
Other ***
$200

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

** average cost

*** local government registration

More Information
Spring 2016
10/01/2015
TBA
TBA

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

Estimated Additional Costs

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

More Information
Academic year 2014-2015 (50 wks)
03/15/2014
07/15/2014
06/28/2015

Program Date Notes

Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

Program Fees

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

Estimated Additional Costs

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

More Information
Academic year 2015-2016
04/01/2015
TBA
TBA
$35,800

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$28,857
Housing ***
$6,530
Insurance
$113

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes breakfast

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee
$3,500
International Airfare *
$1,550
Local Transportation
$1,500
Books & Supplies
$400
Visa Fees **
$270
Potential travel to consulate for visa
$500
Personal expenses
$2,600
Other ***
$200
Expenses during break ****
$1,400

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

** average cost

*** local government registration

**** academic year students are responsible for housing and meals during the semester break, which is approximately two months

More Information
Calendar year 2015
10/01/2014
01/04/2015
TBA
$35,800

Program Date Notes

Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$28,857
Housing ***
$6,530
Insurance
$113

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes breakfast

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee
$3,500
International Airfare *
$1,550
Local Transportation
$1,500
Books & Supplies
$400
Visa Fees **
$270
Potential travel to consulate for visa
$500
Personal expenses
$2,600
Other ***
$200
Expenses during break ****
$600

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

** average cost

*** local government registration

**** calendar year students are responsible for housing and meals during the semester break

More Information
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Eligibility
2.75 Overall GPA

Eligibility

  • Overall GPA 2.75
  • 2 semesters Portuguese or 4 semesters Spanish coursework or equivalent required
  • One prior course in environmental studies, sustainability studies, or environmental science required; two semesters recommended.
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Recommended Credit

Recommended Credit

Total recommended credit for the semester program is 18-20 semester/27-30 quarter hours. PUC-Rio courses typically comprise 60 contact hours, and 4 semester / 6 quarter credit hours.

The Intensive Language and Culture course is 90 contact hours and recommended credit is 6 semester / 9 quarter hours. The semester Portuguese Language courses are 90 contact hours at the Beginner / Intermediate levels (for 6 semester / 9 quarter hours) and 60 contact hours (4 semester / 6 quarter hours) at the Advanced level. Most regular university content courses are 60 contact hours and recommended credit is 4 semester / 6 quarter hours per course.

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Program Requirements

Program Requirements

The program requires all students to enroll in:

  • 6 credits – Intensive Portuguese Language in the pre-semester ILCP
  • 4-6 credits – Portuguese as a Second Language course during the semester
  • 8 credits – two direct enrollment courses (4 credits each) instructed in Portuguese during the semester

Academic year students, and students continuing from one CIEE study abroad program in Brazil to another for the academic year, are not required to repeat the ILCP in January. However, many academic year students understand the importance of continuing their Portuguese studies during the semester break and may wish to participate in a more advanced ILCP course.

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About the City

About The City

Rio de Janeiro ("January River”) is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area in South America. The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries during the Portuguese colonial era. Rio is nicknamed the Cidade Maravilhosa or "Marvelous City" thanks to its dynamic urban vibe, expansive beaches, and abutting rain forest. Rio represents the second largest GDP in the country and is the headquarters of major Brazilian companies. It's home to many universities, and the second largest center of research and development in Brazil.

Rio is the most visited city in the southern hemisphere and is known for its natural setting, Carnival celebrations, samba, Bossa Nova, and renowned beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema. Rio’s iconic landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and Maracanã stadium, one of the world's largest football stadiums. Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

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Meet The Staff

Meet The Staff

Staff Image

Matt Ryan

Resident Administrative Director

Matt Ryan began his work with CIEE in 2003, working with incoming high school and university programs. In April of 2008 he joined the CIEE Brazil team in Salvador da Bahia where he has worked on everything from community service programs, cultural activities, local enrollment and advising for CIEE students. He has been instrumental in the conception and creation of the Rio study center and programs. Before joining CIEE in 2003, Matt lived in Rio de Janeiro teaching English both as a volunteer and for a local school. He is originally from Rochester, New York and graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a B.A. in Sociology.

