Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Summer Intensive Language + Culture

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Information for term Summer Intensive Language + Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

April 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: April 1, 2020
  • Dates: Jul 7 – Aug 6, 2020 (4 weeks)
  • Credit: 6 semester hours / 9 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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This summer learn Portuguese where the action is – Rio de Janeiro! Whether you’re just starting out or have strong language skills, you’ll make impressive strides by taking intensive language courses at one of five levels and living with a Brazilian family. Courses are held at CIEE’s partner school, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), and all courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Set yourself up

    for a successful semester at a Brazilian university.

  • Fast-forward

    your language skills with an intensive course designed for international students.

  • Live

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

  • 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, Bossa Nova, 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 football stadiums.

The Culture


Activities vary but could include these and more:

  • Catching facts tourists often miss on a guided tour of the city.
  • Exploring national museums and historic neighborhoods.
  • Attending a soccer match to see why Brazilians are mad for football.
  • Experiencing Rio’s rich and diverse arts culture during festivals.

Daily Life

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    Homestay: Sharing family life with your Brazilian hosts provides maximum immersion in Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. Students live in the South Zone, close to public transportation.

    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.


    Homestay: Students receive two daily meals: breakfast and either lunch or dinner. Students are responsible for one meal per day. Host families and students decide meals together.

    Shared Apartments: 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

  • A


    Rio de Janeiro

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

Established in 2012, this intensive summer program is designed to advance your Portuguese language skills and prepare you to study at a Brazilian university. The core content is highly interactive, emphasizes cultural literacy, and introduces students to exceptional artifacts of Brazilian culture. Through practical activities, lectures, auditory exercises, and analysis of texts, students make significant progress. Students are placed according to their ability as determined by an online language placement exam and an oral proficiency interview.

Before the start of the program, students must have completed one semester of Portuguese, or two semesters of college-level Spanish, or equivalent. Students agree to speak only Portuguese to encourage language and cultural acquisition.

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.


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    Classes are open to CIEE participants and other international students. Using an active-learner approach, students often work in pairs and groups, and participate in activities like performing tasks and navigating situations.


    Assessment 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.



    Students must have a GPA of at least 2.5.


    1 semester of Portuguese or 2 semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent


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Course Information

Program Credit
Total credit: 6 U.S. semester/9 quarter credits

Course Credit
CIEE language course: 6 U.S. semester/9 quarter credits; 90 contact hours per session

Language of Instruction

Students are required to take Intensive Portuguese as a Second Language course at one of five levels.


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Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)

Prior to arrival, students take an online language placement exam.  This exam is administered by PUC-Rio and is supplemented by a brief oral proficiency interview at the Brazilian university upon arrival to determine which language course they will take for the duration of the program. The courses prepare international students to attend regular Brazilian university courses in all academic areas, including history, anthropology, literature, international relations, and engineering, among others. All courses have 90 hours of instruction.

The program will offer intensive portuguese as a second language at the following levels:

Level I – Beginning Portuguese as a Second Language (Intensive)

Level II – Intermediate I Portuguese as a Second Language (Intensive)

Level III – Intermediate II Portuguese as a Second Language (Intensive)

Level IV – Advanced I Portuguese as a Second Language (Intensive)

Level V – Advanced II Portuguese as a Second Language (Intensive)

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

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

See more scholarship info

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
  • Excursions and/or Study Tours
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support

No Hidden Fees


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Summer 2020 4 weeks Apr 1, 2020 Jul 7, 2020 Aug 6, 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 = $4,033 **

Housing = $750 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $5,250

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 = $450

International Airfare = $1,200

Local Transportation = $200

Books & Supplies = $80

Personal expenses = $300

Total Estimated Costs = $2,230

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 two meals per day in homestay

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

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

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    Apply Now
  • 2

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

  • 3

    Contact Us

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