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Study and Learn
Brazilian Portuguese in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Think Abroad visits and evaluates each Affiliate Foreign Language School (AFLS) it represents! People of all ages and backgrounds can study Brazilian Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Students who attend our Affiliate Foreign Language School (AFLS) in Rio de Janeiro will be thrilled to find themselves in some of the most beautiful beaches imaginable in just minutes by bus or car. 


Our Affiliate Foreign Language School (AFLS) in Rio De Janeiro has been a pioneer in Foreign language education for over 20 years. Since its inception in 1983, the school has grown into an international organization with language training centers and partners in locations throughout the world. To be selected as a Think Abroad AFLS, every school must offer classes that primarily focus on developing the communicative skills needed in order to achieve conversational competency in a foreign language. Our AFLS in Rio understands that the key to becoming fluent in a foreign language requires more than just classroom time and study, but also immersion in a foreign culture as well. In that respect, the school offers a variety of excursions and activities for their students to participate in so that they can achieve a better understanding of the rich Brazilian culture and language.

Within the classroom, the school has adopted a very modern, conversational approach to its language training. Classes are designed to ensure that students will be comfortable speaking Portuguese in practical, every-day situations. Teachers and staff at the school are not only highly qualified Portuguese instructors, but they are also fun-loving, enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about foreign language education.  Additionally, they have a deep seated interest in the their students’ success and enjoyment in and out of the classroom.

The majority of students in attendance at our AFLS in Rio are from the United States, however there are many others who come from other areas of the globe such as Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, and others. Most of the students are between the ages of 20 and 40 years old, however there are, on occasion, individuals who are in their 60’s and sometimes older. An adult must accompany students under the age of 18 if they wish to take classes at our AFLS in Rio. However, regardless of your age or where you come from, Think Abroad has the perfect immersion experience for you!


Rio De Janeiro is arguably the most seductive city in the modern world with its beautiful hotel-lined beaches, incredible Carnival celebration, and of course its well documented contribution to the world of music with the birth of Samba and Bossa Nova emanating from the clubs and alleyways of Rio’s boardwalks, city streets, and corners. Rio is a city that is constantly buzzing with sensuality, energy, and excitement. These unmistakable characteristics of Rio give the city itself a life source and vitality all its own. There are a host of activities, sights, and beautiful scenic amazements for individuals to enjoy and participate in while they are staying in Rio De Janeiro.

One of Rio’s most famous and iconic cultural heritage sights is the 120 ft tall statue of Jesus known as “Cristo Redentor,” or “Christ the Redeemer.” This statue, which is made out of reinforced concrete, was recognized in July of 2007 as one of the new seven wonders of the world. The statue stands atop the peak of Corcovado mountain, at an elevation of 2,300 feet in the Tijuca Forest National Park. From this vantage point, one is presented with a breathtaking 360-degree view of all of Rio de Janeiro.

Soccer fans will be impressed to find that Rio has one of the world’s largest soccer stadiums, the Maracana stadium, which held up to 200,000 people during the World Cup final of 1950! Over the years though, the venue has been required to reduce the number of individuals allowed into the stadium to meet regulatory safety standards. However, the stadium is currently undergoing renovations, and will comfortably seat 120,000 people when construction has completed.

Rio is also an outdoor sports enthusiasts dream. Visitors can participate in a wide variety of activities such as fishing, hang gliding, snorkeling, rock climbing, kite surfing, and sailing among others. Rio is also home to two of the world’s largest forests inside of an urban area. One of them, Tijuca Forest, is by far the largest rainforest in an urban setting. Visitors to this forest can stroll through the fertile undergrowth while observing the various plants and animal species that one could only hope to find deep within the Amazon jungle. There are also an abundance of parks and gardens throughout the city, which allow Rio to display a rare balance of having a thriving, natural ecosystem in the midst of a modern urban metropolis.

Rio is also home to the Brazilian national musical styles of Samba and Bossa Nova. In the neighborhood of Lapa, a revival of the Sambista tradition is taking place. Samba’s renewed popularity not just in Brazil but in the world at large, has led to dozens of new clubs and live music venues opening up as a result of the public’s desire to hear Samba music.

