PUC Rio holds a satisfactory rating as students have reported their general fulfillment with the courses offered, explicitly condoning the quality of courses. This private non-profit Catholic university is recognized as one of the top five schools in Brazil offering 36 Bachelors programs and 26 Graduate Research programs. In student guide rankings PUC Rio earned five out of five stars in eleven programs including engineering and business. PUC Rio is known locally for their excellence in the science disciplines and is widely acclaimed for their outstanding academic standing. The University is also known for its free cultural aspect. It has always tried to bring in the broadest types of students in order to foster and develop diversity amongst its student body. PUC-Rio has been responsible for the formation and education of many professionals who have become influential and important characters of Brazilian society.
Facts & Figures
Established on October 30, 1940
Motto is: “With wings, nothing is heavy.”
800 count Academic Staff
21,000 Student Population
Yellow and Blue school colors
Rio de Janeiro
PUC Rio is located in Gãvea near the beaches and forests of Rio de Janeiro. Situated within a tropical wooded area, small monkeys and squirrels jump around in the trees presenting students with a spectacular view. Provided on campus if free internet (broadband and wireless) with four different libraries providing students with over 500,000 titles. In the city waits an abundance of cultural activities including festivals, festivals, and concerts. In and around the campus stands a myriad of restaurants each with their own taste of Brazil; food is an important factor the city and the Brazil experience.
Rio de Janeiro is an exciting city perfectly situated between a lush tropical forest and the Atlantic Ocean providing students and residents and visitors alike with a majestic realm of colors, sounds and smells. Tree-covered mountains make up the north view of the campus. A large number of city bus lines have stops at the entrance of University. It is close to Leblon, Ipanema, Jardim Botânico and Lagoa, which are some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Rio. The subway authority (Metrô) has planned expanding its line to a station at the entrance of PUC-Rio, however, while the Gávea station is not built, Metrô-branded buses connect the University to the General Osório station (located in Ipanema) and to Botafogo station (on Botafogo beach). Making the University accessible and easy to travel.
1. How does the accommodation system work?
PUC-Rio does not have dorm-style housing options. However, international students have the possibility of living with a Brazilian host family during their stay in Rio. PUC-Rio has an agreement with families who live close to the campus. The student will receive an individual room with a fan, a weekly change of sheets and towels, access to Light, gas a Brazilian breakfast (coffee, milk, bread, butter, jelly and fruit) and laundry facilities. The use of the telephone, internet access, air-conditioner, hygiene products (shampoo and soap) must be agreed upon by both parties upon arrival. Monthly rent payments must be made in Reais and must be paid directly to the family.
2. Am I required to stay with a host family?
Exchange students are not required to stay with a host family. However, PUC-Rio is not responsible for students who decide to live in risky places (i.e., slums) instead of living in homestays selected by the CCCI Housing Accommodation Program.
3. Will there be airport pick-up available?
Yes! The International Programs Central Coordination Office offers airport pick-up to students who arrive on the date indicated by PUC-Rio and inform the university previously of their flight information.
4. Will there be an orientation when I arrive?
Yes! The orientation sessions will last one week and are very important to the students because it is when they will receive the necessary information and orientation that will guide them during their exchange period. Topics such as immigration, academic system, courses, add-drop and accommodation will be deeply discussed. In addition to that, students have the chance to meet other students during the welcome lunch. For this reason, the student’s presence is mandatory. After their arrival, the International Students Coordinator will be in charge of helping the students in case they need any kind of assistance.
5. How can I become more involved with the culture? Respuc
, or the Social Entrepreneurship Network PUC-Rio, is a great way to volunteer and immerse yourself in Brazilian culture.
6. How can I prepare myself for my study abroad program at PUC Rio?
You can read through PUC Rio's Pre-Departure Manual
to find out more information regarding preparation.
7. Where can I find out more information about studying at PUC Rio?
Find out more about living in Rio
and studying at PUC Rio
on PUC Rio's website.
For more FAQs please visit PUC Rio's International Incoming Student website.
UNC Charlotte students will first need to complete an Office of Education Abroad (OEA) application in order to receive approval to study abroad. To receive access to an application, students should follow the required steps listed on OEA's website, which outline the application process
under the "Fall, Spring & Year-long Exchange and Affiliate Programs" heading.
