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Portuguese Immersion

Talk about tough decisions: Brazil or Portugal?

There’s never been a better time to go to Brazil. With the Rio Olympic Games on the horizon in 2016 and the infrastructure already in place from the most recent World Cup, Brazil has never been so equipped to welcome international visitors. Meanwhile, Portugal continues to attract students with its old-world charm, delicious cuisine, and unique Iberian landscape. On top of this, Portuguese has never been more popular on U.S. university campuses: according to the most recent MLA report on language enrollments, between 2009 and 2013, Portuguese enrollments jumped by 10%. Here are some of the world’s best programs for studying Portuguese as a foreign language.


Lingua Service Worldwide
Lingua Service Worldwide, an independent language study abroad agency, works with schools in Brazil and Portugal for students who want to learn Portuguese. The agency carefully chooses institutions based on the quality of instruction, ensuring that students choose among the best immersion schools. Students interested in Brazilian Portuguese can choose between schools in the iconic Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. Alternatively, students can choose the coastal northeastern towns of Olinda, Salvador, or Maceió. Students of continental Portuguese can choose among the Portuguese destinations of Lisbon, Porto, or Faro. Thanks to Lingua Service’s unbiased and quality-driven approach to choosing partner institutions, students can look forward to an excellent study abroad experience.


Caminhos Language Centre
Founded in 2009, the Caminhos Language Centre is a Portuguese school for foreigners located in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, known for its unique social program (mais Caminhos), for providing a friendly, relaxed, and fun environment to motivate students and make them feel at home. This environment is fostered in and outside the classroom by extracurricular activities (such as cooking lessons, tours around Rio, and music lessons) so students can get to know and enjoy Rio de Janeiro. Caminhos offers a diverse and enriching learning curriculum using the communicative approach.

Instituto Cultural Idioma
ICI offers group or private courses for all Portuguese levels for foreigners and operates on a system of weekly enrollment. At the institute, students gain a deeper insight into the captivating country that is Brazil by delving into its culture, while enjoying the benefits of the lively, sunny, and warm city of Salvador de Bahia. The dedicated staff spares no effort responding to student needs, whether through customized lessons plans or individualized adventure packages based on their interests. The method incorporates elements based on the different needs and learning styles of the students, including audiovisual and multimedia materials. Depending on the level, the goal of the class is to provide the student with skills to deal with everyday situations, to satisfy basic needs, and to understand conversational Portuguese. ICI aims to provide students with language skills that will make traveling around Brazil easier and communicating with Brazilians more effective. All classes emphasize social and cultural themes.

Founded in 1941, the Associação Cultural Brasil Estados Unidos (ACBEU) is a nonprofit cultural and educational bi-national center located in Salvador, Bahia. ACBEU offers Portuguese as a foreign language for groups and individuals. Some of the most prestigious universities in the U.S., such as Dartmouth College, Brown University, UCLA, and UT Austin, partner with ACBEU. Professors planning a group language-study-abroad trip can create their own programs on an ACBEU campus with the expertise of caring staff who will arrange homestay accommodations and contract instructors to teach culture, literature, music, and language. ACBEU has strong ties to the community, allowing it to offer many unique excursions around Bahia and to recruit fascinating guest speakers. Universities planning a study-abroad group for their professors are also welcome at ACBEU, where they can take in-depth Portuguese-language and Brazilian-culture classes and work on their specific research projects. ACBEU also organizes service learning experiences for their students with different communities and NGOs.

Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP)
Language teaching at FAAP is a rich experience for students who want to practice Portuguese in an authentic and pleasant atmosphere. The campus is located in São Paulo, a multicultural metropolis and the economic and cultural heart of Brazil. Students can visit the main Brazilian museums, prepare and enjoy Brazilian typical dishes in a special cooking class, improve their vocabulary, and practice the language extensively.. They also visit the neighborhood, play capoeira, dance the samba, and learn about history, music, and culture. Along with communication skills, the program focuses on pronunciation, idioms, and grammatical structures.

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