Visitors to Brazil are encouraged to attend live performances to allow the sweet syncopated rhythms, and playful loving lyrics of Samba music to enter their souls and gyrate their bodies. For students who are so inclined, the school also offers Samba dance lessons at an additional cost!

The weather of Rio De Janeiro is consistently excellent. Rio has a tropical climate with temperatures remaining in the 80’s throughout most of the year. The cool ocean breezes off the Atlantic ocean, however, compensate for the excessive heat that can be felt during the summer months (the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months).

However, a quick dip in the Atlantic ocean, while taking in the gorgeous backdrop of the city and the lush, green mountains behind it will provide immediate refreshment and relaxation for anyone on a hot sunny day. Think Abroad is truly the smartest way to learn a foreign language and explore a new and fascinating culture!


Our AFLS in Rio is located in the heart of Rio’s downtown area. The school is in an area known as the “Centro,” surrounded by high-rise buildings, close to the metro station, and within walking distance of the famous SAARA, a lively flea market where goods and produce are sold for relatively inexpensive prices.

The school itself is well equipped with modern facilities and teaching equipment that one would find at any top-tier educational institution. Computers, CD and DVD players, fax machines, and telephone lines are all readily available for student use. The entirety of the building has free internet and WiFi service for students who would like to bring their own laptops or personal computers. Central heating and air conditioning are also featured at the school, which allow the students to study and prepare for class and exams in a comfortable atmosphere.

Below the school, there is a café where students and staff often congregate to eat lunch, drink coffee, study, or relax. There is also a reception desk at the school where students can schedule meetings with teachers and coordinators, as well as have any of their personal inquiries and questions answered about the city and school by helpful aides and staff members.


Eleven of the teachers at our AFLS in Rio are native Brazilians who have degrees in Portuguese education.  All of the teachers have received extensive training on how to teach Portuguese as a foreign language. Instructors are not only highly qualified, but they are also dynamic individuals who are friendly, patient, and passionate about their students’ learning development and improvement.

Prior to teaching their first live class, all teachers must participate in one week of intensive training along with an additional week of assisting classes before assuming responsibility for their own. At the conclusion of their stay, students will have a chance to assess their teachers’ methods through evaluation forms. Teachers are also subjected to random, classroom evaluations in the manner of sit-ins, by head staff and school directors during a live class session.

Upon arrival, students will be asked to take a short placement test to determine their current level of Portuguese fluency. Based on the student’s scores from these tests, they will be placed in the appropriate class level that matches their present speaking and comprehension abilities. Our school offers group, private, and immersion courses for all students of various ranges of ability. The group courses are typically small, no more than three people, and they can vary from 15 hours per week of class time to 30 hours per week (depending upon student specification). Private classes are offered at intervals of 20 hours per week or 40 hours per week of class time respectively.

Students in private courses will have one on one face time with their instructors where they will be able to review and study any grammar principles, or vocabulary that they have specified to their teacher such as law, medical, or business Portuguese. The immersion courses are the most intensive and effective language classes that the school offers. It consists of 8 hours per day of private lessons, which include lunch with the student’s instructor. The immersion course is the most popular program with executives and business professionals who want to learn a lot of information in a short period of time.

Regardless of class size, or ability level, all classes emphasize a conversational method of teaching and instruction. Class lesson plans, and activities revolve around speaking and listening with a strong emphasis on verbal communication. Reading, writing, and grammar are also incorporated into the lesson plans, but are taught in a practical and productive manner without being tedious or painstaking (thus preventing them from becoming too dull or boring). Teachers are continually rotated so that students can become accustomed with the different rhythms, accents, and speaking patterns of all of their instructors. This allows the students to enhance their listening techniques and learn additional skills and methods of speaking Portuguese from a variety of instructors.

