Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Liberal Arts

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Information for term Liberal Arts

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: May 1, 2020
  • Dates: Aug 4 – Dec 19, 2020 (20 weeks)
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Bring your Spanish or Portuguese skills to gorgeous Rio de Janeiro and master them! Dive into university life and immerse yourself in the Brazilian culture, history, art, and literature with fascinating coursework at CIEE Global Institute – Rio de Janeiro and CIEE’s partner school, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). Courses are taught in English or Portuguese, across a range of subject areas, including art, business, economics, history, international relations, and social communications. Enrich the experience by volunteering and helping with education, health, or community building. Students agree to speak only Portuguese to encourage language and cultural acquisition. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Make the most of your semester

    with a program designed to help international students succeed.

  • Live and learn

    in one of the world’s most beautiful urban settings, and the epicenter of Latin America’s largest economy.

  • Take courses in Portuguese

    and meet South American peers at Brazil’s top university.

  • Visitors a day for Carnival

  • Beaches within the City

  • of the seven wonders of the world is in Rio


Location & Culture

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Rio de Janeiro is all about living large. It’s 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 most visited city in the southern hemisphere, Rio is known for its natural beauty, Carnival celebrations, samba and other local musical styles, and renowned beaches. 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 soccer stadiums.

The Culture


  • Explore Rio and get insider insight into its museums, neighborhoods and more.
  • Take a study tour and discover the great diversity of Brazil.
  • See why Brazilians are mad for football (soccer) with a live match, take drumming lessons in a favela, or soak up similar experiences that bring Brazilian culture to life.
  • Immerse yourself in Rio’s rich and diverse arts culture.
  • Be part of campus life by joining extracurricular and cultural activities.


  • Volunteering: In a country known for urban poverty, you’ll gain as much as you give, helping with education, health, or community building. Teach English to underserved children, foster professional skills in women, and much more.

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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    Sharing family life with your Brazilian hosts provides maximum immersion in language and culture. Students use public transportation to get from their homes to classes. Year-long students are responsible for housing during the long breaks between study (December to February, and July).

    Shared apartments
    Students can live with other CIEE students in apartments that have double rooms, bathroom, kitchenette, and desks for study. Availability is limited – first-come, first-served. Utilities, cleaning, and Internet access are included. Laundry facilities are available nearby.

    Host homes and shared apartments are located in the South Zone of Rio. All students will be living within a 20 minute or less commute via public transportation to the CIEE Global Institute.


    Includes breakfast and one additional meal per day. Students are responsible for the other meal.

    Students are responsible for all meals. They can prepare meals at their apartment or eat at any of the many restaurants nearby

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Where You'll Study

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    Campus is in Gávea, a neighborhood in the south zone of city at the edge of the Tijuca Forest.

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

Established in 2012, this program is for students with at least two semesters of Portuguese or four semesters of college-level Spanish, or equivalent. Students take classes at our partner school, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) and agree to speak only Portuguese to encourage language and cultural acquisition. CIEE staff and the PUC International Programs staff guide students to the courses that best fit their needs and skills.

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) is a private, nonprofit, Catholic university and one of the largest and most prestigious Brazilian universities. With 12,000 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students, PUC-Rio is acclaimed for law, engineering, computer science, psychology, economics, business, and international relations programs. The university is also known for its diverse student body. PUC-Rio campus – formerly a coffee farm – is in the south zone at the edge of the Tijuca Forest.

CIEE Global Institute – Rio de Janeiro is located within Villa Aymoré, and early 20th century residential villa renovated into a state-of-the-art urban office space. The Global Institute features classrooms, office space for staff, and workspace for students. Villa Aymoré hosts many events and exhibitions throughout the ear, giving students a chance to interact with young Brazilian professionals and entrepreneurs.


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    Portuguese language courses are attended by CIEE students and other international students. PUC-Rio electives are typically a combination of mostly Brazilian students and other international students. Students may take courses taught in English.


    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; 5 is passing and 7 is satisfactory. CIEE converts to recommended U.S. letter grade equivalents.


    While U.S. universities typically employ a structured academic system, Brazilian professors rely on students to work responsibly outside of class. This approach is geared toward students who are motivated, self-sufficient, and deeply interested in the subject matter. For example, students receive bibliographies and are expected to read as many listings as possible and select titles that best meet their needs. In some courses, the final grade is based on a term paper or critical analysis of one article. CIEE staff will help students to understand and navigate this academic culture.



    Students must have a GPA of at least 2.5.

    Other Requirements

    • 2 semesters of Portuguese, or 4 semesters of Spanish or equivalent.


