Modern Brazil: Its People and Culture

May 10 - May 30, 2016
Florianópolis, Brazil

Program Highlights

  • Engage in Brazilian culture by reading and living in the culture
  • Visit Rio de Janeiro and explore that favelas (slums), visit the Maracanã stadium, and Christ the Redeemer (statue).
  • Hike and learn about the Magical Island of Florianópolis
  • Dance samba and cook traditional meals
  • Live with a Brazilian family
  • Learn some survival Portuguese

Program Description:

Spend three weeks exploring and learning about Brazil.

The groups will fly into Florianópolis, an island in Brazil. The group will live with host families near the school. Transportation is nearby and easy to navigate. During your first week in Florianópolis you will learn survival Portuguese and visit different places in Florianópolis. The second week you will attend the Modern Brazil: Its People and Culture course where you will read academic papers and discuss your experience with the new culture and your reflections on the readings. You will attend a religious ceremony, "Umbanda," participate in cooking, dancing, and capoeira lessons. There will also be time to explore this fabulous city on your own!

During the last four days in Brazil, we will stop in Rio de Janeiro, where we will visit the Christ the Redeemer statue and learn about its history; we will also visit one of hte most popular favelas (slums_ and have first-hand experience of them. There will also be time to explore this cool city on your own. We will be staying in a busy, but very exciting, three weeks!

Course Description (2 credit requirement)

  • Complete your Intercultural designation (IC) - 2 credits
  • Learn political, economic, religious, and social legacies of Brazilian past centuries
  • Learn and reflect on how hosting to host the Soccer World Cup 2014 affected the people of Brazil
  • Reflect on how the social movements play a role in the music, dance, food, "futbol" (soccer), and lifestyles of Brazilians
  • Read Academic Papers (course packet)
  • Discuss and reflect on your experiences in Brazil as well as in the papers in your course packet
  • Write a daily journal
  • Participate in Brazilian dance, cooking, and capoeira lessons
  • Write a final essay
  • Learn surivival Portuguese

No prerequisites

Program Cost

The estimated Program Fee is $5,000 (estimated) plus the cost of  2 credits at CSB/SJU at the reduced summer tuition rate (approximately $550 per credit).

This Price Includes:

    • Housing (Hotel in Rio de Janeiro and host family in Florianópolis)
    • Round trip international airfare and visa (Minneapolis -> Rio de Janeiro -> Florianopolis -> Minneapolis)
    • Program administrative costs and fees
    • Two meals per day (breakfast and dinner)
    • 1 day trip learning excursion
    • Admission cultural events included for the course
    • Insurance

The Program Fee does not include:

  • Passport
  • The cost of university credits ($550 per credit)
  • One meal per day ($15-$20)
  • Public Transporation in Florianópolis ($50)
  • Personal spending money ($500)


Housing and classroom facilities, along with many other support services are provided by the The Language Club. Internet and laundry service is provided by most host families.

*Note: Please see program brochure on right side of this page for more details.


Sarah Schaaf has directed four May term programs (Camino de Santiago, 2012; Japan, 2013; Valladolid, Spain, 14; and Valladolid, Spain, 2015). As a co-collaborator on the development of the Brazil May term program, Sarah has visited Floripa and our partner institution there.