How does learning the Portuguese language in an important city of Afro-Brazilian culture sound? Spend this January with CIEE in Salvador da Bahia! Our four-week rigorous language program combined with exciting cultural immersion activities and a homestay with a local family will help you develop
a higher level of Portuguese language fluency, and gain a critical appreciation of Brazilian life and society. Don’t miss this amazing short-term study abroad option.
Study abroad in Salvador da Bahia and you’ll:
- Learn Portuguese while gaining a deeper understanding of the cultural distinctions of Brazil’s northeastern coastal region
- Immerse yourself in Brazilian life through a homestay
- Visit the museum of Afro- Brazilian history and a Candomblé house; attend music, capoeira, and dance performances and a local cultural event called “Lavagem do Bonfim”; participate in a percussion class, and more.
Scholarships & Grants
Scholarships & Grants
We want as many students as possible to benefit from studying abroad. That’s why CIEE awards more than $5 million every year – more than any other international educational organization – to make study abroad affordable.
The CIEE Difference
The CIEE Difference
In Bahia, the student-centered methodology is tailored to fit your skills and needs. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced speaker of Portuguese, a range of courses emphasize grammar applied through oral production, reading, writing, and listening comprehension activities. A special section of beginner-level Portuguese for Spanish speakers is also offered for students who are fluent, or near-fluent, in Spanish and have had no previous Portuguese instruction.
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in Brazilian culture than by living with a local family. In Bahia, you’ll spend orientation with your fellow students before going to stay with locals for the remainder of the program.
Explore your new home through cultural and educational activities. Go on a walking tour of Pelourinho, the UNESCO World Heritage site located in the historic city center. Travel to the small coastal town of Praia do Forte to visit Castelo Garcia D’Àvila, which dates back to 1552. Plus, you’ll gather at the Museum of Modern Art with CIEE staff and your host families for a live jam session by local musicians.
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.
January 2017 (4 wks)
Program Date Notes
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 *
Educational Costs **
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 $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.
** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students
*** includes all meals
Estimated Additional Costs
International Airfare *
Potential travel to consulate for visa
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
- Overall GPA 2.5
- 2 semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent and/or 1 semester of college-level Portuguese or equivalent
Total credit for each intensive language course is 4 semester/6 quarter hours, with 60 contact hours.
All study abroad students take one intensive Portuguese language and culture course at their level.
About the City
About The City
Modern skyscrapers surge above palm fronds swaying in the tropical breeze. One of the oldest European-founded cities in the Americas, Salvador da Bahia reveals hints of early Portuguese settlers in its cobblestone streets and brightly colored buildings. African foods, music, and dance began evolving here with the slave trade. Today, Bahia is a booming city, and its historic and ethnic diversity can be noted in the city’s architecture and layout—old parts of the city are located next to modern complexes. The CIEE Study Center is located in the neighborhood of Barra, a few blocks from Brazil's first lighthouse (Farol da Barra).
Meet The Staff
Where You'll Study
Where You'll Study
Established in 1961, Universidade Católica do Salvador (UCSal) is the highest ranked private university in northeast Brazil. The University offers courses in many departments including Communications, Education, Geography, Social Work, Literature, Law, Philosophy, and Music. The UCSal campus is housed in renovated monasteries and modern buildings with several campuses around the city.
Housing & Meals
Housing & Meals
Housing and three meals a day are included in the study abroad program fee. During orientation, students are housed together. For the remainder of the program, students are placed in Brazilian homestays.
The homestay is essential to the students’ learning process and integration into life in Bahia. The opportunity to live with a Brazilian family not only allows students to deconstruct stereotypes and observe real life in action, but it also creates opportunities for dialogue about issues discussed in class, and for practicing their Portuguese language skills. Students can expect a more traditional environment that may call for some adjustments on their part. The opportunity to live with a family offers students a unique source of cultural learning and personal growth.
A two-day mandatory, intensive orientation is conducted at the beginning of the program and will introduce you to the country, culture, and academic program, as well as provide practical information about living in Brazil. You will also be given a language placement exam to determine which language course you should take during the study abroad program. Special orientation activities continue during the four-week program. Brazilian students participate and assist with orientation and program activities. Ongoing support is provided on an individual and group basis throughout the program.
Access to the Internet and computer labs in Brazilian universities is more limited than at U.S. universities. However, you will have access to computer labs at UCSal and Internet cafés throughout the city, and are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. You are advised to open a web-based email account to ensure access upon arrival. Most homestays will have an Internet connection (though connection speeds vary).
Established in 1995, the Intensive Language and Culture program is designed to help students develop their Portuguese language fluency and learn about Brazilian culture. Students are placed in a Portuguese course suited to their level or ability, or in a special course for fluent Spanish speakers who are beginning Portuguese.
Class size is small and includes both lectures and excursions. Classes are held at the host university campus, providing students the opportunity to be part of a Brazilian university system. All language instruction is by native Brazilians.
Nature of Classes
Participants take classes with CIEE study abroad students and international students enrolled in the UCSal Portuguese language program.
CIEE Community Language Commitment
As students gain proficiency in Portuguese, resident staff encourages them to use their language skills in everyday settings. This fosters a learning community that contributes to both Portuguese language proficiency and understanding of Brazilian society.
In the Portuguese language courses student work is assessed through reading, writing, and oral comprehension quizzes and exams, much as in the U.S. CIEE converts Brazilian grades into U.S. letter grade equivalents.
Language of Instruction
The Portuguese language courses are taught by faculty from the graduate school at UCSal.
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.
Upon arrival, students take a language placement exam to determine which language course they will take. A special section of beginner-level Portuguese for Spanish Speakers may be offered for students who have proficiency in Spanish and have had no previous Portuguese instruction. Not all sections are offered each session, with specific offerings dependent upon student enrollments and results of the language placement exam.
PORT 1501 BBAH Intensive Beginner Portuguese I
Intensive Beginner Portuguese II
Intensive Intermediate Portuguese I
Intensive Intermediate Portuguese II
Portuguese for Spanish Speakers (for near-native speakers)
Intensive Advanced Portuguese I
Intensive Advanced Portuguese II
This course is designed to prepare students linguistically and culturally for all aspects of the semester abroad. It provides students with an intense introduction to or continued study of Portuguese language, as well as an orientation to the culture and contemporary issues of Brazil. The course includes language classes (divided at appropriate levels with an emphasis on grammar applied through oral production); lectures, readings, and discussions on contemporary Brazilian life; community exploration activities; and an introduction to Brazilian academic culture. Students will learn/refine their language skills and construct a basic cultural literacy as background to their coursework.