Study in Brazil

Are you willing to study in Brazil? Are you curious to know about the education system of Brazil? If yes, then you are at right place. All the details about the country, its education, top universities, etc are mentioned below for your reference.

Brazil Overview

Brazil is the largest country in South America and Latin America. It occupies the area of about 8.5million sq Kilometers and more than 208 million people. It is the 5th largest country in the whole world by area, 6th by its population. The capital of Brazil is ‘Brasilia’ but the most populated city is ‘Sao Paulo’. The Federation of Brazil consists of the union of the Federal District, 26 states and more the 5500 municipalities.
Brazil is one of the most ethnically diverse and multicultural countries because of the strong immigration from different places.
The Atlantic Ocean covers the country on the east and it makes the coastline of 7491 kilometers. The Amazon River Basin contains diverse wildlife, vast tropical forest, various ecological systems and extensive natural resources spanning lots of protected habitats. This is the reason that Brazil is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world.
Brazil is the largest Coffee producing country for the last 150 years and is know of the major breadbaskets. It is having the 8th largest GDP in the world by nominal and PPP measures.
The weather of Brazil varies widely due to the varied topography and large area.
As per the ‘Koppen System’, Brazil has 6 main climate types- Equatorial, Desert, Semiarid, oceanic, tropical and subtropical. Due to this variation in climate, the environment also varies and ranges from equatorial rainforests in the north, temperate coniferous forests in the south, semiarid deserts in the northeast and the tropical savannas in the central of Brazil.

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About Brazil

Top Universities in Brazil

Brazil is a country with a developing economy and has a high number of its universities listed in the QS World University Rankings. It has more than 2300 higher education institutes which are in recognition by Brazil’s Ministry of Education (MEC). These are the reasons why the international students prefer to be here in Brazil for pursuing their higher studies.
Below is the list of top universities in Brazil-
  • Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP)-This university was founded un the year 1934 in Sao Paulo and have campuses in 8 cities including Lorena, Bauru, Sao Carlos, Piracicaba, Santos, etc.
    It is the highest ranked university with 121st rank in the world and 3rd in Latin America. It is the largest public university of Brazil and has around 95000 students in 11 different campuses. It has a strong reputation at international level which is supported by its ranking in QS World University Ranking where this university is world’s best in 42 out of around 46 possible subject areas.

  • Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp)It is again a public university which is get funded by the state of Sao Paulo. It is established in the city of Campinas in the year 1966. It is offering undergraduate degrees in 66 subjects including medicine, dentistry, human sciences, engineering with different specialization, arts, teaching, etc. There are around 52000 students studying in this university and the undergraduate education is free of charge providing by the State of Sao Paulo. Students may get the stipend for housing, transport, meals, etc on the basis of their requirement.
    It is holding the 2nd position in Latin America and 182nd in the whole world. It has 3 campuses.


  • Universidade de Brasilia (UnB)-It is a public university located in Brasilia. It is holding 18th rank in Latin America. It was founded in the year 1962 and is teaching around 40000 students. It’s QS Global World Ranking is between 751-800.


  • Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)-It is a public University which is offering education free of cost. It is at 7th position in Latin America and 311th in the QS World University Rankings. It got established in the year 1792 and is the oldest university in Brazil.
    It has 4 campuses in Rio de Janeiro including Praia Vermelha, Cidade Universitaria, Macae and Xerem.
    It has 6 university centers- the centre of juridical and economic sciences (CCJE), the centre of Health Sciences (CCS), the Centre of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (CCMN), the Centre of Letters and Arts (CLA), the Centre of technology (CT) and the centre of Philosophy and Human Sciences (CFCH). Each center is having schools, institutes, supplementary units, and faculties.
    Currently, it has 194 undergraduate courses, 117 postgraduate courses, and 91 doctorate courses.
    It is the largest federal university of Brazil.


