Patricia Pou, CC'17

Evening photo of Brazil

CIEE Brazil: Liberal Arts in Rio de Janeiro

Language of Instruction: Portuguese
Rio de Janeiro,
Term: Academic Year, Spring, Fall

Study alongside local students at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Rio de Janeiro

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The CIEE Brazil: Liberal Arts in Rio de Janeiro program is a supported direct enrollment program offered during the fall, spring, and academic year to students. You are required to take at least 2 semesters of Portuguese or have completed through Intermediate Spanish II, or the equivalent, prior to departure. Thus, no Portuguese is required prior to departure. Engineering courses are available for SEAS students. Students live with host families to increase the immersion experience.


During the semester, you take courses which include: intensive Portuguese language, Portuguese as a second language as well as 2-3 additional direct enrollment courses at the Pontificia Universiddade Catolica de Rio de Janeiro (PUC - Rio). If you are a Columbia College or School of General Studies student, you complete all coursework in Portuguese. If you are a Columbia Engineering student, please contact with the study abroad adviser listed on this page for additional information.

Founded in 1941, PUC - Rio is a private, nonprofit Catholic university and one of the largest and most prestigious Brazilian universities. With 12,000 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students, PUC-Rio is acclaimed for law, engineering, computer science, psychology, economics, business, and international relations programs. The university is also known for its diverse student body. PUC-Rio campus – formerly a coffee farm – is in the south zone at the edge of the Tijuca Forest.

Program Features

During the semester, you live with a carefully selected Brazilian homestay family. The academic program is supplemented by field trips and excursions to various points of interest around Rio and Brazil and may include visits to sites of historic and cultural importance to Rio and its environs. These activities, which vary each semester to take advantage of seasonal and current attractions, may include a tour of the city of Rio, guided visits to the city’s numerous national museums, tours of historical neighborhoods, attending soccer matches, participating in Carnaval activities, and taking advantage of Rio’s rich and diverse arts culture. Events and activities are chosen to provide you with an overview of the geographic, cultural, and economic diversity of Rio and coastal Brazil, and complement the academic themes of each program.


Review eligibility to ensure that you meet all Columbia requirements to study abroad.

Review the external program webpage to understand any additional program prerequisites. Note the program language requirements.

Application Instructions

To apply, you must complete the two steps below. Deadlines vary and some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, you should complete the steps below simultaneously:

  • To apply for Columbia clearance (approval) to study abroad, click on "Start Your Application" on this webpage. Clearance applications are approved on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
  • To apply for program admission, complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.
    • This is a popular program and tends to fill prior to the application deadline. You are encouraged to start an application on the program’s website as soon as you can and complete it prior to the deadline.

Fact Sheet

Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM
Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
2 semesters of language, or equivalent
Rio de Janeiro,
Latin America and the Caribbean
Academic Year, Spring, Fall

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 1, 2021
Academic Year
Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 1, 2021
Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 1, 2021