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Landing by airplane, visitors to Rio de Janeiro are immediately captivated by the city’s stunning landscape. Few places in the world can offer the dramatic natural beauty of Rio de Janeiro: golden beaches, stunning granite mountains, and green tropical forest all set together within a modern metropolis of almost eight million people. Its natural beauty is what has always attracted so many people to Rio de Janeiro, but it is the people, their inexhaustible joie de vivre, and their rich cultural history that inevitably stays with those who have had the pleasure of knowing the city. Rio de Janeiro is in the midst of adding another exciting chapter to its rich 500 year history by making monumental strides in confronting the complex social issues that developed in the city during the 20th century. The city is being a looked to by much of the developing world as a model for social and economical development.

CIEE`s Winter Intensive Language and Culture program offers students an opportunity not only to study in a spectacular cultural and historic environment but also to study and learn Portuguese at one of Brazil’s most prestigious private universities, PUC Rio. With the 2014 World Cup Finals and the 2016 Olympics steadily approaching, the Cariocas (people from Rio de Janeiro) are anxiously awaiting and preparing to show the rest of the world why their city has long earned its nickname as the ‘Cidade Maravilhosa.’

--Matt Ryan - Resident Administrative Director

Staff Image

Fernanda Gray

Resident Coordinator

Fernanda Gray was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro. While studying International Relations, she went to the US as an exchange student and the experience changed her life. After 11 years of studying and working in Washington state she decided to return to her roots in Rio. As resident coordinator, Fernanda administers homestays and helps to create and organize activities for CIEE students. She loves hiking, biking, going on long walks and spending time on the beach as well as visual arts and live music. For Fernanda, moving back to Rio was essential to enjoying her hobbies and an outdoor life style.

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Staff Image

Sean McIntyre

Resident Academic Coordinator

With a doctorate from Stanford University in German Studies, Sean McIntyre, Ph.D., subsequently taught freshman humanities at Stanford from 2003 to 2006 and Brazilian Portuguese from 2006 to 2007 as a visiting lecturer. Sean was also active as a research associate at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, from 2008 to 2013. Since 2006 Sean has taught Brazilian Portuguese and undergraduate general humanities courses at several colleges and universities in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in 2007 he received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to study Brazilian literature at the University of São Paulo-Campinas (UNICAMP) and to develop a university-level Brazilian literature course. In 2011 Sean moved to Rio de Janeiro where he teaches Portuguese and continues to edit scholarly manuscripts and translate for museum exhibits and literary and theatrical productions.

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Staff Image

Adams Souza

Program Coordinator

Adams Souza is a proud Carioca and recent graduate of international studies at PUC-Rio. Adams assists students in getting to know the ins and outs of student life at PUC and ESPM both on a social and academic level. Adams will be instrumental in creating community engagement opportunities and cultural activities for CIEE students. Adams loves cinema, theatre, playing volleyball on the beach, and hiking.

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Where You'll Study

Where You'll Study

study abroad in Brazil

The Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) is a private, nonprofit Catholic university created in 1941. It is one of the largest and most prestigious Brazilian universities, ranked by the Brazilian Ministry of Education as the best private university in the country in 2009. PUC-Rio has approximately 12,000 undergraduate students, 2,500 graduate students, and 4,000 extension students. PUC-Rio is widely acclaimed for its excellent law, engineering, computer science, psychology, economics, business and international relations programs. The university is also known for bringing in the broadest types of students in order to foster and develop diversity amongst its student body. PUC-Rio has numerous bilateral relationships with U.S. universities however it does not presently work with any third-party providers. The university is located on a former coffee farm in Gávea, a neighborhood located in the south zone of city at the edge of the Tijuca Forest.

The forested campus has a student community area with restaurants and coffee shops, banks, free wireless, and a major public bus stop. PUC-Rio has three sports areas where many sports such as football (soccer), volleyball, and capoeira are played. In addition, both international and regular students are allowed to swim at one of the most famous clubs in town, the Flamengo Football Club, which is located within walking distance of campus. Gatherings are organized specifically for international students to help them integrate into the university community. Students can also participate in other extracurricular and cultural activities.

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Housing & Meals

Housing & Meals

Students have the choice of two housing options, and breakfast is included with both.

