Critical Language Scholarship Program | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Program Dates:

June 10 - August 08, 2024

Hosting Institution:

Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

The CLS Program in Rio de Janeiro provides a language learning environment designed to cover the equivalent of one academic year of university-level Portuguese study during an eight-week period. The program is hosted by Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, commonly known as PUC-Rio, a private, non-profit philanthropic University founded in 1941. It is a Jesuit Catholic university based in Christian humanistic principles and an academically rigorous doctoral research institution that focuses on the development of academic and scientific knowledge. Students receive a minimum of fifteen hours per week of formal classroom instruction that focuses on intensive reading, writing, speaking, phonetics, and listening practice.

The PUC-Rio campus is located in Gávea in the south of Rio de Janeiro, at the edge of Tijuca National Forest. The campus was once a coffee farm and is not far from Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. The CLS Program will be hosted at PUC-Rio by its Central Coordination for International Cooperation office, which specializes in Portuguese language instruction, exchange programs, customized programs for non-Brazilian students, and international partnerships.

During the required fifteen hours per week of formal classroom instruction teachers help students master skills in reading, writing, speaking, phonetics, and listening comprehension. The academic program is interactive and equips students with the skills to understand, speak, read and write Portuguese in both formal and informal situations quickly. Outside of the classroom, students participate in a variety of cultural activities and excursions to explore the rich culture and history of Rio de Janeiro and deepen their understanding of Brazil’s unique blend of diverse cultures and colonial legacy. Activities may include attending local festivals, visiting local businesses, and meeting with guest speakers. Cultural excursions also give participants the opportunity to learn more about the natural ecosystem of southern Brazil.

All participants in Rio de Janeiro will live with local host families. Students eat breakfast with their families each day, which allows students to gain insight into Brazilian culture and develop close bonds with their families. Students may also spend free weekends with families, getting to know their extended networks, exploring Rio, and practicing their Portuguese in a more relaxed setting.

To facilitate further integration into daily life in Rio de Janeiro, students meet with a language partner several hours each week to practice conversational language skills and explore the city. Students can plan their own activities with their language partners based on their interests. Typical activities include visiting cafes and restaurants, hiking, visiting local beaches, and playing card and board games. Host families and language partners are also prepared to help students navigate daily life in Rio, assisting them in shopping for necessities, riding public transportation, and scheduling haircuts.