Study abroad for a semester in


Brazil, the largest country in South America, is a land of contrasts and excitement. Picture yourself studying in cities like São Paulo, the bustling economic heart, or Rio de Janeiro, with its stunning beaches and lively cultural scene. Brazil’s diversity is not just limited to its vast landscapes that range from rainforests to savannas, but also its people, culture, and cuisine. Imagine savoring the flavors of traditional dishes like feijoada or pão de queijo while enjoying the warm hospitality of the locals. The country’s vibrant festivals, such as Carnival and Festa Junina, offer unforgettable experiences filled with music, dance, and colorful parades. Studying in Brazil promises a vibrant and enriching experience that extends far beyond the classroom.

Brazil is best known for

Lively Cultural Scene 🎉: Brazil is world-renowned for its vibrant festivals, music, and dance, from the iconic Rio Carnival to the rhythmic beats of samba and bossa nova, providing a rich cultural experience.

Stunning Natural Beauty 🌴: From the Amazon rainforest to the beaches of Copacabana, Brazil’s diverse landscapes offer breathtaking scenery and countless opportunities for outdoor adventures.

Warm and Welcoming People 😊: Known for their friendliness and hospitality, Brazilians make it easy for international students to feel at home.

Table of contents

1. Visa and Health Insurance 🛂

Embarking on your educational journey to Brazil involves securing the appropriate visa and health insurance. These essential steps ensure compliance with legal requirements and access to necessary healthcare services throughout your stay. Proper documentation and insurance coverage are crucial for a smooth and secure study abroad experience.

Visa Types

  • Student Visa (VITEM IV): This visa is required for all international students enrolling in academic programs at Brazilian institutions, including undergraduate, graduate, and exchange programs.

Application Process

  1. Acceptance from a Brazilian Institution: Secure admission from a recognized Brazilian university or educational institution.
  2. Certificate of Enrollment: Obtain a Certificate of Enrollment from your institution, which is necessary for your visa application.
  3. Prepare Documents: Gather all required documents, including your passport, Certificate of Enrollment, proof of financial means, and health insurance.
  4. Visa Application Form: Complete the student visa application form available on the website of the Brazilian consulate or embassy in your home country.
  5. Submit Application: Submit the completed application form along with all required documents to the nearest Brazilian consulate or embassy.
  6. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required visa application fee.
  7. Wait for Processing: Visa processing times can vary, so it’s important to apply well in advance of your intended travel date.

Required Documents

  • Passport (valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay)
  • Completed visa application form
  • Certificate of Enrollment from a Brazilian university
  • Proof of financial means (bank statements or financial guarantee)
  • Health insurance coverage proof
  • Passport-sized photographs
  • Academic transcripts and diplomas from previous education

Application Timeline

Start Early: Begin the application process at least 3-6 months before your intended departure.
Processing Time: Visa processing can take several weeks to months, depending on the country and application volume.
Important Deadlines: Be mindful of university application deadlines and ensure your visa application is timely.

Tips for Success

Complete Documentation: Ensure all your documents are complete and accurately filled out.
Financial Proof: Clearly demonstrate financial stability and sufficient funds.
Health Insurance: Secure a visa-compliant health insurance plan early in the process.

Importance of Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all international students in Brazil. It ensures that students have access to medical care and covers a wide range of health services, from regular doctor visits to emergency care.

Types of Health Insurance

  • Public Health Insurance (SUS): The Unified Health System (SUS) provides free public healthcare to all residents, including international students. While SUS covers basic health services, the quality and accessibility can vary widely.
    • Cost: Free, but service quality and waiting times can vary.
    • Advantages: Provides basic coverage for necessary medical care.
    • Limitations: Limited to public healthcare facilities, which may have longer waiting times and poor service quality.
  • Private Health Insurance: Many students opt for private health insurance to ensure more comprehensive and faster access to healthcare services.
    • Cost: Varies based on the provider and plan. Plans typically start at around BRL 200 per month.
    • Advantages: More extensive coverage, faster access to services, and flexibility in choosing healthcare providers.
    • Limitations: Generally more expensive than relying solely on public healthcare.

Country-Specific Requirements

Public Health Insurance Registration: Upon arrival in Brazil, students can register for the Unified Health System (SUS) at local health offices to access public healthcare services.
Private Health Insurance: Must meet the minimum coverage requirements set by Brazilian authorities. Private plans often provide quicker access to healthcare services and more flexibility in choosing providers.