  • Homestays—Sharing in the life of a family through a homestay provides an excellent opportunity for interested students to deconstruct stereotypes and observe real life in action. It also creates opportunities for dialogue about issues raised in their courses and to practice their Portuguese language skills. Students can access the CIEE Study Center and campus(es) via public transportation.
  • Group Homestays—The group homestay option is best for students who prefer to live with another student or a small group of students in a secure and friendly environment. Participants share rooms in homes along with a Brazilian family or overseen by a local Brazilian resident assistant. Students enjoy independence and student camaraderie in a convenient urban location.

Although every attempt is made to grant each student’s preference, roommate and housing assignments are based upon availability and other factors. Therefore, housing preferences cannot be guaranteed.

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Orientations

Orientations

You'll begin your study abroad experience in Rio de Janeiro by participating in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation. Once on-site, a three-day orientation session at the beginning of the program will introduce you to the city of Rio, PUC, Brazilian culture, and your academic program. The orientation includes specially designed sessions on health and safety, local transportation, living logistics, and community engagement opportunities.

Safety

study abroad in Brazil

The CIEE program orientation includes several sessions on local safety and security issues. Although violent crime is rare, you must take care when traveling around Rio. Rio is a major tourist destination with a significant population of poor residents. Even though safety and security are improving rapidly and noticeably in tandem with economic development and the spotlight on upcoming major international events, you must be aware of and prepared for safety issues. CIEE staff not only discusses security and safety concerns in depth before and during the program, but also prints safety information and holds learning activities in the field to review safety issues and offer behavioral advice.

Health

There are no major health concerns in Rio. Brazil has an adequate health care system and there are numerous quality clinics and hospitals available to you in Rio in the event of illness or emergency.

Transportation

The CIEE study abroad program orientation includes information on using public and private transportation (local buses, subway and taxis) safely and effectively. Local transportation can be used to safely travel around Rio and within Brazil.

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Internet

Internet

You are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. Many host families have Internet access in their homes in some form, but this is not a guaranteed feature of homestays. You will have access to the Internet (wireless and broadband) in computer labs at PUC-Rio and at Internet cafés, often called LAN houses, throughout the city. Internet reliability and access is not always available at the same level as in the U.S., however, Brazil does enjoy an advanced telecommunications infrastructure and major cities typically provide for ubiquitous access.

Students with Disabilities

If you have special needs, you should consult with CIEE prior to applying to this program.

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Culture

Culture

Cultural Activities and Field Trips

The academic program is supplemented by field trips and excursions to various points of interest around Rio and Brazil and may include visits to sites of historic and cultural importance to Rio and its environs. These activities, which vary each semester to take advantage of seasonal and current attractions, may include a tour of the city of Rio, guided visits to the city’s numerous national museums, tours of historical neighborhoods, attending soccer matches, participating in Carnival, and taking advantage of Rio’s rich and diverse arts culture.

More specifically there will be local field activities that range from observing environmental issues with the communities and city of Rio, such as equality in the state provided water supply and sewage systems or the politics of squatter settlements on protected land. Field activities could also include expert-led daytrips to areas of biological and sustainability interest in and around the city of Rio de Janeiro.

You’ll go on a guided visit of the Ilhas Cagarras, an environmentally protected archipelago of islands 5 km off the coast of Rio. The islands are home to many bird species and face environmental threats from oil platform development and sewage release from the south zone of Rio. You’ll also visit one or more of the following environmental organizations: Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS), Brazilian Institute for Engineering, Architecture and Environmental Protection (IBEA), SOS Mata Atlantica, Greenpeace, Defenders of the Environment, Brazilian Eco-Tourism Association. You’ll visit the headquarters of the Tijuca National Forest, the largest urban forest in the world, where you’ll learn about the history of the 4,000 acre forest in the middle of Rio, population 6.3 million.

In addition, there will be one overnight field trip each semester with destinations and activities depending on the semester, weather conditions, and relevant current events and opportunities. Each overnight trip will be geared toward the overarching themes of the program. Potential overnight trips include a weekend educational retreat to the Atlantic Rainforest in the state of Minas Gerais, and a trip to the Pantanal, one of the world’s largest wetlands located in the state of Mata Grosso do Sul. A likely trip will take you on a three-day excursion to the Serra da Bocaina National Park located on the border of the states of Rio and Sao Paulo. As part of the excursion, you’ll learn about the significant biodiversity of this valuable but threatened stretch of Atlantic Rainforest as well as enjoy treks to majestic mountaintops and waterfalls.

