We dare you not to fall in love with Rio. The friendliness of the Cariocas, the beauty of the ocean, the
miles of stunning beaches, and the sound of samba in the air will enchant you. All eyes are on Rio as
host of the Summer Olympics in 2016.
This program leverages Brazil’s rich history and culture, the academic excellence of the local universities,
its emerging economy, and the unmatched opportunities for living and learning in one of the world’s
most beautiful and fascinating cities.
You enroll in English-taught IES Abroad courses in a variety of disciplines, along with a Portuguese
language course. The study of Brazilian art, history, music, literature, and film are fundamental parts
of your learning experience.
You can also enroll in English- or Portuguese-taught courses at one of three local universities in a variety
of disciplines such as business, design, marketing, journalism, and public relations. You experience firsthand
the Brazilian educational system and maybe you’ll even make some Brazilian and international
friends while you’re at it. Students who speak Portuguese, as well as advanced Spanish speakers (upon
completion of the intensive Portuguese course during orientation), may be able to directly enroll in
Portuguese-taught courses at one of our local partner universities: Fundação Getulio Vargas, Ibmec,
and the Instituto Europeo di Design.
Rio will also be your classroom. Wherever possible, our courses take advantage of the city through courserelated
excursions to sites of historical, artistic, and cultural interest. From shopping in a local grocery
store to navigating the transportation system, everything you do is part of your learning experience.
Fluent Portuguese or advanced Spanish speakers can become familiar with the local cultural environment
and get involved in the community by enrolling in our service learning program.
We want you to feel at home in Brazil, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in Rio.
From housing in homestays to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study
abroad experience possible.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Arrive by noon on the official arrival date
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.
We offer courses in Portuguese Language, History, and Culture, as well as other topics, taught by local professors. Course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day.
You take 15–19 credit hours per semester.
You create your own academic experience by selecting from the following program components:
This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
You are required to take a Portuguese language course and at least one partner university course.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
Centrally located in downtown Rio on the famous Avenida Presidente Wilson, Ibmec is one of Latin America's most prestigious business schools. Classes are small (usually fewer than 20 students), admission is extremely competitive, and faculty have advanced degrees from top institutions.
Below is an example of Ibmec courses that have been offered before; course offerings do vary each semester
If you have studied Portuguese or advanced Spanish, you may also be able to enroll in any Portuguese-taught course at Ibmec. Because courses at Ibmec vary, please work with your advisor to see course offerings during your term of study
Instituto Europeo di Design (IED)
Founded in 1966, IED has its headquarters in Milan and operates in many cities of Italy, Spain, China and Brazil. The Rio de Janeiro branch occupies one of the most important landmarks in the city, the old Casino of Urca.
IED has established itself as a leading school in the fields of Design, Fashion and Visual Communication. Its mission is to offer young creatives a thorough training -- both theoretical and practical -- and hand them the "Design Knowledge and Mindset" that will accompany them throughout their lives. The school offers courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as advanced training courses for professionals in the field.
You may take a course in Portuguese. English courses are unavailable at IED.
Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV)
With its campus in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasilia, is a leading academic and policy-making institution in Brazil. FGV's mission is to push the boundaries of knowledge in social sciences and related fields and to contribute to the country's social and economic development through coursework, research, and sharing of information. IES Abroad students can take English and Portuguese-taught courses (provided you are fluent in Portuguese or Spanish) in the Economics or Law departments. Examples of English-taught courses include:
Economics (Tenative for Spring 2016)
Law (Courses available starting Fall 2015)
Our service learning placements involve completing community service by working with a social service, governmental, or non-profit agency. In turn, this placement helps you better understand Brazil while exposing you to possible career options as you lend your skills and talents to local organizations.
From volunteering at a health and social development organization or assisting at Viva Rio—whose mission is to foster peace through social inclusion—service learning placements allow you to engage in activities that address specific community needs in Rio while also building your practical skills. In a society that is developing rapidly but where many people still live below the poverty line, this is an especially important endeavor.
In addition to placements in service agencies, the service learning program also enables you to get involved in service projects with Brazilian students.
Proficiency in Portuguese or advanced Spanish is preferred for most service learning placements.
IES Abroad Rio organizes course-related excursions that complements your coursework, such as:
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Rio, it will feel like home.
Homestays – Located in the South Zone of the city, homestays generally house one to two students typically with a single, older Brazilian woman. You receive breakfast daily plus four meals per week. Internet access is available.
Part of making you feel at home in Rio is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The program begins with a multi-day orientation that introduces you to our Rio staff, your fellow students, and the city of Rio. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during the week.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
Orientation culminates with a two-day trip to Ilha Grande, an island with some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Brazil. After this trip, you begin an intensive Portuguese language class, which you are placed in
based on your skill level.
Delve into local culture through activities that help you learn about Rio and make the most of your new surroundings.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Rio through our cultural events, such as:
Even though your adventure starts in Rio, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. The trips to Ilha Grande and Salvador de Bahia are included in your program fee. You can also opt to attend the field trip to the Amazon at an additonal cost. Below are a few possible destinations:
5 Days -Fall/Spring
An optional field trip to the Amazon is offered each semester, led by IES Abroad staff and a professional Amazonian guide who is a well-known researcher and consultant for scientific and film productions. Students fly to Manaus, the queen city of the Amazonas, after which highlights of the trip include:
Salvador de Bahia
Fly to Salvador de Bahia, a city bursting with color and the beat of drums. It boasts 50 km of coastline and a beach culture dominates the city. You will eat feiijoada and learn to move to Capoeira.
Visit this Portuguese colonial city perched on the sparkling Costa Verde. Step back into history while exploring Paraty’s pedestrian friendly city center surrounded by lush forest and the South Atlantic Ocean.
About the Center
The IES Abroad Center is located in Urca, a quiet neighborhood of 7,000 residents situated between Copacabana and Botafogo. Urca sits at the foot of Sugar Loaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar), one of Rio’s most famous landmarks at the intersection of the Atlantic Ocean and Guanabara Bay. The Center is within easy access via public transportation from our homestays and other partner universities within the city.
Octavio di Leo holds a M.A., M.Phil ., and Ph.D. in Latin American literature from Yale University, where he studied with and served as an editorial assistant for the well-known literary and cultural critic, Harold Bloom. Dr. di Leo has taught at Yale University, the Free University of Berlin, the Technological University of Berlin, and the University of Buenos Aires. He has also collaborated in Rome with the German composer H.W. Henze in the writing of his memoirs and a puppet opera for the Münchner Biennale. Dr. di Leo has been with IES Abroad since 2003, first as Academic Dean in IES Abroad Barcelona, then as Director of IES Abroad Rome, and now as the Director of IES Abroad Rio de Janeiro. He is a published poet, a literary critic, and a skilled translator.
Student Affairs Coordinator
What is it really like to live in Rio de Janeiro? Check out our virtual tour of all the places you’ll come to know and love when you study abroad there—GO!