Programs > Brochure
CIEE Sao Paulo: Liberal Arts (BSQ)
Sao Paulo, Brazil (Fall Spring Academic Year Outgoing Program)
|Homepage:||Click to visit|
|Language of Instruction:||Portuguese||Language Prerequisite:||See Program Description|
|Minimum Cumulative GPA:||3.0||Credit Available For:||College, Huntsman|
|Other Eligibility Requirements:||Grades of B or better in Portuguese, Grades of B or better in Spanish||Type of Program:||Hybrid|
|Application Deadline:||Fall/Year: February 15, Spring: October 1|
(Photo credit: Robby Snitkof)
(click on the links highlighted in blue below to learn more)
|The Academic Program
|The City of São Paulo
|The Application Process
The Penn Abroad application requires applicants to submit one academic recommendation from a Penn language professor.
This program requires an advising session with a Program Manager prior to opening an application. To view the schedule for upcoming group advising sessions, or to schedule an individual appointment, select the ‘Schedule an Advising Appointment’ button on the Penn Abroad homepage.
The program begins with a mandatory three-day orientation followed by an intensive four-week pre-semester language and cultural program in which students are required to take a Portuguese language and culture course. During the language course, students are introduced to the country, culture, and academic components of their specific program and are placed into the appropriate level upon completion of the language placement exam. A special section, "Portuguese for Spanish Speakers," is also available.
During the semester, students are required to continue with a Portuguese language course. The remaining courses are direct enrollment at the Pontificía Universidade Católica de São Paulo and are chosen from the wide range of courses in the humanities and social sciences.
Program website: http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/brazil/sao-paulo/liberal-arts/
Brazilian Academic SystemThe Brazilian university system approaches the academic process with a different perspective from that of the United States. While U.S. students are accustomed to a structured system, the Brazilian system is geared toward the fledgling scholar who is motivated, self-sufficient, and deeply interested in the subject matter of the course. All courses are taught in Portuguese. U.S. students sometimes have the misperception that the workload is light and that there are few assignments, overlooking the fact that they have been given a bibliography with the expectation that they read as many of the listings as possible, and select the titles which most specifically meet their needs and interests. In some courses, the entire grade is based on a term paper or critical analysis of a particular article which is expected to be based on a fairly extensive reading from the bibliography presented at the beginning of the course. Students have sometimes received relatively low grades because they did not realize that they should have been doing much more work during the semester, even though it was not specifically assigned. This relative academic freedom places a great deal of responsibility on the student.
Course LoadPenn Abroad participants must maintain a full course load during their period of study abroad. A normal course load is 4 courses per semester, in addition to the five-week, for-credit intensive language class at the beginning of the program. CIEE staff advises students about the appropriateness of courses for their level of Portuguese proficiency and their preparation in different areas of study. Due to Brazil's academic bureaucracy, course listings and course availability are not determined until immediately prior to the start of university classes in a given semester.
GradingBrazilian university grades are awarded on a ten point scale (including decimal points, e.g. 8.5). The scale is not based on an equal distribution of points nor on a percentage. In the Brazilian system, a perfect exam or paper may not always be awarded a grade of 10 depending on individual professors' practices. Students are frequently assessed on solely on the results of a final and/or midterm exam. Grades are reported to CIEE, and then converted to Penn grades according to standard Brazilian - U.S. grade equivalencies:
- A = 10.0-9.0
- A- = 8.9-8.0
- B+ = 7.9-7.0
- B = 6.9-6.0
- C = 5.9-5.0
- D = 4.9-3.0
- F = 2.9 and below
Learn More About the Program
- For additional information about the CIEE program, including financial information, the courses taken by students, and cultural opportunities, click here.
Access to the Internet and computer labs in Brazilian universities is much more limited than in U.S. universities and Internet access at PUC is extremely limited. CIEE pays for each student to use a private Internet café for three hours per week. Students may also use the many Internet cafés throughout the city and near the PUC campus, and are strongly encouraged to bring wireless-enabled laptops.
Founded by two Jesuit missionaries in 1554, the village didn't officially become a city until 1711. In the 19th century, it experienced a flourishing economic prosperity, brought about chiefly through coffee exports, which were shipped abroad from the port of the neighboring city of Santos. São Paulo became a destination not only for thousands of Europeans, but also for Syrian, Lebanese, and Japanese immigrants (São Paulo contains the largest Japanese community outside of Japan). The city is home to a large number of local and international banking offices, law firms, multinational companies and consumer services. Thanks to events such as the Feira Bienal Internacional de Arte, and its reputation for hosting cutting-edge music concerts, it has become something of a cultural center as well. Economic growth and exportation of goods has lifted employment and wages.
Volunteer OpportunitiesThrough PUC's Núcleo de Trabalhos Comunitários, (Center for Community Work), CIEE students may find a volunteer opportunity in São Paulo in the areas of education or community building. CIEE also has a relationship through the urban landless movement organization and students may teach English or Spanish language courses, or courses related to their academic background, to prepare adults studying for the Brazilian equivalent of the GRE.
Health InsuranceCIEE requires students to purchase basic sickness insurance. Students on the program will be enrolled automatically in this policy and will be billed through Penn at a cost of about $140 for the semester. Although this policy provides very good coverage, it is not a replacement for students' primary health insurance.
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package.
- More on scholarships and financial aid for study abroad
- Student Financial Services
- Program Budget Sheet
In addition to these resources, we encourage you to reach out to a past program participant or ambassador to learn more about the program from a student perspective.