  • Universidade Estadual Paulista (INESP)It is a public university established in the year 1976. It is on 10th position in Latin America and in the 491-500 range of the QS World University Rankings. This university is focusing on different aspects of almost every field like health, engineering, humanities, social sciences, communication, arts, etc. It is considered one of the largest Brazilian Universities as it supports both theoretical and experimental parts of each field. The university is financially supported by state funds and has lots of achievements in the field of research, teaching and extension services. It has 23 campuses including the one in the capital city of Brazil.


Work permit for Students in Brazil

To work in Brazil was not legal for international students earlier but since 2016 the rule changed and it became legal for foreign students to work part-time.
For this, the students need to send their request to the General Immigration Coordination (CGIG) in the ministry of Labor. They will then analyze the cases and after that, the authorization will be issued. These work permits are issued only for one particular employer and students are not allowed to work randomly anywhere. So
They need to get an appointment letter first from a company and then only they can request for the work permit.
Students can apply for work permit only after completing at least 6 months from the beginning of their course.

Quick Facts

  1. The capital of Brazil is Brasilia and the largest city is Sao Paulo.

  2. The official language of the country is Portuguese.

  3. The country includes different religions but the highest percentage is of Catholic.

  4. The total area is around 8,515,767 sq kilometer and the populations residing in the country is around 209,129,000.

  5. The currency of Brazil is “Real (BRL)” which is equivalent to 18.30 INR.

  6. The calling code for Brazil is +55.

  7. The ISO 3166 code is BR and the internet TLD is .br.

  8. The oldest city in Brazil is ‘Sao Vicente’ and is located near Sao Paulo. It was established in year 1532.

  9. ’Pico da Neblina’ is the largest mountain in Brazil. It is situated on the border with Venezuela at the height of 2994 meters above the sea.

  10. ’Brasilia’ built in the year 1960 and before that ‘Rio’ was the capital of Brazil.

  11. Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of coffee.

  12. Sao Paulo is having the largest economy by GDP in the Southern Hemisphere and it secures the 11th position in the World.

  13. The Amazon river of Brazil is the World’s largest river by the volume is discharge in the Atlantic Ocean which is around 209,000 cubic meters per second.

  14. Brazil has more than 4000 airports.

  15. The statue of Christ the Redeemer situated in Rio De Janeiro has weight f 632 tonnes and its height is 38 meters. It is included in the new seven wonders of the world.

  16. It is among the world’s most biodiverse countries and has around 4 million plant and animal species.

Admission Process in Brazil

Brazilian universities, colleges, and other higher education institutes invite international students for education. They have 2 options- Paid private institutes and free public institutes.
Eligibility
  • For undergraduate course- Secondary education is required to get admission in an undergraduate course.
    Students also need to appear in Vestibular or ENEM entrance examination.

  • For Post Graduate course- Students after finishing their 3 years undergraduate course can apply for Master’s course in Brazil. ‘Srictu sensu’ is an option for students who wish to go for Ph.D. later and ‘Lato sensu’ is a Master’s degree in professional specializations like medicine and law.
    For admission in Ph.D. or doctorate program, students need to pass the ‘Strictu sensu’ degree.

  • For Post Doctorate course- Once the doctorate degree is completed, students are eligible for Post-doctorate degree.


  • After checking the eligibility, you can follow the below mentioned steps to process the admission-
    1. The first step is to choose the suitable education institute or university and then download the application form online from their website. Check the application dates and go further accordingly.

    2. Fill up the application form carefully. Then send this application enclosed with all other required documents and testimonials f previous qualification to the selected institute. You also need to enclose the English Language Proficiency test score with the application. For this, you need to appear in TOEFL or IELTS.
      Some institutes may ask for the certificate of proficiency in Portuguese and for that, the specified exam is “CELPE-Bras (Certificado de Proficiencia em Lingua Portuguesa para Estrangeiros)”.

    3. After the deadline gets closed for applications, the institute starts responding to the applications and if all the criteria matched their requirements, you will get their letter of acceptance. After receiving the same, you can start the process for the student visa as it also takes much time.

