Summer in Brazil

June 9 - July 21, 2024
Applications due March 1, 2024

Applications for the Summer 2024 program are now closed. 

Please contact with any questions about the program or application process. If we cannot answer your question directly, we will forward it to the appropriate member of our faculty or staff. 

Program Overview

This 6-week summer program, sponsored by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane and the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx studies at Vanderbilt University caters to graduate and undergraduate students who wish to achieve a high level of Portuguese fluency through immersion in Brazilian culture. With language classes at the intermediate and advanced levels, it allows students to study with experienced faculty while living with local families or college students in the Sao Paulo neighborhood of Perdizes. Each participant enrolls in two Tulane credit-bearing courses organized by our partner institution CET. During morning Portuguese language courses, they engage with Brazilian art, film, and literature to hone their grammatical skills. In the afternoons, they delve into the current cultural, social, and political landscape of Sao Paulo in “Contemporary Social Issues in Brazil." Outside of the classroom, participants can explore Sao Paulo and its surroundings through organized excursions to museums, landmarks, and historic sites, and set off on personal adventures with friends and roommates. 

Student Orientation Manual


About Sao Paulo

With a population of more than 20 million people, Sao Paulo is the largest metropolitan area in the Southern Hemisphere and the most important industrial center in Latin America. Though founded in 1554 by Jesuit missionaries (on the anniversary of the conversion of St. Paul, from whom the city takes its name), the city truly blossomed in the late 1900s when coffee became a major Brazilian export. By the middle of the twentieth century, the city had overtaken Rio de Janeiro in population and GDP, and it remains an economic powerhouse and an international leader in industries from heavy manufacturing to technology to international banking and global trade. The economy has given rise to a dynamic, multicultural population with immigrants from all over the world. For example, though the largest percentages of the population identify as of Portuguese, Italian, or African descent, the city is also home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan.

The diversity of the population leads to a vibrant, eclectic social and cultural scene. Especially since the early 2000s, the city has invested in energizing its streets and neighborhoods, which now boast an array of trendy restaurants, bars, and clubs. Thanks to the Clean City Law restricting outdoor advertising, one can appreciate both the city’s innovative architecture and the explosion of street murals that have cropped up to replace the signage. For more than a century, Sao Paulo has been a leading city for the fine arts: It boasts globally renowned centers like the Sao Paulo Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Municipal Theatre, as well as a wealth of smaller galleries and venues. The town also has much to offer sports fans: it is home to four major soccer teams alone and has major centers for swimming, tennis, volleyball, basketball, and auto racing. Add to this the special events like the Parada do Orgulha Gay, the largest gay pride parade in the world, and there is always something exciting to do or see.

The city’s temperate climate makes it easy to enjoy all it has to offer. Though transected by the Tropic of Capricorn, the city, which is known as the “Cidade de Garoa,” or the city of drizzle, enjoys moderate temperatures because of its situation on a plateau in the Brazilian highlands. Average temperatures range between 58 degrees during the winter and 69 degrees during the hottest summer months.

About Brazilian Portuguese

Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world and is an official language in nine nations. Of the more than 220 million native speakers, approximately 95% of them live in Brazil. Brazilian Portuguese differs from the language spoken in Portugal in important details such as the second-person address. The language taught in this program will follow Brazilian norms.

About CET

CET Academic Programs has been a leader in international education since 1982. Originally founded as “China Educational Tours,” the company has now expanded to manage programs in 16 countries on 3 different continents. The organization has overseen a semester-long program in Sao Paulo since 2015, and the Stone Center draws upon the experience, networks, and resources of CET managers and local staff to make our Summer in Brazil program a success. For more information about CET, visit their website:


All students enroll in 2 courses for a total of 6-7 Tulane credits transferable to other institutions. In general, classes meet daily Monday-Thursday: language courses in the morning and content courses in the afternoon. There are no classes on Friday. This schedule may vary to make room for excursions and holidays.