    A minimum of 15 credits is required for every study abroad student. All students are required to register in a semester Portuguese language course (4 - 6 credits) based upon placement test results. The remaining credits are selected from a range of optional elective CIEE courses and direct enrollment courses at any of the local universities with which we partner. Students can take courses in Portuguese or English.


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Course Information

Program Credit
Total credit: 15-18 U.S. semester/22.5-27 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE course: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
  • Host Institution Beginner/Intermediate Portuguese language courses: 6 U.S. semester/9 quarter credits; 90 contact hours
  • Host Institution Advanced Portuguese language courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 60 contact hours
  • Host Institution courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits, 60 contact hours, unless otherwise noted

Language of Instruction
Portuguese and/or English

Students are required to enroll in one Portuguese language course and a combination of CIEE and/or host institution courses taught in English and/or Portuguese.

Host Institution Courses

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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. The courses also prepare international students to attend regular university courses in all academic areas, including history, anthropology, literature, international relations, and engineering, among others.

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 (6 hours per week), corresponding to 6 credits. Level IV and V consist of 60 hours of instruction per term (4 hours per week) corresponding to 4 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 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 and the course methodology encourages students 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 include a mix of practical activities, lectures, auditory exercises, and reading and analysis of texts and business documents.

The semester Portuguese language courses are offered by PUC-Rio at the following levels:

  • Level I - Portuguese Language - Beginner I
  • Level II – Portuguese Language - Beginner II
  • Level III – Portuguese Language - Intermediate I
  • Level IV – Portuguese Language - Intermediate II
  • Level V – Portuguese Language - Advanced I


The list of courses below includes courses recommended for international students by the PUC Office of International Studies. It is a sampling of host university courses and not a complete list of courses offered at PUC which are accessible to international students. Courses generally consist of 60 contact hours each, with credit of 4 semester/6 quarter hours and are taught in Portuguese unless otherwise noted.

ART 1020 – Drawing I, Intermediate level 
ART 1021 – Drawing II, Advanced level
ART 1026 – Technical Drawing 
ART 1034 – Planning and Project Development: Product Design III 
ART 1036 – Planning and Project Development: Graphic Design IV, Intermediate level
ART 1037 – Planning and Project Development: Product Design IV, Intermediate level 
ART 1038 – Planning and Project Development: Graphic Design V, Advanced level 
ART 1039 – Planning and Project Development: Product V, Advanced level
ART 1111 – Graphic Representation Laboratory I, Intermediate level in Graphic Production 
ART 1112 – Graphic Representation Laboratory II, Advanced level in graphic production
ART 1114 – Graphic Representation Laboratory: Illustration Techniques 
ART 1121 – Tri-dimensional Representation Laboratory I, Basic level 
ART 1123 – Tri-dimensional Representation Laboratory III, Advanced level 
ART 1210 – Visual Language Fundamentals I, Basic level
ART 1211 – Visual Language Fundamentals II, Intermediate level 
ART 1310 – Introductory Electronic Representation Laboratory, Basic level
ART 1311 – Electronic Representation Laboratory: Photography, Intermediate level
ART 1312 – Electronic Representation Laboratory: Audio-visual 
ART 1508 – Expression Laboratory: Electronic Imaging 
ART 1320 – Introduction to Computer Graphics, Basic level 
ART 1411 – History of Industrial Design 
ART 1412 – History of Modern Art 
ART 1416 – The Evolution of Fashion 
ART 1611 – Proxemics 
ART 1612 – Semiotics 
ART 1821 – Graphic Analysis 
ART 1824 – Ergonomics/Human Factors (4 credits) 
ART 1822 – Theory and Technique of Materials (4 credits) 
ART 1833 – TEA IV: Digital Photography (4 credits) 
ART 1836 – TEA VII: History of Photography (4 credits) 
ART 1838 – TEA IX: 2-D Animation (4 credits) 
ART 1051 – Plastic (2 credits) 
ART 1849 – TED X: Biochip (4 credits) 
ART 1857 – TED XV: Wood/Bamboo (4 credits) 
ART 1864 – TED XXII: Branding (4 credits) 
ART 1872 – TED XXX: Type Design (4 credits) 
ART 1873 – TED XXXI: Eco Design (2 credits) 
DSG 1551 – Jewelry Design (4 credits) 
DSG 1605 – Bionics (3 credits)

ADM1252 – Cost Accounting (Prerequisite: ADM1251 or ADM1008) 
ADM1253 – Financial Mathematics 
ADM1351 – Finance (Prerequisite: ADM1252 and ADM1253) 
ADM1363 – Brazilian Financial Institutions (Prerequisite: ADM1351 and 90 credits) 
ADM1451 – Principles Of Marketing (Prerequisite: 60 credits) 
ADM1461 – Consumer Behavior (Prerequisite: ADM1451) 
ADM1462 – Marketing Management (Prerequisite: ADM1452) 
ADM1651 – Human Resources Management (Prerequisite: ADM1952) 
ADM1951 – Principles of Management 
ADM1991 – Small Business Management (Prerequisite: ADM1952 and 90 credits)

