Duke in Brazil



Offered only on the Duke in Brazil program, the signature four-week immersion course is designed to provide intensive Portuguese language instruction while exposing you to the reality of social issues in Rio de Janeiro and environmental issues in Rio de Janeiro.

You will interact with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that engage on issues of civics, citizen’s rights, culture, and sustainable development. By living with host families, meeting local students, and participating in several excursions of cultural significance, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of cultural and social activism in Brazil.


Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Term: Summer

Dates: July 1 to July 29, 2018

Application Deadline: February 1

Academic Theme(s): Portuguese Language, Brazilian Culture

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: Open to all majors and applicants from accredited colleges and universities. Applicants should have completed one of the following levels of Portuguese by the start of the program: Portuguese 102 (Elementary Portuguese II), Portuguese 112 (Accelerated Portuguese), or Portuguese 204 (Advanced Intermediate Portuguese)

Duke Affiliation: Co-sponsored by Duke’s Department of Romance Studies

Housing: Homestay Families

GEO Advisor: Abigail Hall Grubbs

  • Rio de Janeiro

  • At NGO Solar Meninos de Luz

  • Biblioteca Lusitana in Rio de Janeiro

  • Buying fruit at market

  • Students at Market in Ipanema

  • Favela Morro do Alemao in Rio de Janeiro

  • Learning capoiera

  • Pao de Acucar

  • Supporting the Brazilian soccer team

  • Taking the subway in Rio de Janeiro


You will enroll in one Duke faculty-led course offering one credit (equivalent to four semester credits at most other U.S. institutions). This four-week immersion course is offered only on the Duke in Brazil program.



Intensive Brazilian Portuguese  

(FL, CCI, EI) 1.0 Credit, Instructor: Silva

Covers the intermediate language curriculum, developing aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing skills. Provides grammar practice and development of effective strategies for oral communication done in conjunction with intensive cultural program activities and excursions.

Course content offers strong and intensive civics, social, cultural, and environmental components. All afternoon activities and excursions will be geared to NGOs that engage in all of these issues.

Prerequisite: One of the following courses: PORTUGUESE 102, PORTUGUESE 112, or PORTUGUESE 204


Classes meet M-F in the morning at UNIRIO (Universidade do Rio de Janeiro), with afternoon activities and excursions.

Weeks 1 and 2: During the first two weeks, we will focus on social issues and visit NGOs that engage on civics, citizen’s rights, and cultural aspects; and we will investigate how and why these are missing in the overall Brazilian public educational system.

Weeks 3 and 4: During the second two weeks, we will focus on environmental issues by visiting NGOs that contribute to sustainable development and social and civics inclusion. 



You will stay with carefully selected local homestay families in Rio, which will help enrich your linguistic and cultural experience. The host families will provide basic home necessities like breakfast, a bedroom, internet, and kitchen access if needed. You will be responsible for your own lunch and dinner.


In addition to visits to local NGOs, you will have an opportunity to explore the surrounding area and learn about local culture through excursions to museums, a samba house in Lapa, historical downtown Rio, an Umbanda temple, Escadaria Selarón, Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf, Ipanema beach, local markets, and the Maracanã soccer stadium.


Costs below are estimates based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change. 

Summer 2016

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $3,195 $3,195
Program Fee $4,600 $4,600
Transcript Fee N/A $40
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $11,470.00 $11,510.00

Explanation of Costs

What does the program fee cover?

The program fee for this program includes: 

  • Accommodations
  • Breakfast every day
  • Four or five group meals through the course of the program
  • International SOS Coverage
  • Program-sponsored activities and excursions
  • Orientation program

What is not included?

Use the following list to assist with budgeting for expenses outside the program fee. This list contains common examples but should not be considered exhaustive.

  • Airfare
  • Local transportation
  • Lunch and dinner daily
  • On-site accident and health insurance policy
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Immunizations
  • Visa and/or residency permit
  • Passport
  • Textbooks and class materials
  • Internet usage
  • Mobile phone
  • Laundry
  • Independent travel and entertainment
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Incidentals

Personal Spending

Personal expenses can fluctuate greatly depending upon habits and preferences of the individual. It’s also wise to budget for unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies. You can use a cost-of-living comparison tool to get an idea of what daily life costs in the program host location.

When will payments be due?

Step 1: Within 2 weeks of acceptance to the program, submit the Summer Participation Agreement found in your MyGlobalEd application to confirm your enrollment. A parent/guardian’s co-signature is required. This form takes the place of a deposit.

NOTE: If you withdraw after March 31, you will be charged a cancellation fee of $1500 for this 1 credit program.  

Step 2: Summer invoices will be sent via email to your Duke email address and home email address. Remit payment to the Bursar per due date and address indicated on your online statement. All financial arrangements involving Duke University must be completed prior to departure for the program.

Duke Bursar’s Office

Can I use financial aid to pay for this program?

Duke students receiving financial aid are eligible for aid for this program (work-study funds must be converted to loans). Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.

Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.

Are there scholarships available for this program?

This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:



Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted

  • Arrival: July 1, 2018
  • Departure: July 29, 2018


You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive on July 1 before 12 p.m., which means departing the U.S. on June 30. You may depart the program site on July 29 after 3 p.m.

Housing Before/After

You will be on your own for housing and logistical support if you arrive before the program start date or leave later than the program end date.


Classes will be held in the mornings five days a week (M-F). Field trips and cultural events will take place during the afternoons and/or the weekends. A detailed itinerary will be provided prior to departure.



U.S. citizens are required to obtain a tourist visa to enter Brazil. More information about applying for a Brazilian visa will be provided upon acceptance to the program.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with the Brazilian Embassy about visa requirements.


All non-Brazilian citizens must have a valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity beyond the program end date to avoid unintended disruptions. For instructions on obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit passports.state.gov.


The Duke in Brazil program director can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the GEO representative listed.

Magda Silva

Senior Lecturer of Romance Languages

Abigail Hall Grubbs

GEO Program Coordinator / Advisor


  • Deadline: February 1. This program has rolling admission. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered.
  • Priority: Priority is given to applicants who submit all materials by the deadline and meet the language prerequisite.
  • Eligibility: Applicants should have completed one of the following levels of Portuguese by the start of the program: Portuguese 102 (Elementary Portuguese II), Portuguese 112 (Accelerated Portuguese), or Portuguese 204 (Advanced Intermediate Portuguese).
  • Minimum GPA: 2.7 on a scale of 4.0. If your GPA is lower than 2.7, you must obtain permission from your academic dean to study away.
  • Non-Duke students: Non-Duke students are welcome to apply to this program. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.
  • Late applicants: After the published deadline, qualified applicants will be considered on a space-available basis.


Apply Now

Please start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.

To apply to this program, please submit the following items using MyGlobalEd: 

  1. Online application
  2. Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted.
  3. Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate
  4. Academic letter of recommendation (one), preferably from a language professor noting your linguistic and academic abilities

Apply Now