Courses Offered

+ PORT 2050: Intermediate Immersive Portuguese (4 credits) OR
+ PORT 3050: Advance Immersive Portuguese (3 credits) AND
+ PORT 6130: Contemporary Social Issues in Brazil (3 credits) – see details below

A Note on Language Placement

Final course enrollment will be determined by the CET Language Placement Exam. Students will be enrolled in the language course corresponding to their assessed proficiency regardless of their previous coursework. In some cases, students may be required to repeat a course already completed at their home institution. In this case, the student is responsible for discussing the situation with their academic advisor to determine if and how they might receive credit. Under no circumstances will a student be placed in a more advanced language course simply for the purpose of receiving credit. Language placement decisions are final and definitive. 

Acceptance to the Summer in Brazil program is contingent upon the achievement of at least intermediate Portuguese-language proficiency. Students who fail to pass the threshold evaluation score will be rejected from the program. In this case, refunds will be considered according to the policy outlined below.

The CET Language Placement Exam is comprised of two components: a written exam and an oral interview conducted via videoconference. Students complete the exam in early May and receive their course placement prior to departure in June. CET staff and faculty are fully responsible for exam form and content, as well as for evaluating its results.

Contemporary Social Issues in Brazil 

All students will be enrolled in PORT 6130: Contemporary Social Issues in Brazil (3 credits). This year, the program will host two sections of the course, one for advanced and another for intermediate learners. Co-taught by two CET instructors, the course provides an overview of the cultural, historical, sociological, and political forces that shape the experiences of 21st-Century Brazilian peoples. Students will discuss social concepts like citizenship, religion, race, and development in the local context and explore in-depth some of the various Brazilian social welfare programs (health, retirement, education, etc). All class meetings will be conducted in Portuguese, though appropriate accommodations will be made for less advanced language learners. Students will engage with course materials through daily readings (in English and Portuguese), lectures, discussions, and cultural excursions. Their performance will be evaluated on attendance, participation, and a final paper written in Portuguese. By the end of the class, students should be able to identify the social and cultural currents that shape Brazilian realities, to connect these currents to their political, historical and philosophical roots, and to assess and debate the Brazilian welfare state. More importantly, they will be able to engage in these discussions in the target language both amongst themselves and with native Portuguese speakers.

Housing and Meals

Summer in Brazil offers two housing options: a family homestay or an apartment shared with Brazilian university students. Students will be able to indicate their preferences during the registration process, though assignments will ultimately depend on enrollment and availability.

Those who choose a homestay will be placed with a local family experienced in hosting foreign students. They will likely have their own bedroom, though they may be required to share with another program participant in the case of high enrollment. Their host families will provide breakfast every morning, but the student will be responsible for the rest of their meals.

Those who choose to stay in apartments will be placed in fully equipped and furnished apartments within a 15-minute walk from the campus. Generally, they will share a double-occupancy bedroom with either another program participant or a Brazilian university student. They will share all other common spaces with 2-4 other program affiliates. Upon arrival, each one will receive a stipend with which to buy groceries used to prepare breakfasts in their home kitchen. (NOTE: This stipend is intended to cover the cost of ingredients for homemade breakfasts, not to eat out every morning.) Students who live in an apartment will be required to pay a security deposit to be returned to them at the end of the program.



Summer in Brazil offers a mix of mandatory and optional excursions to help students explore the city and its surroundings. Students will go on one overnight excursion to Paraty, a colonial city in the state of Rio de Janeiro. There, they will go on guided visits of colonial sites and monuments, witness the sustainable economies of local fishermen, learn about traditional medicine, and explore the natural wonders on hikes along the beach and through the mountains.

Other mandatory excursions will take students to learn from important historical and cultural sites around Sao Paulo. In the past, destinations have included the Museu Afro-Brazil, Museu de Arte Sao Paulo, Memorial da Resistencia, Avenida Paulista, and the Soccer Museum. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to explore together through optional organized activities such as a trip to the theatre, a hike up the Pedra Grande Trail, or a night of Karaoke.