There is also no translation in class from Portuguese to English or vice versa. Through this method, students will be consistently engaged and alert in the classroom, and will only be thinking constructively in Portuguese. This will accelerate the learning process as they are forced to rely on their current knowledge of the language to aid them through the lessons, along with understanding the teachings and guidance of their instructor. Upon arrival at the school, students may also purchase textbooks and workbooks that can be used in conjunction with their course studies. Small amounts of homework may be assigned to students so that they can continue learning and developing their skills outside of the classroom.


Our AFLS in Rio offers a wide range of cultural activities and events for our students to participate in while they are studying. By partaking in these activities, students will have an additional opportunity to practice their Portuguese outside of class in a completely different context. Furthermore, through their involvement in such events, students will gain a deeper understanding of Brazilian people, history, and culture.

For instance, every week students will be asked to attend lectures by native teachers on such topics as the Brazilian economy, contemporary literature, politics, immigration, religion, and cuisine. These lectures are offered to students not as an additional course requirement, but rather as an opportunity for them to heighten their knowledge of Brazilian culture and history.

Attendance is optional, yet students are encouraged to take advantage of these enlightening discussions.

The school also arranges weekly meetings and interviews with local Brazilian residents who would like to work on their English, with students who would like to practice their Portuguese. From these initial meetings, students and their partners can choose to develop their own personal schedule to practice their language abilities with one another. Often times, these immediate partnerships can blossom into long lasting friendships.

All excursions provided by the school are offered as a courtesy provided a minimum number of students sign up to partake in the respective outing. Students, however, should be expected to pay their own transportation and entrance fees. An experienced Portuguese instructor that is knowledgeable on the topic or location of the intended excursion will lead all excursions. Some common destinations organized by the school inlcude a trek to the top of Corcovado mountain (where the Cristo presides over all of Rio), a trip to the city’s verdant botanic gardens, as well as to the peak of Sugarloaf mountain, where students can observe the majestic views of Rio’s Guanabara bay. Another popular trip is to the Museum of Modern Art, which currently houses over 1,700 paintings, sculptures, and engravings by Brazilian and other foreign artists.


Home-stays in Rio are thoroughly evaluated by Think Abroad staff, through personal visits, and interviews of each prospective home-stay family. In some instances, a Think Abroad employee will spend a night with the family to ensure that all accommodations and facilities meet the requirements and standards for all Think Abroad home-stays. All families must fill out forms and pass a background check prior to being considered for home-stay accountability. More often than not, all homes are capable of being compliant and agreeable with most students. Families provide free breakfasts for their guests, and in many instances, the bond between host family and student remains strong even after the student has returned to their homeland.

Please read Think Abroad’s article about living in the homestay setting. Most homestay families in Florianopolis are located less than 20-minutes by foot to the school.

The home-stay is an excellent option for students who would like an authentic experience of living with a native Brazilian family. In addition to the accommodations provided, students will also have continuous opportunities to speak and practice their Portuguese language abilities.

In the event that a student would like to switch their home-stay situation, they are more than welcome to do so, but it must be within one day of arrival depending on the availability of other home-stay families. But whatever your language travel needs might be, Think Abroad has the perfect immersion experience for you!

Contact us for pricing details


  • Airport Pickup: Students arriving at the airport will be picked up by a representative from the school. Think Abroad will help coordinate this process by relaying arrival information of our students to school administrators and staff.

  • Housing: Students will have several options to choose from with regards to their housing accommodations. The most popular option however is the home-stay with a Brazilian family. Home-stays allow students to fully immerse themselves in the country’s culture, people, and cuisine. It also allows the students to have more opportunities to practice their language abilities outside of the classroom. Host family lodging includes, but is not limited to the following: a private bedroom, a shared bathroom, two meals per day, and one load of laundry per week. However, three meals per day, a private bathroom, and/or a double room can be requested.

  • All of the host families are middle-class and live in apartments or homes in safe and attractive areas.

  • Many host families are individuals living alone, but some are couples with or without children. Very few families have young children, but some have grandchildren that visit them quite frequently.

  • Distances from the host family to the school vary from 15 to 45 minutes by public transportation. However, the host family will assist with this orientation process until the student is comfortable with their surroundings, and understands how to use the public transportation system on their own.