Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

January Language in Rio de Janeiro

Portuguese as a Second Language
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Come enjoy the golden beaches, lush landscapes, and music and dance of Rio de Janeiro! Experience the joie de vivre of the Brazilian people, and take your Portuguese fluency to the next level. In one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities on Earth, you’ll take part in a dynamic language study that emphasizes cultural literacy through activities, excursions, and integration into Rio’s modern city life as well its rich history.

Unique Experiences

  • Take in a performance

    at the Theatro Municipal, a breathtaking feat of architecture.

  • Enjoy the festivities of Carnaval,

    an annual celebration of parades, music, food and merry making.

  • Play

    soccer, volleyball, swim or simply relax at the alluring Ipanema and Copacabana beaches.

  • international tourists per year

  • miles of beaches

  • seats in the Cidade da Música concert hall


Location & Culture

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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. Rio is the most visited city in the southern hemisphere and is known for its natural setting, Carnaval celebrations, samba, and its energetic population. Once the capital of Brazil and now the undisputed cultural capital, Rio de Janeiro is also home to four of the top fifteen ranked universities in the nation, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Education’s latest rankings.

The Culture


  • Enjoy the cultural epicenter of Latin America's largest and most dynamic country.
  • Dance in Lapa, a trendy district that is home to dozens of live music halls and a weekend street party.
  • Take intensive language courses specifically designed for international students at Brazil's top university.
  • Tour of the city of Rio and visit its iconic landmarks including the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the Maracanã soccer stadium.

Daily Life

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  • Housing

    Homestays: There’s no better way to immerse yourself in Brazilian culture than by living with a local family. In Rio, you’ll have the choice of either an individual homestay or, living with another student. Homestays are located in the South Zone of Rio and are within very close proximity of public transportation. Sharing in the life of a family through a homestay provides an excellent opportunity for interested students to observe real Brazilian life in action. 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.

  • Meals

    Breakfasts are included for students living with homestay families.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Where You'll Study

  • A


    Rio de Janeiro

  • B

    Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

CIEE's January Language in Rio de Janeiro program lasts approximately one month and includes 90 hours of intensive Portuguese language instruction offered at four different levels by the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), with an additional option for Independent Study for students with very advanced Portuguese. The core academic content of the language and culture program is designed according to an interactive communicative approach that also emphasizes cultural literacy.

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


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    Courses at PUC-Rio are taught by nationally accredited faculty from PUC-Rio with postgraduate degrees (M.Sc., M.A., and Ph.D.).


    Assessment at PUC-Rio is based on a combination of written and oral assignments and a final paper or exam. Professors use a numeric grading scale from 1 to 10, which CIEE = converts to recommended U.S. letter grade equivalents.


    Brazilian universities convey knowledge through unique strategies and methods. Innovation, design, participation, memorization, and expositive lectures are all part of the in-class academic culture. In most classes, a great deal of emphasis is placed on note taking and it can take some time to learn how to study effectively in the Brazilian system. CIEE staff understand this and are prepared to help you get the most out of your academic experience.



    Students need to have a GPA of at least 2.5.


    1 semester of Portuguese or 2 semesters of Spanish


Program Credit

  • Total credit is 6 semester/9 quarter credits. 
  • Contact hours: 90

Students are required to enroll in Intensive Portuguese as a Second Language.

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.

January 2019 Courses

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Upon arrival, students take a language placement exam to determine which level of Portuguese as a Second Language course they will take:

  • Level I - BEGINNER Portuguese as a Second Language
  • Level II - INTERMEDIATE I Portuguese as a Second Language
  • Level III - INTERMEDIATE II Portuguese as a Second Language
  • Level IV - ADVANCED I Portuguese as a Second Language


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

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Dates, Deadlines & Fees

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Dates, Deadlines & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Some Meals (for those in Homestays)
  • Some Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • Two-day orientation – an introduction to Brazilian culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in your host city
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Field trips and cultural activities
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

    You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 

    Apply Now
  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 

  • 3

    Contact an Advisor

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.