Brazil is the largest country in Latin America, with physical beauty and a welcoming social environment.

Its diverse and vibrant culture offers an ideal setting for students of Portuguese to improve their language skills by enrolling directly in the university alongside their Brazilian peers and to immerse themselves in one of the world’s most captivating societies.

Students on the program come in at the intermediate-advanced level of Portuguese and adhere to the Middlebury Language Pledge® to reap the benefits of linguistic immersion. By living and studying with Brazilians and getting involved in the community through volunteer work, internships, and extracurricular activities, students can build authentic relationships and integrate fully into life in their host city.


A city of 300,000 and the capital of Brazil’s southern state of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis is located on an island, and features breathtaking scenery as well as a vibrant cultural and university life.

Middlebury’s host institution, the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), is an excellent and comprehensive federal university of 32,000 students.

Study Abroad: Niterói, Brazil

My name is Marykate Melanson, and I studied abroad in Niterói in Rio de Janeiro. Rio is huge, it’s enormous, there’s just so many different neighborhoods. And the way that it’s set up geographically is really interesting. Part of the city there are these areas that are really old facades.

There are ones that have been restored and ones that haven’t, and so there’s this really interesting juxtaposition between old and new. I was studying at the Universidade Federal Fluminense, which is a federal university. And found an apartment with a couple Brazilian grad students, and that added so much to my experience.

I was with these girls all day, it was the first time I had lived in an apartment, and so we had to navigate that relationship in Portuguese. That’s the part that I think I needed to develop more, because I had already done Portuguese in an academic sense.

I had written papers and things like that, whereas I really needed to understand how to speak like the people there, and I think that I did because of where I chose to live. Rio has a particular ethos because they have the beaches, it’s warm, it’s beautiful. Life is just a lot slower, and so I think that there is a very particular culture that I became accustomed to, and it was a very warm and welcoming one.

I really wanted to be challenged and I really wanted to be in a place that I would learn a lot from. And so immersing myself in the Middlebury program helped connect us to things that we were interested in. There was no way I would’ve felt comfortable leaving there if I felt that I had been a tourist the whole time.

It’s just whether or not you take that one extra step to immerse yourself. Wherever you go abroad, I think that you learn so much about yourself, and, it’s so important, I think, for everybody to gain a little bit of perspective.


Niterói is a community of 500,000 people located just across the bay from Rio de Janeiro. The ease of travel across to Rio coupled with the calmer pace of Niterói make this city a great choice for students wishing to immerse themselves in local Brazilian culture while simultaneously enjoying proximity to one of the world’s most passionate and festive cities.

Students enroll in courses alongside local students at Middlebury’s host institution, the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF).

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