    Student Visa Application Process

    Students from outside Brazil who are planning to study in Brazilian Universities are required to have a student visa. The course can be of any time and any duration.
    Bellow is the steps to be followed to get a student visa-
    • The very first step is to have a passport with at least 6months validity.

    • After that, you need to shortlist the suitable university for enrollment and after confirming your admissions, you need to pay the fee.

    • Once the fee is paid, you will get an official enrollment letter from your university. This certificate must be certified and notarized. This process takes around 3 weeks, so one should plan everything beforehand to avoid unexpected delays.

    • Now you need to get 2 recent passport size photos for your visa application. You also need to get one proof of residency. You may consider the copy of your driving license.

    • Now you need to arrange for a very important document and that is your background check for criminal records. This can be done at your local police station. It can be done online in some countries. This process may take around 1 week.

    • Another step is to arrange your financial capability proof. This is a document which certifies that you are capable to bear your expenses during your stay in Brazil. It can be your own bank statement having enough funds, your scholarship details, and an official acceptance letter or a letter from your parents that they will be taking care of your financial requirement during your stay in Brazil. In the last case, additional documents will be required like a notarized letter mentioning the financial responsibility, a notarized official bank statement, student’s birth certificate, etc.

    • The last but important thing is to have proof of departure. It means you have to book your flight tickets even before you get your confirmed visa. It is a unique requirement for Brazil. You need to keep your departure dates carefully to compensate for any kind of delay in getting confirmed visa.

    • Now fill out your visa request form online and print it. Attach your passport size photo and sign across it. This form must not be older than 1 month from the date of your meeting with consulate.

    • Now take an appointment with your consulate online and get ready with your documents. You can also take the service providers for the same. After a successful meeting and documents verification, it will take around 1-2 weeks to get an approved students visa. The process may get delayed if the documents for not proper or incomplete in one or another way.


    Extension of Brazilian Student visa

    An extension of current student visa is not that painful process and requires a bunch of documents only.
    Below is the list of requires documents for extension of student visa in Brazil-
    • 2 recent passport size photos with white background. The size should be 3X4.

    • Authenticated copies of blank passport pages.

    • Your current enrollment letter.

    • Current RNE.

    • A declaration from your academic institution.

    • Proof of paid taxes.

    Once all the above mentioned documents are ready you can initiate your process.
    You need to get a new enrollment letter from your school or university. For this, you will have to pay the appropriate fee. It can be paid in cash, bank deposit or bank transfer. After fee payment, you will get a declaration of enrollment and a testament that the institute is real.
    Now you can fill the form online. This will give you a code which will be required to schedule a PF appointment. This form includes a job and you need to select the option for you. After filling it carefully, submit the form. It will load in an A4 size and at the heading, you will find the code “Codigo de Soclicitacao” and this is required while scheduling an appointment. Now print the page to submit it at the time of appointment.

    The PF Appointment can be scheduled online. You will need to enter the “Codigo de Soclicitacao” code and then you get the details of yourself and PF location. After that, you will be allowed to enter the suitable date and time for an appointment.
    There is a possibility that you may not find any dates available before the expiry of your visa and in such situations, it is advised to select the first available option. You can keep checking for the same as people may cancel their appointments and you may find earlier dates.
    Now you need to pay the taxes for your new RNE. The online forms need to be filled and then need to be printed for each tax to submit them at an appointment.
    After that, please get printed all the copies of the pages of your passport and get them authenticated by a Cartorio.
    If you have done till this point, you are ready to attend an appointment and submit the documents. It takes around 1 week for approval and visa extension.

    Lifestyle

    The Brazilian lifestyle is very much influenced by the combined cultures of Africans, Indigenous Indians, and Portuguese. The Portuguese culture is, however, dominating above all the Brazilians have got their language, their religion, and customs from them.