The CIEE Study Center in Rio will host a series of lectures and films followed by discussions. The lectures and films are intended to not only introduce you to local and national issues related to sustainable development but also show the importance of Brazil in the global arena of sustainability. Events and activities are chosen to provide you with a good overview of the geographic, cultural, and economic diversity in Rio and coastal Brazil, and to complement the academic themes of the program.

Community Engagement

Community engagement is an important cultural and educational component of this program, and Rio de Janeiro has a rich culture of volunteerism and community service. As part of the program, CIEE staff will arrange individual and group community engagement activities with a variety of organizations and communities throughout the greater Rio area. The projects will be designed to give you a firsthand look at the environmental and social challenges facing Rio and its surrounding areas today. Through local contacts and partnership with PUC-Rio, CIEE has established a dynamic network of community partnerships with local NGOs, schools, and other organizations. You can engage in group projects such as reforestation in the Tijuca forest with the groups Amigos do Parque Nacional da Tijuca and Amigos do Parque Pedra Bonita, the installation of solar panels in a favela, and trash mitigation/education projects.

You’ll be given opportunities for community engagement by working with community centers in squatter neighborhoods that are situated on the fringe of the Tijuca National Park or the edge of the Guarabara Bay. This type of volunteer work will have the two fold benefit of 1) teaching underprivileged children about the cyclical processes of nature and importance of sustainability, and 2) helping students see the challenge first hand of balancing population growth with fragile ecosystems.

Community engagement and service activities will be linked to the subject matter and learning goals of the study abroad program. There are a wide variety of important governmental, non-governmental, and community-based organizations focusing on economic, social, and environmental sustainability at the center of their respective missions. While these activities will be optional, they will be included in the program fee in order to foster higher levels of participation.

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Academics

Academics

The CIEE Study Center office is located on or near the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Rio de Janeiro campus. Prior to the full academic term, the semester program begins with an Intensive Language and Culture Program (ILCP) lasting four weeks. The ILCP is also offered as a standalone program for study abroad students wanting to study intensive language for one month during the winter intersession and summer break. The ILCP includes intensive Portuguese classes according to students’ individual levels, homestays with local families, and cultural activities. These aspects of the pre-semester program are designed to provide students with the linguistic and cultural foundation for their semester or year in Brazil.

CIEE students will enroll in a 23-week extended academic term. Instruction for all classes is in Portuguese. CIEE students will study alongside local PUC students and should expect significant cross-cultural and academic exchange with host university students.

As a required component of the program, students will be placed in two intensive language classes according to their ability, as determined by a placement exam at the outset of the program. One intensive course is offered prior to the start of the regular semester, and another during the regular semester. Courses are available for students at all language levels, however students are expected to arrive in Brazil with sufficient background in Spanish or Portuguese such that they will be able to enroll in their desired content courses following the monthlong ILCP program.

Academic Culture

Brazilian universities tend to convey knowledge through different strategies and methods; innovation, design, participation, memorization, and expositive lectures are part of the in-class academic culture. In many lecture and theoretical classes, a great deal of emphasis is placed on note taking. It can take a while to learn how to study effectively in the Brazilian system, especially in terms of acquiring reading material and understanding professors’ expectations.

Nature of Classes

Courses are taught by local faculty with postgraduate degrees (M.Sc., M.A., and Ph.D.), most of whom are instructors at PUC-Rio or other top Brazilian universities.

Grading System

Assessment for courses is typically based on a combination of written and oral assignments and a final paper or examination. The Brazilian grading scale goes from one to 10, with five being a passing grade and seven considered satisfactory in general. The CIEE Study Centers in Brazil convert grades and credits to the U.S. system according to a predetermined scale.

CIEE Community Language Commitment

Students take part in the CIEE Community Language Commitment by speaking Portuguese at all times (except in emergencies). This fosters a learning community that will contribute to both Portuguese language proficiency and understanding of Brazilian society.

Writing Center and Tutorials

CIEE organizes tutorials to help students to help them overcome linguistic barriers in reading, writing, comprehension, and speaking.

Language of Instruction

Portuguese

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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

All Courses

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.

CIEE Study Center Syllabi

To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.

