Study In Brazil: Tuition, Cost of Living, Scholarships for International Students in Brazil

Looking for a study destination where you can have an amazing experience? Want a scholarship opportunity to study abroad? Are you a lover of a sunset evening life at the beach? Then Brazil is one viable option consider.

The government of Brazil in partnership with various independent organizations and institutions are offering exciting scholarship opportunities for international students to pursue their undergraduate, masters, PhD, and postgraduate studies in any of the Universities in the country.

We have made available a list of ongoing scholarships for international students in Brazil. as well as detailed information about the country.


Why Study in Brazil?

Brazil has many unique advantages as a study abroad destination. Here are ten reasons you should study abroad in Brazil.

Learn Portuguese

With the largest Portuguese-speaking population in the world, Brazil is the perfect place to learn the language (though there are many differences between Portugal Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese).

Beaches

It’s hard to think of Brazil without thinking of the beaches, and whether you are spending a break in Rio or participating in a program in Bahia, Brazil is replete with gorgeous beaches all along its coast.

Friendly People

Regardless of where you are, people in Brazil are friendly, happy, and eager to interact with visitors from other countries. Take advantage by exchanging ideas and making new friends.

Carnaval

The quintessential Brazilian cultural event, nothing compares to experiencing Carnaval in Rio.

Global Influence

Brazil is growing in size and GDP and, as a BRIC country; it provides a unique opportunity to study the impacts of development and the roll that Brazil will fill within the global economy in the coming years.

The Amazon

With domestic flights to Manaus, Brazil study abroad students from all disciplines have access to the Brazilian Amazon during their time abroad or while studying independently afterwards.

Experience Latin America

Brazil provides a great starting point for experiencing Latin America, whether you’re traveling to Buenos Aires or beyond. Flights are also cheaper when you depart from within South America.

Universities

Brazil has a network of excellent universities, many of which are very competitive. There are also specific colleges for various fields of study.

Unique Cultural Identity

Brazil’s people come from various countries, heritages, and cultural traditions. Experience various influences in every aspect of Brazilian life, from food to art and religion.

Soccer

If you are a football fan, there are few places on earth where tradition, fervor, and nationalism are stronger than Brazil. Opportunities to play are also around every corner.

Scholarships for international students in Brazil

  • Visiting Scholarships at Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil
  • 400+ OAS-GCUB SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM, BRAZIL
  • PAEC OAS Scholarships in Brazil
  • 2025 TWAS-CNPq Postdoctoral Fellowship in Brazil
  • University of Sao Paulo Postdoctoral Fellowships in Brazil
  • ITS Fellowship Program for International Students in Brazil
  • UNICAMP, Postdoctoral Position in Biochemistry in Brazil

Ranking of Universities in Brazil


Admission procedure for study in Brazil

  • If you must obtain an opportunity to study in Brazil, it is important that you understand the admission process; first, the students should have completed their secondary education and is approved in ENEM (Secondary Education Evaluation Exam) and Vestibular(which is a competitive examination which the students is deemed qualified to obtain admission into any institution, based on their performance. Other procedures include;
  • The student has to choose their desired university and download their application form. The completed forms are to be sent to the university along with the documents of the previously completed programs.
  • The student must develop their English skills in order to meet the requirement for the English language in Brazilian universities for international students. The English language proficiency tests score should also be mentioned in the application.
  • After the institute peruses the application it decides the selection of the candidate, if the candidate receives a letter of acceptance from the institution the students should apply for a Student’s pass or visa.
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Facts about Accommodation in Brazil

  • Universities in Brazil don’t normally offer accommodation to their students, so unlike other countries, most students live in private accommodation.
  • It’s worth contacting your chosen university’s international office in advance to see if they can provide you with advice on where to stay.
  • It might be worth booking into a hostel for the first month or so of your studies, as it is much easier to find accommodation once you are in the country.
  • Many universities will also help their students to organize homestays, where students live with a host family.
  • Brazil has a relatively high cost of living compared to other South American countries, but as with every country, the higher the standard of living you want, the more you will pay.
  • Eating out, drinks, and public transport are all more expensive than in other South American countries.

Cost of study and living in Brazil

  • The cost of living including food, accommodation, utility bills and travel is approx. USD 3000 per month.
  • The cost of study in Brazil is approx. USD 5,500 for around 4 credits. However, it differs from university to university.
  • Another important factor that is given less importance is that health insurance while staying in the country for which it is advisable to select a plan that suits the candidate in the best possible manner.
  • Home to the 2014 World Cup, 2016 Olympics and countless tourist attractions, Brazil holds unforgettable experiences for students studying abroad. However — especially in big cities — the extent of culture shock and local norms aren’t known to everyone before arriving.

Requirements for Obtaining a Student Visa

Students wishing to attend a Brazilian university will need to take the Vestibular if they do not already possess scores from a similar entrance exam (such as the U.S. SAT or ACT) that may be used in place of Vestibular scores.