Application requirements may include (and are subject to change):
• Personal statement in English
• Personal statement in host country language (only applicable for students taking intermediate/advance language courses abroad)
• UNC Charlotte transcript
• 2 academic letters of recommendation
• 1 language evaluation (only applicable for students taking intermediate/advance language courses abroad)
• Disciplinary record clearance
• $135 application fee and deposit
Not all requirements may be listed above. Once students receive access to the application, more instructions can be found to assist the student throughout the process. After receiving approval to study abroad from OEA, students will be required to apply directly to the host university. OEA will provide instructions for how to complete this supplemental application after approval. Once the supplemental application is reviewed by the host university, students will be notified of their formal acceptance.
This exchange program is open to currently enrolled UNC Charlotte students with a minimum GPA of 2.5. All students who participate in a study abroad program are required to be in good academic and disciplinary standing upon applying and prior to departure.
PUC Rio has four Academic Centers:
1. Center of Theology and Human Sciences (CTCH)
2. Center of Social Sciences (CCS)
3. Center of Science and Thechnology (CTC)
4. Center of Biomedical Sciences (CCBM)
Each center has their own unique set of interdisciplinary courses, advantages, opportunities, and social environment. With over 36 Bachelors and 26 Masters degrees, the options are unlimited and specialized giving PUC Rio the acclaimed academic superiority it has earned. PUC Rio offers courses taught both in English and Portuguese, also offering courses taught in both languages. Some programs are limited to the type of degree, for example the Centre for Biomedical Sciences is limited to specifically Graduate students only.
Though PUC Rio offers an exceptional array of disciplines, they also offer a choice in sports and credit the social life experience of Brazil.
Parties and gatherings are organized specifically for international students in order to help them integrate into the university community. Exchange students can also participate in other activities including the choir and other Brazilian cultural festivals.
PUC Rio gives the best and unique intercultural and academic experience as they combine the two to transition international students into the academics and allow for the leading Brazilian adventure.
Portuguese Pre-Term Intensive Course (optional)
This program prepares foreign students to attend regular University courses in all academic areas. There are five levels of proficiency offered in the Portuguese for Foreigners Program. In order to place candidates according to their proficiency in the Portuguese Language, students will take placement tests the first day of class. Please note that this Intensive Course is not included in the exchange price and is an additional fee of R$ 2,585 (approximately $1,000). This does not include housing during the duration of this pre-term course. This course will also not count for credit
, it is purely for students who wish to learn Portuguese.
Courses in English
Students have the option of taking some courses in English
. Students who study in English must also attend a Portuguese course as a second language in addition to their other courses.
Courses in Portuguese
Please see PUC Rio's website indicating how you can search for available courses
. Please note that students must demonstrate a strong command of Portueguese in order to take courses administered in Portuguese.
General note about classes in Brazil:
- Brazilian students traditionally spend more hours in class per week than a student from other countries. Lectures are the most common teaching method used in the classrooms. It is very important to follow the explanation given in class to be successful in the exams. Normally, foreign students like to take a few days off for a short trip inside Brazil under the wrong impression that they can be prepared for exams by themselves. Attendance is very important at PUC Rio and its evaluation system.
- All international students must take a Portuguese as a second language course in addition to their other courses
- The normal full-time course load is five or six courses per semester
UNC Charlotte Course Equivalencies & Credit
OEA is not responsible for determining UNC Charlotte course equivalencies. Students will work with the corresponding UNC Charlotte academic departments in order to understand what UNC Charlotte credit they will receive for the courses they take abroad prior to departure. The Department Chair of the academic department will determine this (not the student's Academic Advisor). More instructions can be found in the student's study abroad application and will be communicated by OEA once they begin the study abroad process. It's important that students have as many host courses as possible approved by their academic department(s) prior to going abroad in order to have flexibility when registering for courses at the host university. Courses abroad are not guaranteed (i.e. not all courses abroad may be open to international students, some courses may only be offered certain semesters, courses may be full, etc.).
All courses and earned grades from abroad will be reported on the student's UNC Charlotte transcript when they return. Once the official host university transcript is received by OEA, all grades from abroad will be translated into A-F letter grades. This process can take anywhere from 1- 6 months after the end of the student's program. Students cannot earn pass/fail credit abroad (there are very few exceptions to this). Grades from abroad will be factored into the student's UNC Charlotte cumulative GPA.
Please see the following information regarding the typical month range that students can expect to be abroad with this program. Please note that this is a general time frame and could differ per student, per program.
Fall: July/August to December
Spring: January/March to July
Please look at PUC Rio's International Programs calendar
for more information on dates.
PUC-Rio does not provide dorms facilities on campus but instead offers an enriched opportunity for students to experience the Brazilian way of life by placing students in a home-stay program.