    People of Brazil-

    Brazil is mostly occupied by immigrants and has ethnically diverse communities from Africa, Asia, North America, etc. Brazilian people are very much generous and the classic example of the same is they have a habit to invite someone they meet to their home for the meal. They are good helpers too. For them, the relationships are more important than the money and family is always their first preference.
    They are very much expressive and when they meet, men prefer handshakes and a tap on shoulders whereas the women exchange kisses on the cheek.
    They have some pre-defined etiquettes like to bring flowers or a gift for the hostess if invited for a meal, eye contact while greeting someone, etc. They don’t prefer purple or black colors as these colors are mourning colors for them.
    Although Brazilians are never punctual, a good dressing is always expected.

    Brazilian Food-

    Manioc, beans, rice, peanuts, okra, fresh fruits etc are the main core of Brazilian diet. The national dish of Brazil is ‘Feijoada’ which is a meat stew made from the black beans and pork.
    As we know that Brazil has diversity in the population, different regions have a different style of cuisine depending upon their communities. North Brazil has Indian and Portuguese descents and they love eating fish, peanuts, tropical fruits, etc. “Vatapa” is again a favorite and it is a spicy mixture of bread, shrimp, ginger, red pepper, onions, and coconut milk. Pato no Tucup and Tacaca are also liked by them.
    The South part of Brazil is occupied by Germans and Italians. They love wine, pasta, lasagna, Arroz Carreteiro, Barreado, etc.

    Music-

    Brazil is famous for music and one can find anywhere in restaurants, bars, beaches, sporting events and even on the streets. The family celebrations in Brazil are focused on music and it is always a part of carnivals, religious functions, and rituals.
    The lyrics are mostly about their history, freedom, the desire for romance and love, etc.
    Brazilians have their own drum “Sambass” which is influenced by Africans.

    Brazilian sport ‘Soccer’-

    Soccer game is an inseparable part of Brazilian culture. It is their national pastime and one can find this game in every part of the country. The children in Brazil learn to play sports at a very young age and that is the reason that Brazil has credit to produce many good soccer players.

    Carnivals and Celebrations-

    Brazil is famous for its carnivals. During carnivals, one can witness the jovial and vibrant atmosphere due to the presence of different colors, sounds, and sites. People of all the classes come together to enjoy this for several days. Parades, musicians, costumed dancers, formal balls, street dancing, etc are the main attraction in carnivals.

    Cost of Living for Students

    Brazil is having the 7th largest economy and it the choice for many to for long-term travel and permanent relocation due to its liberal immigration policy. But all these things do not make the cost of life reasonable here in Brazil. It is considered to be an expensive country especially in big cities like Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasilia. One can try to save money by opting to live in rural areas but in that case, the services and goods are not easily available.
    The accommodation, transportation and some goods are costly whereas one can find the food and other related services at reasonable rates.
    The cost of living is explained in a better way below-

    Accommodation cost-One need not worry about accommodation in Brazil as they have a variety of accommodations to offer you. You can find apartments and houses in private communities, condominiums in gated communities with many shared amenities in it. Brazilian also offer accommodations unfurnished and they may not even have the electric fittings and kitchen appliances. These are for long-term rental lease.
    Please note that you need to have a Brazilian Identity Card “Cadastro de Pessoas Fisicas (CPF)” to sign a lease and it takes a number of months to get this documents. Many foreigners try to convince their employer to sign the lease on their behalf.
    Rented accommodation can be expensive but these are negotiable. One need to pay the deposit that is equivalent to the 3 month’s rent.
    The approximate rent is around $450 per month for 1 bedroom apartment, $1200 for 3 bedroom apartments in the major cities. You can also share the accommodation to make it reasonable. The utility charges are not included in the rent.

    Food and GroceriesAfter accommodation, another important requirement is Food. Brazil is doing in agriculture hence the food is not very expensive here. People who prefer to cook can have an affordable deal and healthy diet whereas outside meals will surely disturb your budget.
    Local alcohols are easily available and affordable but please avoid the imported ones to save money.