Program Cost: $7,750

Tuition: $5,000  

Housing and Logistics Fees: $2,750

Tuition and fees include 6-7 Tulane credits. Housing and logistics fees cover expenses for housing, breakfast or breakfast stipend, GeoBlue international medical insurance, in-country excursions, and group activities and celebrations, and some group meals. Program costs do not include travel to/from Brazil, most meals, or personal expenses such as souvenirs, laundry, etc. 

Financial Aid

Summer in Brazil has been designed to meet all requirements of the federal FLAS grant, which may cover much of the cost.

Non-Tulane students are encouraged to speak with the FLAS coordinator at their university to see if they qualify.

Tulane students should review Stone Center funding opportunities for Graduate and Undergraduate Students. They may also check out this chart of opportunities for undergraduate funding across Tulane's campus. 

Registration and Billing

Students will receive admission decisions within 3-4 weeks of the application deadline. Once admitted, they will be asked to pay a program deposit of $300 to secure their spot. (This deposit will be waived for FLAS applicants who contact

All registration will be processed by Stone Center staff. Students will initially be enrolled in one 3-credit Latin American Studies placeholder course, used for billing purposes only. After students’ language placement in Brazil, they will be enrolled in their respective culture and language courses.

Tuition and fees are charged to student accounts in the late Spring. Students are responsible for making sure the bill is paid in full according to the policies outlined on the Accounts Receivable website. Students can access their accounts through the Gibson Portal.

For FLAS Students: The Stone Center works closely with FLAS coordinators at other institutions to apply these grants to student accounts. However, every school has a different policy regarding the issue of funds: some pay the full bill directly to Tulane, some pay tuition directly to Tulane and issue the living stipend to individual students, and others issue the entire award to students to pay their own tuition and housing/logistics fees. Each student is responsible for making sure that his/her bill is paid in full and on time. If you have questions or foresee potential issues, please contact the Program Manager. 

Refund and Cancelation Policy

If a student cancels their reservation in the program less than 60 days prior to the Program start date, Tulane will charge a cancellation fee according to the following Cancellation Fee Schedule.

  • Withdrawal or cancellation from 31 to 59 days prior to the Program start date - the cancellation fee is $500 plus  all non-recoverable costs.
  • Withdrawl or cancellation from 1 to 30 days prior to the Program start date - the cancellation fee is 50% of the published Program fee or the total amount of non-recoverable costs, whichever is higher.
  • Tulane will be entitled to retain the entire Program fee for withdrawals or cancellations occurring on or after the Program start date.

Accessibility and Accommodations 

The Stone Center is committed to making all its programs accessible to all students. Persons requiring special facilities or accommodations should notify the Stone Center as soon as possible. All effort will be made to accommodate their needs, but students should be aware that reasonable accommodation may be required.

Medical Insurance and Travel Emergency Assistance

CET will enroll Summer in Brazil students in a comprehensive study abroad medical insurance policy provided through GeoBlue. This insurance is included in the cost of the program. 

Tulane provides students with travel emergency assistance through Crisis24. Information about this program is available on the Tulane Global website.

Applicant Eligibility

Both Tulane and non-Tulane students at the graduate and undergraduate levels are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 2.5 and the equivalent of two semesters of Portuguese-language classes (PORT 1120 for Tulane students). They may be interviewed to determine their language proficiency during the application process. Applicants must have a passport valid for at least six months following the program end date.

Application Materials

Applications are available through the Tulane Study Abroad portal:


  • General Student Information
  • Current Official Transcript
  • Personal Statement (approx. 250-350 words; Portuguese encouraged)
  • One faculty recommendation (preferably from a Portuguese instructor)
  • Proof of Valid Passport
  • Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination

Application Deadline: March 1, 2024



Contact the Stone Center 
Phone: (504) 862 – 8629
100 Jones Hall, Tulane Uptown Campus