Once you are in Brazil, register with your local branch of the Federal Police within 21 days of your arrival.

If you don’t, you’ll be charged a tax for each day you go past the 21-day limit, which may harm your chances of applying for a visa renewal or extension.

It is vital you double-check all information with the Brazilian embassy in your home country before traveling.

You must also undergo a police check in your home country, and prove that you have enough money to support yourself whilst you’re in Brazil.


Step-by-Step Procedures In Applying For Brazillian Student Visa Application

  • Ensure your passport will be valid for at least 6 months from your expected arrival date
  • Register with the school
  • Fill out the application on the Brazilian Consulate site
  • Make the appointment to submit your documents to the Brazilian Consulate
  • Print out the requirements list for the visa you want (student visa is VITEM-IV)
  • Get fingerprinted for a background check, then send off documents for a background check – or use channeller to combine fingerprinting and document sending (higher cost, faster results)
  • Collect all of the documents on the requirements list: proof of financial means, health insurance, etc.
  • Keep everything together in a folder so that nothing gets separated.
  • Get the USPS money order for the reciprocity fee.
  • Show up at your appointment prepared and ready to be approved
  • Wait the 5 business for your VITEM-IV to be processed
  • Pick up (or receive by mail) your VITEM-IV and get stoked about going to Brazil

Documents needed when applying for a student visa in Brazil.

Concerning Immigration & Visa in Brazil, where you can make sure you get the right documents to make a successful application to your ideal university. Most international students who study a degree in Brazil will need to get a study visa.

A completed visa application form must then be submitted online to the Brazilian Consulate, along with

  • A notarized copy of the student’s driver’s license or identification card.
  • Two Original passport photo valid for six months after the course
  • A copy of the student’s flight itinerary or airline tickets (proof of departure),
  • A copy of the student’s birth certificate,
  • proof that the student has sufficient funds to pay for living expenses while studying in Brazil
  • A letter of invitation by the university the student is attending is also needed before Brazil’s Ministry of Education issues a student visa.
  • Copy of a letter of acceptance from an approved Brazilian institution
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What is Higher Education in Brazil like?

There are basically 3 various types of tertiary institution system in Brazil; the Universities that conduct researches; the institutions that offer a range of courses that are not research-oriented; and institutions that are integrated smaller faculties, tertiary institutions that require approval for the Ministry of Education in Brazil, before offering degree programs and certifications.

While many of the government-owned universities are free from tuition fees, the smaller schools operated by municipal governments are not tuition free.

In Brazil, it does not follow the traditional way of regarding educational degrees like it is in other countries. They are regarding in the following order;

Undergraduate

Bachelor’s (bacharelado): takes a duration of about 3 to 6 years to complete. Earning a bachelor’s (bacharelado) degree can equip the student to practice professions like a lawyer or medical doctor in Brazil.

Licentiate (licenciatura): takes duration of about 3 to 4 years to complete. This enables the students to operate as primary and post-primary school teachers in specialized areas. Having a licentiate (licenciatura) degree can equip the graduate to function in professional job like primary and post-primary school instructors.

Technology (tecnologia): takes duration of about 2 to 3 years of full-time studies to complete. These professional studies are geared towards providing specialized knowledge. Having a degree in technology requires about 2 years and equips individuals with skills to work in highly specialized career fields like management.

Graduate

Lato sensu postgraduate” degree: this degree represents a specialization in a certain area, and takes approximately 1 to 2 years to complete. MBA programs in Brazil are classified as lato sensu programs.

Stricto sensu postgraduate” degree: this degree enables one to pursue an academic career. In chronological order:

Master’s degree (mestrado): this takes 1 to 2 years of full time studies to complete.

Doctoral degree / PhD (doutorado): this takes 3 to 4 years to complete

Postdoctoral research (pós-doutorado): this is not an academic title; it usually denotes excellence in a field of knowledge acquired through supervised research after a doctorate.

Livre-docência: this is the highest academic qualification in Brazil. The livre-docência requires the candidate to write a professional thesis, based on independent scholarship.

Postgraduate degrees called “Lato sensu” are also available that indicate a student has specialized in a particular academic subject. However, this degree will not allow a student to pursue a PhD. Instead, the student interested in a doctorate degree will need to earn a strictu sensu master’s degree rather than a “Lato sensu“. Masters of Business Administration degree programs in Brazil are considered to be lato sensu programs.


Private and Public Universities in Brazil

Apart from these public Universities, Private institutions are also regarded to be exceptional in several quality programs and in the enrolment of local and foreign students. They admit students into courses with a a duration of about 2 to 6 months and account for 75% of the tertiary school system in the country.

These universities, whether public or private, invest in quality programs and in social inclusion. They boast of fine facilities, seasoned faculties, affordable prices and great supply of courses. Knowing the country well and learning its language provide an important edge for professional education.