ECO 1101 – Introduction to Economics I 
ECO 1208 – International Economics 
ECO 1220 – Brazilian Economic History 
ECO 1410 – Brazilian Economics 
ECO 1411 – Brazilian Economics (2 credits)

COM 1001 – Brazilian Culture 
COM 1100 – Communications and Theatre 
COM 1162 – Communications and Brazilian Literature 
COM 1165 – History of Brazilian Cinema (2 credits) 
COM 1241 – Introduction to Radio and Television 
COM 1242 – Cinema: An Introduction (2 credits) 
COM 1245 – Community Communications (2 credits) 
COM 1557 – Documentary Film

GEO 1203 – Human Geography: Rural Space 
GEO 1204 – Human Geography: Urbanization and Spatial Transformations 
GEO 1304 – Geography of Brazil: Populate and Population 
GEO 1305 – Geography of Brazil: The Brazilian Rural Space 
GEO 1309 – Regional Geography of Brazil: Regionalization Theory 
GEO 1406 – History of the Latin American Spatial Organization 
GEO 1407 – Regional Geography: Contemporary World I 
GEO 1604 – The Ecology of Tropical Forests (Pre-requisite: GEO 1603) 
GEO 1605 – Ethical and Political Tenets of Ecology 
HIS 1412 – History of Brazil II (2 credits) 
HIS 1413 – History of Brazil III (2 credits) 
HIS 1414 – History of Brazil IV 
HIS 1511 – History of America I 
HIS 1512 – History of America II (2 credits) 
HIS 1513 – History of America III (2 credits) 
HIS 1521 – History of America IV (2 credits)
HIS 1604 – Social, Political, and Economic History of Brazil A 
HIS 1605 – Social, Political, and Economic History of Brazil B 
HIS 1606 – A General Approach to Social, Political, and Economic History A 
HIS 1607 – A General Approach to Social, Political, and Economic History B

IRI 1104 – Politics and Economics of the International Relations (3 credits) 
IRI 1201 – Introduction to International Politics (3 credits) 
IRI 1202 – The Formation of the Contemporary International System (3 credits) 
IRI 1303 – International Relations of Latin America (2 credits) 
IRI 1304 – The United States in the Contemporary International Politics (2 credits) 
IRI 1402 – Law and International Relations (2 credits)

LET 1006 – Discourse, Society, and Interaction 
LET 1023 – Introduction to Brazilian Literature (2 credits) 
LET 1024 – Brazilian Literature: Prose 
LET 1025 – Brazilian Literature: Poetry 
LET 1036 – Portuguese Literature: From Origins to Renaissance 
LET 1037 – Portuguese Literature: Seventeenth Through Nineteenth Centuries (2 credits) 
LET 1038 – Portuguese Literature: Twentieth Century (2 credits) 
LET 1090 – Communication and Expression I (for Social Communication)

PSI 1800 – The Genealogy of Psychological Dynamics 
PSI 1870 – Social Psychology (6 credits) 
PSI 1872 – Psychology and Culture

SER 1157 – Introduction to Social Work 
SER 1188 – Community Development 
SER 1207 – Social Work Research (Pre-requisite: SER 1164 or 60 hours)

SOC1109 – Brazilian Sociological Thought 
SOC 1126 – Urban Social Movements 
SOC 1130 – Social Movements 
SOC 1157 – Sociology of Daily Life 
SOC 1203 – Brazilian Political Institutions 
SOC 1209 – Brazilian Political Thought 
SOC 1223 – Political Parties and Elections in Brazil 
SOC 1240 – Poverty, Public Institutions, and Political Competition in Brazil 
SOC 1302 – Cultural Anthropology 
SOC 1328 – Anthropology of Art

TEO1515 - The History of the American Latin Church

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.


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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:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant
  • Latin America Flight Voucher

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 & Fees

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Dates & 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
  • 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
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
  • Excursions and/or Study Tours
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 Emergency on-site support


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2020 20 weeks May 1, 2020 Aug 4, 2020 Dec 19, 2020
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $13,033 **

Housing = $3,450 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $16,950

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $1,750

International Airfare = $1,450

Local Transportation = $750

Books & Supplies = $200

Visa Fees = $270 ††

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $1,300

Other = $200 †††

Total Estimated Costs = $6,420

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

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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.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** includes breakfast

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

†† average cost

††† local government registration

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.

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