Last Updated: April 12, 2022
Study in Brazil
Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and though it is a developing country, it is recognized for the higher education programs it provides. While most students come here for higher education exchange programs, internships, and summer courses, a few of them also go for the undergraduate and postgraduate programs the universities here offer.
The country has 5 of the best universities in South America including Universidade de Sao Paulo, State University of Campinas, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, etc. The international student population here is more than 35,000. The education provided by the top universities in the country is considered to be at par with the programs provided by European universities though students should take extra care in ensuring that the degrees are internationally recognized.
Popular Programs for International Students
The country offers plenty of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs to all candidates though doctoral programs are not often opted for by international students. The undergraduate programs here have been divided into bachelor’s, licentiate, and associate degrees where the licentiate degree allows one to teach and the associate degree allows one to specialize in a field of study. Postgraduate degrees have been divided into Lato Sensu and Stricto Sensu where the former is for professional programs and the latter is aimed at students who wish to enter research.
A few of the popular programs that the international students can take up in Brazil include-
- Agricultural Sciences- Universidade de Sao Paulo
- Food Science & Technology- State University of Campinas
- Food Science & Technology- UNESP
Major Universities in Brazil
Brazil is one of the Latin American countries that has around 2,448 higher educational institutes out of which 296 are public universities. Most of these universities offer high-quality education and different specializations and 5 of them have been ranked as the top universities in South America.
A few of the best universities in Brazil are-
Universidade de Sao Paulo
This university was established in the year 1934 and is a public university. It has a student population of around 82,000 along with over 5,000 academic staff. The university has around 2,800 international students and 300 international staff. It is the best university in Latin America and has been consistently ranked 1st in Brazil and among the Best Global Universities in Latin America. The best programs offered here are in subjects like agricultural sciences, microbiology, plant & animal sciences, food science & technology, etc.
State University of Campinas
This university was established in the year 1962 and is a public university that focuses on research. It has a student population of around 30,000 along with over 1,700 academic staff. Out of these, around 950 are international students. The university also has less than 100 international staff. This is the second-best university in the country and Latin America. Globally, the university has been ranked 275. The best programs offered here include agricultural sciences, mathematics, physics, food science & technology, etc.
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
This university was established in the year 1792 and is a public university focused on research. It has a student population of around 53,000 out of which around 800 are international students. The university has around 3,900 academic staff out of which 250 are international. It has been ranked as the 3rd best university in Brazil and as the 4th best university in Latin America. The most popular programs here are in subjects like microbiology, food science & technology, agricultural sciences, etc.
Federal University of Minas Gerais
The Federal University of Minas Gerais was established in the year 1927 and is a public university. This university has been ranked as the 5th best university in the country as well as the 9th best in Latin America. It has a student population of around 45,000 along with around 4,500 administrative staff. The best programs offered here are in subjects like microbiology, immunology, pharmacology & toxicology, etc.
Universidade Estadual Paulista
This university was established in the year 1976 and it is a public university. It has a student population of 47,000 along with around 3,500 academic staff. This university has been ranked as the 6th best in the country and the 10th best in Latin America. The best programs offered here are in subjects like food science & technology, plant & animal science, agricultural sciences, etc.
Federal University of Santa Catarina
This university was established in the year 1960 and it is a public university in Southern Brazil. It has a student population of 44,000 along with 4,500 administrative staff. It has been ranked as the 7th best university in the country and as the 12th best in Latin America. The best programs offered here include food science & technology, agricultural sciences, etc.
Federal University of Sao Paulo
This university was established in the year 1933 and is a public university. It has a student population of 18,000. It has been ranked as the 8th best university in the country and the 13th best university in Latin America. The popular programs here are in subjects like cardiac & cardiovascular systems, endocrinology & metabolism, immunology, etc.
University of Brasilia
This university was been established in the year 1962 and is a public university. It has a student population of 34,000 along with over 2,200 academic staff. The university has been ranked as the 10th best in the country and the 17th best in Latin America. The best programs offered here include public, environmental & occupational health, environment/ecology, etc.
