Develop a higher level of Portuguese language fluency and deep appreciation for Brazilian life in one of the most beautiful and socio-politically fascinating cities on Earth: Rio de Janeiro. On our January Intensive Language and Culture program, you’ll take part in dynamic language study that emphasizes cultural literacy – and is based on your current language abilities. Cultural activities, excursions, and a homestay introduce you to exceptional artifacts of Brazilian culture. And that’s just the start.
Study abroad in Rio de Janeiro and you’ll:
- Enjoy the beautiful cultural epicenter of Latin America's largest and most dynamic country
- Take intensive language courses specifically designed for international students at Brazil's top university
- Immerse yourself in Brazilian academic and social life through homestays with local families and studies on a vibrant urban university campus
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, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.
The CIEE Difference
The CIEE Difference
The student-centered methodology of the Portuguese as a Second Language program is active, participatory, and prioritizes work in pairs and groups as well as activities requiring you to solve tasks and navigate situations. Using a combination of practical activities, lectures, auditory exercises, and analysis of texts, you’ll significantly develop your Portuguese fluency.
There are few better ways 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, if you’d prefer to live with another student.
The academic program is supplemented by field trips and excursions to various points of interest around Rio and Brazil and may include visits to sites of historic and cultural importance to Rio and its environs. These activities, which vary each semester to take advantage of seasonal and current attractions, may include a tour of the city of Rio, guided visits to the city’s numerous national museums, tours of historical neighborhoods, attending soccer matches, participating in Carnaval activities, and taking advantage of Rio’s rich and diverse arts culture. Events and activities are chosen to provide you with an overview of the geographic, cultural, and economic diversity of Rio and coastal Brazil
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
Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.
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 one meal per day
Estimated Additional Costs
Meals not included in program fee
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
- 1 semester of Portuguese or 2 semesters of Spanish
Total recommended credit is 6 semester/9 quarter hours and 90 contact hours.
Students are required to enroll in Intensive Portuguese as a Second Language.
About the City
About The City
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. The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries, including six years as the capital of Portugal (1815-1821). Rio is the most visited city in the southern hemisphere and is known for its natural setting, Carnival celebrations, samba, Bossa Nova, and its energetic population. Rio’s iconic landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain, Copacabana, and Ipanema Beaches, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the Maracanã soccer stadium.
Meet The Staff
Meet The Staff
Sean McIntyre is Academic Director for CIEE in Brazil, and Resident Director in Rio de Janeiro. Since obtaining his doctorate in German Studies from Stanford University in 2003, Dr. McIntyre has taught undergraduate humanities courses, German and Brazilian Portuguese language in several universities in the United States. In 2007 he received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to develop a Brazilian literature course at the University of São Paulo-Campinas (UNICAMP). In 2011 Sean moved to Rio de Janeiro to raise a family.
Adams Souza is a proud Carioca and recent graduate of international studies at PUC-Rio. Adams assists students in getting to know the ins and outs of student life at PUC and ESPM both on a social and academic level. Adams will be instrumental in creating community engagement opportunities and cultural activities for CIEE students. Adams loves cinema, theatre, playing volleyball on the beach, and hiking.
Where You'll Study
Where You'll Study
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.
Housing & Meals
Housing & Meals
Family Homestays— CIEE works with homestays in Rio. Homestays are located in the South Zone of Rio and 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 deconstruct stereotypes and observe real life in action. It also creates opportunities to practice their Portuguese language skills. Students can access the CIEE Study Center and campus(es) via public transportation. Breakfast is included.
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.
You'll begin your study abroad experience in Rio de Janeiro even before leaving home by participating in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation. The resident director meets with students online and 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 goals.
Upon arrival in Rio, you will partake in a two-day orientation session that will introduce you to Rio de Janeiro, PUC, Brazilian culture, and the academic program. The first day of orientation will include specially-designed sessions on health and safety, local living logistics, community engagement opportunities, as well as activities designed to get to know the city. The following day, you will reconvene at PUC for the university’s international student orientation. You will learn about available courses, add-drop periods, meet other Brazilian students, and have the second part of your placement evaluation, an oral exam. Rest assured that after the orientation process you will be ready to begin classes and live in Rio de Janeiro.
You are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. Many host families have Internet access in their homes in some form, but this is not a guaranteed feature of homestays. You will have access to the Internet (wireless and broadband) in computer labs at PUC-Rio and at Internet cafés, often called LAN houses, throughout the city. Internet reliability and access is not always available at the same level as in the U.S.; however, Brazil enjoys an advanced telecommunications infrastructure and major cities typically provide for ubiquitous access.
Established in 2012, the Intensive Language and Culture study abroad program is designed to prepare you for your studies at a Brazilian University. The program lasts approximately one month and includes 90 hours of intensive Portuguese language instruction offered at four different levels, with an additional option for Independent Study for students with very advanced or near-fluent Portuguese. The core academic content of the ILCP program is designed according to a highly dynamic and interactive communicative approach that also emphasizes cultural literacy, introducing students to exceptional artifacts of Brazilian culture. Students are placed in an intensive language class according to their ability as determined by a written placement test and an oral proficiency interview.
Brazilian universities tend to convey knowledge through different 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. It can take a while to learn how to study effectively in the Brazilian system, especially in terms of acquiring reading material and understanding professors expectations. CIEE staff understand this and are prepared to help you get the most out of your academic experience.
Nature of Classes
Courses are taught by nationally accredited faculty with postgraduate degrees (M.Sc., M.A., and Ph.D.).
CIEE Community Language Commitment
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.
Assessment for courses is typically based on a combination of written and oral assignments and a final paper or examination. The Brazilian grading scale goes from 1 to 10, with 5 being a passing grade and 7 considered satisfactory in general. The CIEE Study Center in Brazil converts grades and credits to the U.S. system according to a predetermined scale.
Language of Instruction
All courses are taught by faculty from PUC-Rio.
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 Intensive Language and Culture Program Courses
Upon arrival, students take a language placement exam to determine which language course they will take during the ILCP. The courses prepare international students to attend regular university courses in all academic areas, including History, Anthropology, Literature, International Relations, and Engineering, among others. Courses consist of 90 hours of instruction. Most students who speak Spanish with average fluency are expected to be able to attend regular courses at PUC-Rio after completing the ILCP.
The ILCP program will offer intensive Portuguese at the following levels:
- 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
- Level V - ADVANCED II Portuguese as a Second Language
The ILCP’s pre-term Portuguese as a Second Language Intensive Courses are offered twice a year prior to each semester. Students with lower proficiency can enroll in the CIEE Language and Culture program in which they are able to take coursework at PUC-Rio taught in English.