Required Intensive Language and Culture Program Courses

Portuguese as a Second Language
Upon arrival, study abroad students take a language placement exam to determine which language course they will take during the ILCP. The courses prepare international students to attend regular university courses in the academic and subject areas listed above, among others. Courses consist of 60 to 90 hours of instruction. Most students who speak Spanish with average fluency are expected to be able to attend regular courses at PUC-Rio after completing the ILCP. The ILCP’s pre-term Portuguese as a Second Language Intensive Courses are offered twice a year prior to each semester. Students with lower proficiency can enroll in the CIEE Language and Culture program in which they are able to take coursework at PUC-Rio taught in English. The ILCP program will offer intensive Portuguese at the following levels: Level I – Beginner; Level II - Intermediate I; Level III - Intermediate II; Level IV - Advanced I Level V - Advanced II. Contact hours: 60-90.

Required Semester Portuguese Language Courses

The Department of Letters at PUC-Rio offers regular and intensive language courses that develop students’ abilities to understand, speak, read, and write Portuguese in both formal and informal situations.

There are five proficiency levels offered in the Portuguese as a Second Language program. Level I, II, and III consist of 90 hours of instruction per term (six hours per week), corresponding to six academic credits. Level IV and V consist of 60 hours of instruction per term (four per week) corresponding to four academic credits. In order to place candidates according to their proficiency, students take a mandatory pre-program placement test, which is available online. Candidates who test above Level V will be allowed to attend the university's regular undergraduate introductory Portuguese language courses.

The student-centered methodology is active, participatory, and prioritizes work in pairs and groups, as well as activities requiring students to solve tasks and navigate situations. Mistakes are part of the learning process. Students are encouraged to self-correct and correct their peers as a precursor to correction by the teacher. Classes will be based on a core text with supporting audio and visual materials. Courses included a mix of practical activities, lectures, auditory exercises, and reading and analysis of texts and professional documents. The semester Portuguese language courses are offered by PUC-Rio at the following levels: Level I – Beginner; Level II - Intermediate I; Level III - Intermediate II. Contact hours: 90. Recommended credit: 6 semester/TBD quarter hours. Level IV – Advanced I; Level V - Advanced II. Contact hours: 60. Recommended credit: 4 semester/TBD quarter hours.

PUC Courses

(taught in Portuguese; all 4 credits unless otherwise noted)

Students typically take two elective classes in courses related to the themes of the program. With the approval of their home institutions, students may take one class in other areas at PUC-Rio. The following list is a representative sampling of the courses available within the focal subject areas of the program:

Bioethics
Biogeography
Brazilian Agriculture
Brazilian Biomes
Brazilian Urban Space
Climatology
Conservation and Sustainability
Control of Air Pollution
Ecology of Tropical Forests
Elective History—Core Basics of Geography
Environmental Assessment
Environmental Chemistry I
Environmental Design (Monograph)
Environmental Ethic
Environmental Ethics
Environmental law
Environmental Legislation
Environmental Modeling
Environmental Monitoring
Environmental Risk Analysis
Ethnobiology
Evaluation of Environmental Impacts and Accounting
Fundamentals of Geology
General Biology
General Ecology
General Human Geography
Geographical Thought
Geography of Rio de Janeiro
Geography of the Contemporary World I
Geohistory
GIS
Environmental and Sustainable Development
Health and Environment
Introduction to Biogeography
Planning and Land Management
Political Geography
Population Geography
Population Geography of Brazil
Professional Ethics for Biology
Public Policy and the Environment
Recovery of Degraded Areas
Sample Design for Ecological Studies
Socio-economic Development
Study Methods in Ecology
Urban Space

Co-Curricular Programming

CIEE will organize and facilitate faculty led field trips, volunteer opportunities, and independent student travel to support student engagement in the program themes outside of the classroom and off campus. This will include visits to important local environmental sites such as the Tijuca National Park or the Atlantic Subtropical Rainforest, community engagement opportunities at environmental organizations such as Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS), Brazilian Institute for Engineering, Architecture and Environmental Protection (IBEA), SOS Mata Atlantica, Greenpeace, Defenders of the Environment and Brazilian Eco-Tourism Association, and logistical assistance for students who want to pursue optional travel to the Brazilian Pantanal or Amazon Rainforest.

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