International students are placed in home-stays located in the south zone of the city, the same as the university. Most families live near the university, within 20-30 minutes from campus by city bus.
PUC-Rio is not responsible for the payment of rent, student expenditures, or the student’s failure to abide by the house rules previously agreed upon by both parties. However, should the need arise, PUC-Rio will support and help both parties in improving the interaction between them. PUC-Rio does not have a contract with these families, we serve as an intermediate, they are independent to do what is best for them.
Each student will sign a contract and pay the rent upfront during his/her stay. The monthly rent with breakfast included is R$1.400,00 per month (Exchange rate changes every day). The rent includes a private room with a bed, a fan, a weekly change of sheets and towels, access to light and gas and a Brazilian breakfast (coffee, milk, bread, butter, jelly and fruit). Access to kitchen and laundry facilities is also included. Please be aware that some houses have only shared rooms (2 beds). In this case the rental per student will be lower than the private room.
Telephone use is to be arranged between the student and the family.
If a meal option is available (lunch or dinner), the cost per month is R$1.750,00 per month.
Please visit the PUC de Rio accommodation website
for more information.
Housing Application Process
If housing is available on or off campus abroad and if the housing application process is facilitated by the host university, the student will be contacted directly by the host university with further instructions. This will occur after the student has been approved to go abroad by OEA and likely after they have been accepted by the host university. Housing is not arranged for the student by OEA nor UNC Charlotte. All students will have to apply for on or off campus housing through the host university, if applicable and/or available, or will need to secure their own private accommodations (if allowed). Housing is not paid to OEA nor UNC Charlotte. Housing will be paid to the applicable entity (host university, landlord, apartment complex, etc.).
Students should consider their housing arrangements before and after they study abroad. For example, if a student currently lives off-campus and have signed a lease for a year but will be going abroad during that year, they should be prepared to arrange someone to take over their lease or understand that their lease likely cannot be broken without a fee if they go abroad during that time. Similarly, while students are abroad and before they come back, it's important to determine where they will be living when they return from studying abroad.
Tuition & Fees
Student Accounts at UNC Charlotte will bill students for full-time tuition & fees according to their in-state or out-of-state residency rate prior to the start of the semester they will be abroad (according to UNC Charlotte's academic calendar). Students are expected to be the equivalent of full-time at UNC Charlotte while abroad. This means students should be taking the equivalent of 12 UNC Charlotte credit hours for undergraduates or 9 UNC Charlotte credit hours for graduate students. Students are not also paying tuition and fees to the host university while abroad.
The following are typical expenses incurred by students studying abroad. For more information regarding Cost Estimate Sheets, please contact an Education Abroad Advisor:
- Roundtrip airfare
- International Health Insurance
- Personal expenses (additional meals, traveling, cultural activities, etc.)
- Application fee
- Study abroad fee
- Visa (if applicable)
Students are eligible to use financial aid towards their education abroad expenses. Make an appointment with your financial aid advisor to ask any financial aid-related questions. Please see our financial aid page for more information.
Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships. Please see our scholarship website for more information.
All students must have a valid passport before they leave for their program. You can apply for a passport at your local post office or at Union Station
located in UNC Charlotte's Student Union
OEA is not qualified nor legally able to disseminate visa advice or assist with visa requirements. However, below is basic information regarding visas for this country if you are a U.S. citizen. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain a visa before departure if necessary. Please visit the embassy's website for more information.
need a visa to enter the country. Applications must be sent or taken to the nearest Brazilian consulate or embassy.
- If applying in person, you must make an appointment with the consulate, and allow at least 5 days for processing.
- If applying through the mail, you should apply at least 3 weeks before your departure.
U.S. Department of State
If you are a U.S. citizen, please see the U.S. Department of State's
website for more information regarding visas. Once on the travel.state.gov website, scroll to the bottom and choose "U.S. Passports & International Travel." At the top, choose the "Country Information" tab and type the country you are going to. Scroll down to "Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements" and read thoroughly. Note:
travel.state.gov will most likely take you to the consulate or embassy's actual website.
Students are responsible for purchasing their own airfare. Students should not purchase airfare until they have been both approved by the Office of Education Abroad and have been accepted by the host university. The official start date of the program (to include any mandatory on-site orientation or events) and end date of the program (to include the last day of exams and/or any other mandatory events) will be communicated to the student by the host university once accepted.
Office of Education Abroad
College of Health & Human Services (CHHS) 256
| fax (704) 687-1661