    TransportBrazil has a big problem with transportation and traffic. People usually prefer to stay close to their work-place to avoid delays due to heavy traffic.
    One can have taxis, public transportation, air travel options, etc very easily in big cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Local buses are very popular in Brazil.
    To own a car will not solve your budget problem so it is better to avoid the same.

    TechnologyAlthough the technology is in high demand, it is not well developed in Brazil. WiFi is available in most of the major cities but the infrastructure of cables and internet is not proper. You can try for a broadband but then it is expensive.
    You can buy a bundle plan for TV, Phone, and Internet at a cheaper rate.

    Documents for University Admissions in Brazil

    1. A duly filled visa application form printed and signed.

    2. A passport with the validity of 6 months or more after the arrival in Brazil.

    3. A passport sizes photo with white background only.

    4. A copy of enrollment in any of the Brazilian university and a letter of confirmation from the university authorities.

    5. A proof of the fee paid for your course needs to be submitted with the visa application.

    6. A valid proof of health insurance is a mandatory document for student visa.

    7. A proof of your financial capability to bear your expenses during your stay in Brazil.

    8. For the students who are below 18 years of age need to submit a notarized letter of consent signed by their parents.

    9. For students over the age of 18 years need to submit the recent non-criminal record issued from FBI or any other equivalent organization of your own country.

    10. A copy of your birth certificate mentioning the full names of your parents is also required.

    11. A proof that you have purchased a travel itinerary for Brazil.

    12. A proof of residency in the jurisdiction of the consulate from where you are requesting for the visa.

    13. Visa Application fee which needs to be paid as USPS money order. The fee varies depending upon the native country and the consulate.


    Apart from all the above-mentioned documents, if you stay far from the consulate, you can also carry a self-addressed envelope to get your visa and passport back to your address by post.

Education in Brazil

The education or the school system in Brazil has different levels. Among them, some are compulsory and some are optional.
Pre-school education-It is completely optional in Brazil but if parents opt for this, they have two options-
  1. Maternal-It is state run crèches for the kids from 2 to 5 years of age. It is more like a playgroup school

  2. Jardim-It is available for the kids of 3 to 6 years of age. It is more like academic nursery schools. The school authorities meet the parents and child first to analyze the academic and social skills of kids and accordingly they suggest the suitable option to parents for enrollment.

Both of these options are free in Brazil.

Primary and Lower Secondary educationThis level of schooling is compulsory and students must go to the school at the age of 6 years in Brazil.
It is 9 years of education and is known as Fundamental education with 2 different levels-
  1. Ensino Fundamental 1-During this level, the children earn mathematics, science, Portuguese, history, arts, physical education, and Geography.

  2. Ensino Fundamental 2-This level has one additional language to teach.

The complete curriculum of this level is designed by Education Council of Brazil.
As per the school system, the exams are getting conducted at the end of each academic session. It is just to determine that the child should be allowed to move to the next level or should be held back at the same level for further improvements. Due to this, you can find different aged kids in the same class.
There are some private schools also. They have divided a single academic year into different levels depending upon the academic ability but it has become very less common.

Upper Secondary EducationThis level is for young students of the age from 15 to 18 years. Apart from the subjects studied during Ensino Fundamental, students also study philosophy and sociology.
The level is a kind of preparatory level where the education prepares the students to enter the universities.
Students can study in the private school where they were already studying during secondary level or they may study in specific colleges which are providing training to the students to take entrance exams set by particular universities. Professional training can also be taken at this stage.

Higher EducationOnce the students have completed their secondary level education, they may continue their studies in private or public universities. For this, they need to appear in entrance exams known as ‘Vestibular’. The entrance exams in public and private universities are different and the one for private universities are merely a formality. That’s the reason that a degree from the public university is highly valued.

Home SchoolingIt is something unique in Brazil. It is compulsory to start the education at the age of 6 in Brazil and if the parents feel that the schools available in their location is not up to the mark, they can apply to the government for the right to provide their own education at their home. Although it is an option, it is a lengthy process and involves the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Education for approval.

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