There’s no better place to learn Portuguese than Brazil. Our January Intensive Language and Culture program in São Paulo couples a rigorous language program with exciting cultural immersion activities so you develop a higher level of Portuguese language fluency and a critical appreciation of Brazilian life and society. You’ll study with highly specialized linguists who have been with CIEE for more than 10 years, stay with a local family, and go on many excursions to places of cultural significance.
Study abroad in São Paulo and you’ll:
- Learn Portuguese while gaining a deeper understanding of the cultural distinctions of Brazil’s southeastern region
- Live in São Paulo, the most socially, economically, and culturally diverse city in Brazil
- Immerse yourself in Brazilian life through a homestay with a local Paulista family
- Visit museums, go to performances, soccer games, Carnival Samba School, 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.
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.
The CIEE Difference
The CIEE Difference
Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced speaker of Portuguese, you'll take a range of language courses emphasizing 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. After spending orientation in a São Paulo hotel, you’ll enjoy being housed with a homestay for the remainder of the study abroad program.
Excursions to fascinating and beautiful locations enhance your understanding of Brazilian culture. Explore the Praça da Sé, or public space; Catedral da Sé, the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of São Paulo; and Pateo do Colégio, a historic Jesuit church and school. Rent bikes, and eat a picnic lunch in the Parque Ibirapuera, a large city park. And spend a day in Guaruja, a city on the coast of Brazil where you can relax on the beach and swim in crystal clear waters. Students enjoy performing community service projects in disadvantaged communities, attending concerts, Brazilian movies, and museums. You’ll do all this and more with CIEE.
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 two meals per day
Estimated Additional Costs
Meals not included in program fee
International Airfare *
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
- 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 course at their level.
About the City
About The City
Fifty miles from the Atlantic coast, from atop the Italian Building in São Paulo, you can see beautiful sunsets and sprawling skyscrapers like a forest of trees. Down below, nightclubs thump from midnight ’til noon, ethnic eateries serve amazing food from over the world, and people skate, bike, and do yoga in Ibirapuera Park. Multicultural São Paulo is the second largest urban area in the Americas and an important South American economic and cultural center. Often compared to New York City because of its distinct ethnic neighborhoods and excellent cultural venues, the city offers South America’s best and most diverse cultural entertainment opportunities including theater, cinema, museums, concerts, Carnival samba schools, and soccer games. It has a modern subway system, shopping malls, beautiful parks, nightlife, and open-air fruit and flower markets.
Meet The Staff
Meet The Staff
Ana Luiza Coimbra
Ana Luiza de Lima Coimbra holds a B.A. in Portuguese and English language and literature from Universidade de São Paulo and has worked with CIEE since 1989. She has an M.A. in oral history at the Universidade de São Paulo, and extensive experience in international education. Prior to CIEE, Ana volunteered for American Field Service and taught Portuguese language and literature and English in secondary public and private schools from 1964 through 1986, during the years of the dictatorship in Brazil. She directed her own language school from 1974 until 1986. Her present academic research focuses on intercultural philosophy and the perception of Brazilian studies in the United States.
The word “monotony” doesn’t exist in São Paulo, a city in a constant state of transformation. São Paulo is dynamic, progressive, innovative, the economic spinal cord of the country. Brazilians come from all other regions looking for its schools, hospitals, cultural centers, theatres, and job opportunities open to all social and economical needs and levels of preparedness. I moved back to São Paulo to work with CIEE 25 years ago. Despite its heavy traffic during all times during the week, and the pollution, in this city I can enjoy the constant feeling that everything is here within my reach. São Paulo is a city where you work very hard and also have access to all kinds of entertainment opportunities during your free time. I often find myself wishing for more free time to explore and enjoy all that the city has to offer. Each day offers many possibilities: from crowded subways at rush hour, to relaxing or playing sports in the city’s parks; exploring ethnic neighborhoods, each with its own special business and cuisine; enjoying the vast array of street food vendors; discovering the museums throughout the city; and taking the opportunity to see the most updated and also classics international films and plays. No matter what your musical taste, São Paulo has a concert venue or a balada (nightclub) for you ( Monday through Monday!) and offers a wide array of dance classes, capoeira classes and martial arts classes. Paulistanos are also famous for their dedication to soccer and being loyal to one of the many local teams, and also to one of the many Carnaval Samba Schools. In São Paulo I am Corinthiana regarding soccer and Mocidade Alegre for carnaval parades. Once you arrive here you are expected to select your own soccer team ( and go to as many soccer games as possible) and your own Carnaval Samba School ( and go to its weekly events in preparation for Carnaval Your going also means that you are helping their community social services)!
