Berkeley Study Abroad in Brazil?

<p>Has anyone done the study abroad in Brazil (PUC Rio)? If so, could you tell me about what classes you took, how the culture and people were, and about how you liked the experience overall? :)</p>

<p>I don't know, but you'll be better off emailing the advisor about this because she'll forward it to past participants.</p>

<p>Dude, I looked up into this back when I was thinking about travelling abroad. The deadline is coming up soon, but there are a few reasons why I decided not to go:</p>

<ol>
<li>Portuguese 101 was kinda hard from relying off of my highschool spanish, so I dropped it. </li>
<li><p>I'm graduating Sp and don't have time for EAP. I personally think that spring is the best time to go to Rio. Why? It's winter down there which means warm, not ridiculously warm. Other big reason is Canaval! Awesome party. Also If you go in the Sp I think that more Brazillian students will be there since I think their summer break is in our winter which is their summer? </p></li>
<li><p>Have fun dude. I wanted to go. Practice for World Cup 2014 and Olympics.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Well, I'm from Rio, so I can give you one advice:</p>

<p>Don't ask whether anyone speaks Brazilian. Please.</p>

<p>PUC Rio is one of the best universities in Brazil. My good friend goes there and is studying civil engineering. She says she barely has time to breathe with all the work, and you'll definitely feel much of the same stress you do here. But being in Brazil, in the cidade maravilhosa, you won't realize how stressed you are. The atmosphere itself makes you forget it all.</p>

<p>A couple tips:
-Don't touch food with your hands. Even a sandwich, knife and fork. That's just how they do it in Brazil.
-This applies to any foreign country, be smart. Don't wander alone at night, don't excessively flaunt valuables.
-Try to learn some Portuguese before you go. If you speak Spanish and are relying on that, I can guarantee you are in for a rude awakening. While many people there will understand you, you will have absolutely no idea what they're saying when they respond in Portuguese.
-Go to Leblon and Ipanema beaches as often as you can. You can thank me later.
-Discuss: Football, school, music/movies, literature, basically keep conversations light.
-Don't discuss: Political issues, unless they start talking about it first, money, religion.
-You will notice a much more marked racial segregation than you are used to. Black people are still not treated like first-class citizens, unfortunately. Avoid bringing this up. Most Brazilians just avoid this topic.
-Do not give people purple flowers. They are reserved for mourning. If you are invited to someones house, take wine or chocolates.
-Brazilians are always late for social things (lunch, movies, etc). It will take a while to get used to, but there's nothing you can do about it. When it's something that matters, though, like class or a business meeting, they are very punctual.
-Brazilian girls are usually more flirty than American girls. If you've been to Europe, you've probably already seen this with European girls. Do not automatically take a kiss on the cheek or an extended hug as a sign of interest. That's completely normal behavior with a stranger.
-Also, I don't know how much of a partier you are, but you're no doubt familiar with the dance craze "grinding" as it's all that goes on at parties here. People don't grind in Brazil (except at some ghetto clubs which I guarantee you won't be going to). If you go to a club, you need to learn how to actually dance.
-Don't give the American "OK" sign to anyone, it's obscene.
-Embrace the friendliness. Brazilians are the friendliest, most open people on the planet. So much so that you might even be taken aback by it at first. Go with it.
-Have fun! It will no doubt be an amazing, unforgettable experience.</p>

<p>Edit: I just realized that you might be a girl. In that case, disregard the dancing and flirting tips lol.</p>

<p>@crfcaio
Voce fala portugues? Voce esta estudando aqui em Berkeley? Estou querendo encontrar outros estudantes brasileiros! :)</p>

<p>I am also interested in studying abroad in Brazil so I'm bumping this thread.</p>

<p>Does anyone know if only Berkeley students can apply for this program? (Can non-Berkeley students do this as well?)</p>

<p>I would take the chance and go to PUC! As a brazilian and from personal experience; Rio is a beautiful city and as someone mentioned before although work might be challenging the city makes up for it :]</p>