Working While Studying in Brazil
International students in Brazil are not allowed to work with a study visa. But at the same time, most universities here offer internships to students in their respective fields of study. Students are allowed to take up these internships that are provided by the university which generally have a duration of 2 or 3 months. Universities also use this opportunity to offer part-time jobs to students by creating partnerships with industries and restaurants. Students will be able to work as data-entry operators, waiters, translators, etc.
Student Visa in Brazil
Students will require a student visa to study in Brazil as long as they are not from one of the South American Countries. Candidates who are from South American countries, except Guyana and Suriname, will be able to study in the country with their National ID card. Other international students who wish to study in the country will have to procure a visa based on the duration of their course.
If the candidate is taking up a program with a duration of fewer than 90 days, they will have to take a tourist visa. If the program has a duration of more than 90 days, they will be able to apply for a
Brazilian student visa. The student visa here will be valid for the duration of the course the candidate has enrolled in.
Career Options in Brazil
Candidates who wish to work in Brazil after their education is complete will not be able to do so by converting their student visas into work visas. Students are required to leave the country as soon as their student visa expires. After this, they will be able to apply for a work visa and a residence permit after procuring a job in the country. The main profession that foreigners opt for in Brazil is teaching. Candidates will also be able to work in the tourism and service industry, and also as engineers in the country.
Major Cities for Studying in Brazil
Since Brazil has over 2,448 educational institutions, there are plenty of student cities one can choose to live in while studying here. A few of the most popular student cities include-
Rio de Janeiro
This city has 12 educational institutions including the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro State University, and Universidade Federal Fluminense. The city is also known as the Marvellous City due to the brilliant landscape it has and the culture that is woven into every part of it.
This place is home to 22 educational institutions including Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, universidade Estadual de Montes Claros, Universidade Presidente Antonio Carlos, Universidade Federal de Vicosa, etc. Students here will be able to find group homes and other housing options like dormitories within this location.
This is one of the best commercial cities in the country with over 6 institutions in the city being internationally acclaimed. A few of the universities here include Universidade de Sao Paulo, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, UNESP, etc. This city has a large student population out of which 3% are international students. The place is known for being affordable.
Cost of Studying in Brazil
Being a country with a rapidly growing economy, the cost of living can vary to different lengths based on the location one chooses to live in. Students who wish to live a budget-friendly life will have to stay away from popular cities like Rio de Janeiro or they will have to find housing options that are further away from the city center and take up shared spaces than single apartments. The cost of living in Brazil is estimated to be less than 2,500R$ without calculating accommodation expenses.
The tuition fee for different programs in universities here are subject to change depending on the field of study one has chosen. The universities here have the right to set their tuition fee and hence private universities often have higher tuition fees than public universities. Professional programs and business programs generally have a higher tuition fee when compared to other liberal arts programs.
The fee in universities can range anywhere between 7,000R$ to 40,000R$ depending on the program of study and the institution. Federal institutions offer tuition-free education to all admitted students but the admission procedure to such institutions is highly competitive and they have a very low acceptance rate.
Accommodation costs are highly dependent on the kind of housing options one chooses to take while staying in Brazil. It is also dependent on the location one has chosen along with the number of people they are willing to share their accommodation with. The rent for a single-bedroom apartment can range anywhere between 900R$ to 1,400R$ depending on the location.
But students will be able to find group housing options that will require them to pay around 500R$ per month only. The cost for utilities generally do not increase beyond 350R$ per month.
The price for basic grocery items in Brazil is-
- Milk- 4R$ per liter
- Cheese- 40R$ per kg
- Potatoes- 4.5R$ per kg
- Tomatoes- 8R$ per kg
- Onions- 4R$ per kg
- Wine- 35R$ per bottle
Most students who live here use the local buses to get to places as it is the most efficient and cost-friendly means of transport. Students who live close to their universities will also be able to use bicycles to get from place to place since it is the second-most popular means of transportation in the country. In major cities like Rio de Janeiro, one will be able to rely on metros and subways though this is not an available option in smaller cities.
The cost of a one-way ticket on a local bus is 4.50R$. Students will be able to get a monthly pass for the same if they pay 215R$. Other ways of traveling in the country include water taxis, rental taxis, ferries, trains, etc.