The CIEE Liberal Arts program in São Paulo is for individuals who enjoy a big-city atmosphere and want to be challenged to explore and deepen their understanding of the city’s many striking contrasts, including its poverty and wealth, high rises and large city parks, and street markets and glitzy malls. Through living and studying here, you will enjoy a distinctive Latin American educational experience that also offers outstanding research opportunities through the specially designed CIEE classes and contact with Brazilians in your daily life. Bem vindos!
— Ana Luiza de Lima Coimbra, Resident Director“”
Where You'll Study
Where You'll Study
Study abroad students take CIEE-run language courses at classrooms in the CIEE headquarters and a language institute in the residential Perdizes neighborhood, not far from São Paulo’s famous Avenida Paulista, with good access to public transportation. The University neighborhood has gyms, bookstores, and numerous restaurants and cafés filled with students and locals. The CIEE Study Center is conveniently located just two blocks from the PUC-SP campus.
Housing & Meals
Housing & Meals
Housing and two meals per day are included in the study abroad program fee. Lunch or dinner, depending on class schedules, is not included in the fee and is the responsibility of the student. During orientation, students are housed together in a comfortable hotel in São Paulo. For the remainder of the semester, students are placed in Brazilian homestays. CIEE considers the homestay a special opportunity to learn about Brazilian culture outside of classes and other group activities.
You'll begin their study abroad experience in São Paulo even before leaving home by participating in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation. Meeting with students online, the resident director shares information
about the program and site, highlighting issues that alumni have said are important, and giving you time to ask questions. The online orientation allows you to connect with others in the group, reflect on what you want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish. CIEE’s aim for the pre-departure orientation is simple – to help you understand more about the program, and identify your objectives so that you arrive well-informed and return home having made significant progress towards your goals.
A three-day mandatory orientation session 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. Safety, public transportation, gender and race issues, and family relations are discussed. Ongoing support is provided by CIEE staff on an individual and group basis throughout the study abroad program.
You are strongly encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. Many, but not all, host families offer wireless at home. Access to the Internet and computer labs at Brazilian universities is much more limited than at U.S. universities. CIEE will pay for each student to use a private Internet café for three hours each week. In addition, you may use any of the numerous Internet cafés throughout the city and near the CIEE office.
The four-week January Intensive Language and Culture program is designed to help students develop their Portuguese language fluency and learn about Brazilian culture. Students are placed in Portuguese courses suited to their ability, and include a special beginner-level accelerated Portuguese for Spanish speakers course.
Class size is small and includes both lectures and excursions. Classes are held at the CIEE Study Center close to the PUC-São Paulo campus, providing students the opportunity to get a taste of the local Brazilian university environment. All instruction is by native Brazilians, and efforts are made to integrate program participants with Brazilian culture and people.
Nature of Classes
Participants take classes with other CIEE students only.
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 exams and quizzes, much as in the U.S. Letter grades of A-F are given with pluses and minuses.
Language of Instruction
The Portuguese language courses are taught and supervised by highly trained Portuguese language and linguistic teachers who have earned master's and doctorate degrees from local universities.
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 CIEE Courses
Upon arrival, students are given a language placement exam to determine which language course they take during the ILCP. A special section of beginner-level Portuguese for Spanish Speakers is offered to
students who are fluent, or near-fluent, in Spanish and have had no previous Portuguese instruction. These courses emphasize grammar applied through oral production. Reading, writing, and listening comprehension activities are included to reinforce the oral exercises. Depending on student enrollment and the results of the language placement exam, not all sections are offered each session.
PORT 11501 BSPO
Intensive Beginner Portuguese I
PORT 1502 BSPO
Intensive Beginner Portuguese II
PORT 2501 BSPO
Intensive Intermediate Portuguese I
PORT 2502 BSPO
Intensive Intermediate Portuguese II
PORT 2503 BSPO
Intensive Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
PORT 3501 BSPO
Intensive Advanced Portuguese I
PORT 3502 BSPO
Intensive Advanced Portuguese II