These Institutions in Brazil are renowned worldwide, sought after by international students and famous for certain courses in programs like Engineering, Biology, Medicine, MBA, Dermatology and Veterinary medicine. For this reason, several multinational corporations recruit employees from Brazilian universities and has become a hotspot for student recruitment.

MBA programs and specialization courses in the country are also noteworthy, as well as programs that combine traineeships and volunteer work in needy and indigenous communities.

Here are a few things students should know before attending to make the most of their trip.

THE LANGUAGE

If not fluent in Portuguese, a basic hold on Spanish will still get you far, as the two have many cognates. Not all businesses have English speakers or translators, even in areas known to be frequently visited by tourists.

In my opinion, the most essential phrases are:

de novo: for when people speak too fast for you to understand and you need to hear again

onde esta (insert place here): to ask where a location is

quanto custa (insert item here): to ask how much an item costs

obrigada/o: to say ‘thank you.’

It can be helpful to bring a list of common phrases along in your pocket, just in case.

Travelling to Brazil with only knowledge of English could still make for a great experience, but the language barrier limits cultural immersion. Not to mention, some of the emotion and eloquent articulation often spoken in Brazilian Portuguese can be lost in translation.

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Interacting with Locals

Visiting Cristo Redentor and Sugarloaf mountain, travellers get breathtaking views of the city, but there are certain spots that only locals may know about. Meeting Brazilian students can get you insight on culture, the best places to go and great Portuguese practice.

Brazilian favelas, shantytowns, hold a large portion of the population. Less-fortunate students may live here and invite you to experience the lifestyle. Seeing favelas can be an enriching and eye-opening experience, but you will learn a lot more by visiting with a local rather than going through a large tour company. Residents tend to dislike having their homes and lives on display.

Local and family-owned restaurants trump chains by a long shot. Quilo restaurants allow you to pay for food by weight, giving choice of how much or little you’d like to eat.

FUNDS

Withdrawing a large amount at once in reais will save you money in the long-run. International fees add up quickly, and many places don’t accept credit or debit cards as payment. Always carry at least R$50 on you, in case of emergency and because the street markets always catch your attention.

With a currency more than 3 times the amount of Brazilian reais, your U.S. money will get you far.

If something costs more than what you would pay in the states, you’re getting the foreigner price. To ensure that you get a great deal, buy at places with prices listed already rather than where you have to ask “quanto custa?”

Set aside funds for specifically for water, since it isn’t free in Brazil and drinking from the tap can be questionable. In addition, most public restrooms cost money. If you’re anything like most tourists, the local foods will catch your attention too, so an acai and salgado budget may be in your best interest.

TRANSPORTATION

Taking public transportation is typically much cheaper than a cab. A standard metro ride costs R$3.60 — about $1 in U.S. currency — no matter how far you ride, whereas cab price in Brazilian traffic is unpredictable.

Buses can run a little higher, up to R$15 per ride, and hold less personal space. Still, it may be preferable to a cab depending on the destination, as many go directly to popular attractions and airports.

If the cab is preferable, gather a group to go. As like anywhere else, the more in the cab the cheaper each person has to pay. Only take cabs that have a company sign and phone number on the side, those without are unofficial and can easily scam or put you in danger with no one to call and hold accountable.

SAFETY

Street crime is prevalent in Brazil, especially in big cities like Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo. Avoid taking out technology in public if possible, especially in areas where locals don’t have theirs out. Tourists are easily identified through speaking English and specific styles of dressing, so attempting to blend in by speaking Portuguese whenever possible and dressing like the locals can keep you from being a target.

Unless attending a formal event, avoid flashy jewellery and accessories.

Whatever bag you choose to carry, keep it in sight at all times. That means purses; wallets and backpacks should always be on your side or front. Even at restaurants, hold your bag in your lap, if small enough.

All it takes is for you to look away from your belongings for one second for someone to swipe it. If going to one of the many famous beaches don’t leave items unattended or trust strangers to watch it.

For female students, travelling alone isn’t recommended unless you know the area well. Catcalling and street harassment are rampant, but responding as some would in the U.S. isn’t advised. The retorts aren’t worth the trouble, as it could escalate into an unwanted and dangerous altercation

CULTURAL NORMS

“You put the toilet paper in a trash can?”

Yes, toilets in Brazil aren’t built to hold the paper without clogging, but bins are changed regularly for sanitary reasons.

Local businesses and informal events tend to run on a laid-back schedule. Things may not open or start at the specified time, don’t think too much about it or you’ll be disappointed often.

When greeting someone, people say “tudo bem,” (pronounced too-doo behn), which means “all is well.” As a response, people generally say in affirmation, “tudo bem.” People also may greet by kissing on the cheek, as the culture is typically very affectionate.

These are just a start to Brazil’s vast and diverse culture, but expecting to deal with them will save a lot of trouble. Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience and, should you choose Brazil, these tips will enhance what will already be a wonderful trip


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