What to Know Before You Study in Brazil

Rio. Rain forests. Rivers.

What comes to your mind when you talk about the largest country in South America?

Study abroad in Brazil and add to your list!

(If you decide to apply for study in Brazil, make sure you have a professional transcript and diploma translation!)

Higher Education in Brazil

Brazil has both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Undergraduate degrees take up to six years to earn, depending on your field of study. Students in Brazil first must pass an entrance exam before they are admitted.

Students can earn a:

  • “Bacharelado” – A more professionally oriented bachelor’s degree, which is not oriented towards teaching
  •  “Licenciatura” – A teaching degree
  • “Tecnologia” – A specialized technical degree

Graduate students choose from two programs:

  • Mestrado (master’s) degree in two years
  • Doutorado (doctorate) in four years

Tuition is mostly free in Brazil, except for certain smaller institutions.

Classes in Brazil

Most classes in Brazil are taught as lectures. Students take notes on exactly what the professors say and then tend to repeat it in an exam. This is changing, however, so if you study abroad in Brazil be prepared to use your critical thinking skills!

Full-time students usually take 6 or 7 classes.

Grades in Brazil

Some schools use a grading system of letters similar to the US with the main difference being that an “E” grade corresponds to an “F” in the American education system. Others use a number scale from 0 to 10.

Few students receive the top grades. Students can repeat a course twice.

The Academic Year in Brazil

Students looking to study abroad in Brazil should remember that Brazil’s school year is on an opposite schedule to the calendar used by most US colleges and universities. Brazil’s academic year begins in March and ends in November.

Students take two semesters of classes. Some institutions also offer summer classes in January and February.

Student Visa to Study Abroad in Brazil

Before you study abroad in Brazil, remember to get your student visa in your home country. (You will likely need certified translations of your personal documents.) You aren’t able to change the status of your visa once you enter the country to study abroad. When you enter Brazil, you will register with that country’s police in order to receive an identification card. Brazil isn’t quite like other South American countries.For one, Brazilians speak Portuguese and not Spanish. And while Brazil has beautiful natural areas, it also has cosmopolitan cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, which is one of the most populous cities in the world. Be sure to explore all sides of the country when you study abroad in Brazil!