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Education Abroad Office

Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro

Area: Global Exchange
Location: Rio de Janeiro
Country: Brazil
Term: Spring, Fall, Academic Year
Website: PUC Rio Exchange Program

UofSC's exchange program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is designed to expose American students to Brazilian language, life, and culture. A city of 7 million people, Rio de Janeiro offers UofSC students the opportunity to experience South American culture in a cosmopolitan setting. The program is located at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). PUC-Rio has approximately 20,000 students and is considered one of the top five universities in Brazil. The campus is located in the neighborhood of Gávea, near the touristic Zona Sul area of Rio de Janeiro, within walking distance of the Botanical Garden and Leblon beach. On campus, the university hosts four different libraries, cafeterias, ATMS, bookstores, a post office, and free wifi for students.

As students may take coursework in English, there are no language proficiency requirements for the PUC-Rio exchange program though some knowledge of Portuguese may be beneficial. Students wishing to take courses taught in Portuguese with local students must have successfully completed at least five semesters of college-level Portuguese or equivalent. If studying Spanish, students must have successfully completed at least five semesters of college-level Spanish AND take the intensive Portuguese pre-term session. Students will all be required to take a Portuguese language placement test.

Cost: UofSC resident tuition rates + in-country costs

Requirements: 3.0 GPA

Rio de Janeiro is a major world city, and therefore students should prepare themselves for a higher cost of living. Students pay in-state tuition and fees to UofSC, and will pay a mandatory R$875 registration fee to PUC-Rio prior to arrival, which covers airport pick-up, immigration assistance, Rio city tour, and similar orientation activities.

Students typically earn 12-15 credit hours per semester. All exchange students at PUC-Rio MUST take a 6-credit Portuguese as a second language course. In addition, PUC-Rio offers a 6-credit pre-term intensive Portuguese course prior to the start of each semester. These courses are offered to exchange students at an additional cost. In addition to language courses, PUC-Rio typically offers a selection of courses taught in English, generally geared toward Brazilian and Latin American culture.

To see courses UofSC students have taken at this university, please reference the Registrar's Course Equivalency Table

The program does not offer organized excursions, but students do have the opportunity for individual travel. The International Office does organize regular parties and gatherings for exchange students, and students can participate in local student organizations such as choir and Brazilian cultural events. PUC-Rio also has three sporting facilities that students may use. PUC-Rio also offers the opportunity for community service in greater Rio de Janeiro.

Per university policy, all UofSC students will be charged emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance for their time abroad. Contact the Education Abroad Office for more details. Students will be required to submit proof of health insurance to PUC-Rio prior to arrival.

Exchange students at PUC-Rio are placed in homestays with local Brazilian families. Students will have individual or shared rooms, pending space available. Prices range from approximately R$1,900 to R$2,230 per month. Most families live near campus, typically within 30-45 minutes via public transportation. Students must apply for homestays as soon as applications are open, as spaces are limited. Students not assigned to homestays are responsible for securing independent housing. 

UofSC students can attend PUC-Rio for the fall semester, spring semester, or academic year. PUC-Rio fall semester is early August- mid December, with the optional pre-term intensive language starting in early July. PUC-Rio spring semester is early March- early July, with the optional pre-term intensive language starting in early January. 

PUC-Rio provides an extensive week of orientation activities for exchange students. This includes airport pick-up, online course registration, health/safety information, student technology access, cultural activities, a tour of Rio de Janeiro, and more. PUC-Rio International Office is available to assist students with academic and personal transitions throughout the semester. 

Students who attend PUC-Rio for a semester are required to obtain a student visa BEFORE departure. The cost for the Brazilian student visa is approximately US $160.00. Students may apply directly through the Consulate, or may wish to use a visa agency. Students cannot apply for the visa until they receive their official acceptance letter from the PUC-Rio International Office. 


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