CET Brazil Study Abroad: Social Justice

CET Brazil: At-A-Glance

Study social justice and inequality
Electives in a variety of fields
Direct-enroll electives at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo
Courses taught in English or Portuguese
Live with a Brazilian roommate
Traveling Seminar to Salvador da Bahia
Portuguese language classes for all levels
Out-of-class learning and assignments
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As a study abroad student at CET Brazil: Social Justice and Inequality in São Paulo, you build a foundation for understanding the dynamics of global poverty and inequality—both in and out of the classroom. Study social movements within Brazil, take Portuguese classes to better engage with the community, live with Brazilian roommates that give you an access point into local life, and even travel to Salvador da Bahia to take on learning by experiencing.

Academics in Brazil


Curriculum & Syllabi

You take one core course, a Portuguese language class, and three electives to meet the total 15 to 18 recommended credits.
Intermediate or advanced Portuguese language students can swap CET electives for direct-enroll classes, taught in Portuguese.

You take this 3-credit core course, taught in English or Portuguese depending on your language abilities:

Beginning Portuguese students choose three CET electives. Intermediate and advanced Portuguese students choose three electives with at least one direct-enroll elective at PUC-SP to meet the total 15 to 18 recommended credits. 

CET Electives
Direct-Enroll Electives at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo

Intermediate and advanced Portuguese students can directly enroll in an at least one elective offered at PUC-SP for 2 to 4 credits each*. These courses are taught in Portuguese and are taken alongside Brazilian undergraduates. Some past courses have included: 

  • Política Internacional Contemporânea (Contemporary International Politics)
  • Direito Internacional (International Law)
  • Relações Internacionais e Economia Política (International Relations and Political Economy)
  • Colonialismo, Guerras e Descolonização (Colonialism, Wars, and Decolonization)
  • Meio Ambiente e Capitalismo (Environment and Capitalism)
  • Gênero, Raça e Classe Nas Relações Internacionais (Gender, Race, and Class in International Relations)

*CET converts final grades from PUC-SP to US letter grade equivalents

Students and an instructor in a Portuguese class

Get to know Brazil from all sides

Out-of-class connections. Get into the city with site visits around São Paulo. Head to a Guarani indigenous community to meet with leaders. Attend a politically engaged poetry reading. Hear from members of the Homeless Workers Social Movement.

English and Portuguese. Tailor your curriculum with electives in English or Portuguese. If you’re an intermediate-level Portuguese speaker, you can direct-enroll in an elective at PUC-SP where all of the coursework is done in Portuguese alongside Brazilian undergraduates.

Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo. The program is hosted by Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo. PUC-SP is a private Catholic university of 23,000 students located in Perdizes, a neighborhood with easy public transportation, plenty of cheap eats, and a lively nightlife.

Traveling Seminar to Salvador da Bahia

Journey to a port town along Brazil’s northeastern coast to learn about its history as a major port of entry for enslaved Africans, and experience the African cultural influences that are integral parts of Brazilian society today.
Day 1: Arrive and attend an open-air jazz concert at the Museum of Modern Art.
Day 2: Travel to the countryside and visit Kaonge Quilombe, a Brazilian hinterland settlement founded by the descendants of enslaved Africans.
Day 3Observe a Candomblé ceremony and observe how the Afro-Brazilian religion has influenced local popular culture.
Day 4: See the Folkloric Ballet of Salvador at the Miguel Santana Theatre.
Day 5: Visit Steve Biko, an organization dedicated to providing resources for Afro-Brazilian teens that want to to pursue a college degree. 
Day 6: Board a schooner to island hop while enjoying live Brazilian music.
Day 7: Take a trip to the São Joaquim Market, then attend an ethno-gastronomy workshop that focuses on recreating dishes from African countries as a tool of resistance. 
Day 8: Fly back to São Paulo.

Housing and Meals

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Living Like a Local

Local Roommates. Sharing an apartment with a local student can teach you everything you need to know about Brazilian college life. Where to find the best pão de queijo (cheese bread) for on-the-go snacking. What mobile apps are used locally. Which trails to hike in Ibirapuera Park. It’s no wonder students often tell us that their roommate is “one of the best parts of the program.” Learn more about living with a local roommate. 

Eating in São Paulo. For meals, take advantage of the city’s vibrant food scene and try all the local specialties. Brigadeiro (condensed milk-based chocolate truffle), anyone? Feeling like a home-cooked meal? Grab ingredients at the farmers’ market and have a night in with your roommates. Learn more about accommodating your dietary needs in Brazil. 

CET Brazil study abroad students and Brazilian roommates cook in their apartment

Life in São Paulo

Students, faculty, and staff posing for a photo during a World Cup 2022 watch party.

São Paulo is a diverse and vibrant city, filled with countless things to do. Go to a weekend festival. Learn to make feijoada (black bean and meat stew). Find your favorite café in Perdizes, the neighborhood you call home. Hang out with friends at a boteco (corner bar). Walk up and down a car-free Avenida Paulista on Sundays and listen to live music as you shop with local vendors. Attend a soccer match at the stadium. And if you’re studying abroad in the spring, get ready for Carnaval…

Experience São Paulo with CET

Around the city. Each term, the program offers different extra-curricular activities that allow you to explore São Paulo and Brazilian culture. Head to Embu das Artes, a nearby town that comes alive on the weekends with artisan markets, food stands, and street music. Go on a guided walk through the city’s historical center. And there’s even more to see on your own.

