Study in Brazil – A HOW-TO GUIDE

3 min

525 points

If you’re considering studying in Brazil, whether for your undergraduate degree or as part of your postgraduate studies, you will likely find that Brazil is an excellent place for international students to study.

Why you Should Consider Brazil

Even though Brazil may not be many people’s first idea when they think of studying abroad, as a result of its recent economic rise, Brazil boasts a sophisticated and modern university system that you should definitely check out.

In fact, out of the top 50 Latin American Universities, 17 of them are located in Brazil and there are currently more than 100,000 scholars engaged in research there.

Studying in Brazil, either as part of a degree at another university or obtaining your entire degree, is a great way to open your eyes to a whole new world!

Study in Brazil

Types of Brazilian Degrees

n Brazil, there are many different types of degrees that are slightly different in structure than in other countries.

Although here are very detailed list of the types of degrees:

  • Bachelors (bacharelado): takes 3-6 years to complete, prepares students for professions such as lawyers and physicians.
  • Licentiate (licenciatura): takes 3-4 years to finish, allows students to become primary or secondary school teachers in an area such as math, English, or biology.
  • Technology (tecnologia): requires 2-3 years of full-time studies, contains specific professional courses to enable students with very specialized knowledge in areas such as agribusiness or tourism management.

Brazilian Universities

All Brazilian universities are categorized into one of six groups by Brazil’s Ministry of Education:

  • Universities: institutions focused on teaching and research in all areas, with a focus on community outreach. At least one-third of all teaching staff must have PhDs.
  • University Centers: institutions that are focused on teaching all areas of knowledge but with no required focus on research. They are also not under the Ministry of Education’s control in terms of the courses they offer.
  • Integrated Faculties and Schools of Higher Education: smaller institutions with little autonomy from the Ministry of Education need to get approval whenever they begin offering new courses or degrees. They offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses, with at least one undergraduate course in each specific area.
  • Institutes: universities that carry out teaching and research only on specialized subjects
  • Isolated colleges: institutions that are not linked to larger universities and are instead private institutions that teach (although are not required to research) specific topics.

Which University Should you Choose

The type of university you choose as well as the specific university depends primarily on what you are looking to get out of this experience.

There are many websites that give the viewer information about the quality of different Brazilian schools, but they are no replacement for finding someone in your life who knows about the Brazilian education system, if possible, and asking them.

Perhaps your college has a Brazilian society that you could visit, or maybe you know someone who has studied abroad in Brazil or elsewhere.

Also, if you are not looking to obtain an entire degree in Brazil, there are different educational programs that you can attend in Brazil without spending the time to get a degree there.

Some examples of these programs are the CIEE Writer Intensive Language and Culture Program in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is a 4-week program aimed at helping students improve their understanding of Portuguese and Brazilian culture, and Summit Study.

Abroad in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro + Sao Paulo, a 3-4 week traveling program that will give you six academic credits and allow you to study traditional academic subjects with professors.

Study in Brazil

How to Learn Portuguese

You can memorize words from a dictionary all you want, but nothing beats actually practicing a language in its native country. Apart from online programs and just experiencing the language naturally, there are a number of programs in Brazil designed to assist foreigners with learning Portuguese.

The programs range from full immersion language courses in private language centers to semester-long courses in universities. If you are looking to learn in a school rather than a program setting, you might want to consider studying in one of Brazil’s many language schools.

Also, if you want to learn to speak Portuguese online to prepare for your studies in Brazil, there are many sites that can help you.

English Programs in Brazil

If you don’t want to spend the time and effort becoming fluent or near-fluent in Portuguese (or are still in the early stages of learning it), but still want to study in Brazil and experience their culture, you might want to consider participating in programs in Brazil that are offered in English.

The Washington Post named Brazil one out of 7 of the best countries for English-speaking students to study in English on a low budget. The article said that many Brazilian courses are taught in English and that students can study at state universities that cost little to attend.

It also named the ‘University of Sao Paulo’ and the ‘State University of Campinas’ as two amazing universities to study at as they are ranked in the top 400 universities worldwide.


Study Brazil – It can be tough moving to a new place to study, let alone a new country with different languages, traditions, and cultures. However, don’t let that stop you as the benefits you can gain from immersing yourself in a new language and culture are immense. I hope this article helped you prepare for studying abroad in Brazil.

Like it? Share with your friends!

525 points