A Weekend Away. Spend the weekend in Paraty, a colonial city in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Hike through the rainforest to two waterfalls. Visit Ilha do Araújo and meet local fishermen depending on livelihoods that are both traditional and sustainable. Then learn about traditional medicine before enjoying a homemade meal. Trek along the beach, then enjoy plenty of free time to explore the area.

Give back to the community. If you opt to volunteer in São Paulo, you might spend your semester helping teach art workshops for children, repairing damaged tech for women in need, or teaching English to communities suffering from gender discrimination. 

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Student Resources

"There were many moments during this program that checked me and challenged me to approach things differently. Some things affirmed me and supported me, but I don't think I would have been able to be checked/proven wrong in such a way had I not physically come to Brazil and experienced the dynamics. I am extremely grateful for these challenges."

— Hannah Ginsberg,
Kalamazoo College | Fall student
"This program inspired me to apply for a Fulbright scholarship to continue my race relations and diasporic studies research in Brazil."

— Johneé Rendia Wilson,
American University | Spring student
"Living with Brazilian roommates is a very important part to the language and cultural exchange, but more importantly, my roommates are inspiring and incredible human beings that I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet."

— Katie Strine,
American University | Fall student
"CET Brazil has mandatory classes that focus on the inequities that exist in Brazil and create the space for students to connect what they are learning back to their own countries. I truly cannot express how amazing my experience was and how incredible of a program CET is."

—Amanda Ortiz,
Macalester College | Spring student
"Some of my fondest memories of the semester are simply hanging out with my roommates just exchanging words, cracking jokes, and laughing at each other. If you truly want cultural immersion, this is the right program for you - the Brazilian roommates will make sure you meet more locals, eat local foods, see unknown sights, and master the language."

— Jack Nudelman,
Johns Hopkins University | Spring student
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On-site Staff

Súlia Folli
Senior Resident Director

Mariana Jansen Ferreira, PhD
Senior Academic Coordinator

Vinícius Rodrigues
Academic Coordinator

Leandro Tardin
Resident Coordinator

Program Fees



What's Included

All of your classes and program-related learning are included with your tuition.

We arrange your housing in a fully-furnished apartment about a 10-minute walk from campus. Your program fees go toward rent, utilities, furnishing, and other management costs.

We take you to Salvador da Bahia for a Traveling Seminar. Just bring a camera and your intellectual curiosity.

The activities and excursions that we arrange are included in your program fee. 

From pre-departure to orientation, from on site to re-entry, CET provides you with the support you need every step of the way. 

You’re provided with a comprehensive insurance plan through GeoBlue that even includes medical evacuation coverage.

We guide you step-by-step through the visa process. You do the legwork, but we’ll make sure you have the documents & information you need, when you need it.

Your textbooks and course supplies are covered and waiting for you on site.

At the end of your term, you’ll receive academic documentation as proof of all you’ve accomplished abroad. Depending on your home institution, you will either get a CET grade report or a School of Record transcript from the University of Minnesota.

More on finances

A student smiling and holding the Brazilian flag while on a boat during a sunny day.
Program Fee Breakdown. Of the total program fee, $16,990 goes to tuition and fees, and $2,000 goes to housing and other student life fees.

Local Cost of Living. The cost of living in São Paulo is generally lower than that of bigger US cities. Produce is cheap (particularly if purchased at farmers’ markets), and you can find lunch for as little as 6 to 7 USD. As with any major city, your spending can vary widely depending on your own habits and lifestyle.

Estimated out-of-pocket expenses: 

How to Apply

  • •  Pre-requisites: None. Open to students of any Portuguese level, including absolute beginners
  • •  Must be 18 or older at the time of program participation.
  • •  Open to students from any US college or university
  • •  GPA: 3.0 or higher preferred, but admissions decisions are made on a case-by-case basis;  lower GPAs still encouraged to apply

Complete the application through your online CET account. This is a brief form that asks for basic information and has a few short answer questions about why you want to study abroad.

Upload a scan of your passport to your online CET account. This should be a single scan that includes the signed signature page and the photo/personal details page. Don’t have a passport yet? Let us know and we can help advise you.

Use the link in your online account to send a recommendation request to one of your previous instructors.

This is an online form that your study abroad office completes to let us know you meet the requirements to study abroad. To send the electronic form request,  simply enter the name and email address of your study abroad advisor in the designated fields of your online account.

Your online CET account has specific instructions for submitting an official transcript.


Fall Semester:

April 1

Spring Semester:

November 1

Have a question? Get in touch!

Melanie MacKenzie

Manager, Student Services 
[email protected]

Price Subject to Change:

CET reserves the right to increase quoted charges at any time without prior notification, based on increased instruction costs, exchange rate fluctuation or other cost increases beyond CET’s control.

Course Availability

Our goal is to offer every course every term, but sometimes factors like faculty availability and program enrollment keep us from reaching that goal. If you’re concerned about needing to enroll in one particular course, please contact us

CET Jordan: Academic Consultation Board

Over the years, we’ve built a strong network of locally-based faculty that we’re proud to call our peers. These faculty make up our Academic Consultation Board—a select group of local voices and thought leaders that help advise and shape components of the CET Jordan program. 

Board members support the program in many ways, including but not limited to:


Learn More about our Programs