Finding the Best Health Insurance

wearefreemovers has developed a partnership with Dr Walter with the intent of offering you reliable and visa-compliant health insurance for your stay in Brazil.

Choose Dr Walter

Dr Walter is our suggested visa-compliant health insurance for Brazil

Or discover other insurance options

Thanks to our Insurance Finder


What happens if my visa application is denied?
If your visa application is denied, you will receive a notice explaining the reasons for the denial. Address the issues mentioned and reapply, or appeal the decision if you believe it was incorrect. Review the reasons for denial carefully and seek guidance from the embassy or consulate if needed.

Can I change my health insurance plan after arriving in Brazil?
Yes, you can change your health insurance plan after arriving in Brazil. Ensure the new plan meets the mandatory health insurance requirements for students. Compare different plans to choose one that offers comprehensive coverage and suits your needs.

What should I do if I need medical care and don’t have insurance?
If you require medical care and don’t have insurance, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for all medical services, which can be very expensive. It’s highly recommended to have valid health insurance to avoid these costs. If you find yourself without insurance, contact a health insurance provider immediately to enroll in a plan.

Additional Resources

Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: This official government portal provides comprehensive information for foreigners looking to study in Brazil, including visa requirements, application procedures, and practical advice for living in Brazil. It’s a reliable source for the most up-to-date information and official guidelines.
Study in Brazil: This website offers detailed information on studying in Brazil, including available programs, scholarships, and practical advice for international students. It also provides insights into Brazilian culture and student life, helping you to prepare for your journey.

2. Cost of Living 💰

Understanding the cost of living in Brazil is essential for effective budgeting and financial planning. Brazil offers a wide range of living experiences, from the bustling cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to the tranquil charm of smaller towns. Whether you are living in the heart of a metropolis or in a serene coastal town, knowing what to expect financially will help you make the most of your stay.

Detailed Breakdown of Living Expenses

Accommodation: Monthly rent varies widely based on location and type of housing.
BRL 1,000 – BRL 4,000/month
Food: From groceries to dining out, here’s what to expect.
BRL 750 – BRL 1,500/month
Transportation: Getting around Brazil is both convenient and affordable.
BRL 200 – BRL 400/month
Utilities: Essential services like electricity, water, and internet.
BRL 200 – BRL 500/month
Entertainment and Leisure: Enjoying Brazil’s vibrant social scene.
BRL 200 – BRL 500/month
Miscellaneous Expenses: Personal items and services.
BRL 200 – BRL 400/month

3. Accommodation Options 🏠

Finding the perfect place to live is a key part of your study abroad experience. Brazil offers a variety of housing options that cater to different needs and budgets, from student dormitories and shared apartments to homestays and private rentals. The type of accommodation you choose will greatly influence your experience, so it’s important to consider your preferences and budget.

Types of Accommodation

Student Dorms (Repúblicas): Typically provided by universities, these dormitories offer convenience and a social environment. Dorms are often located close to campus and include basic amenities.
Price: BRL 600 – BRL 1,200/month
Shared Apartments (Apartamentos Compartilhados): Sharing an apartment with other students is a popular and cost-effective choice. This option allows for greater independence while still being economical.
Price: BRL 1,000 – BRL 2,000/month
Private Apartments (Apartamentos Privados): Renting your own place offers privacy and independence. This option is ideal for students who prefer more space and freedom.
Price: BRL 2,000 – BRL 4,000/month
Homestays (Hospedagem em Casa de Família): Living with a local family can provide a deeper cultural immersion and a supportive home environment. This option is particularly beneficial for improving language skills and understanding local customs.
Price: BRL 1,200 – BRL 2,500/month

Find accommodation in Brazil

Find the best student housing options with our Accommodation Finder

Tips and Resources

Start Early: Begin your search well in advance to secure the best options and avoid last-minute hassles.
Budget Wisely: When planning your budget, include utilities and internet costs.
Consider Location: Choose accommodation that is conveniently located near your university, public transportation, and local amenities.
Use Reliable Platforms: Book through reputable platforms to avoid scams and ensure quality accommodations. The options on wearefreemovers have been preselected by us, offering you greater peace of mind.

4. University Information 🎓

Choosing the right university is a crucial part of your study abroad journey. Brazil is home to a variety of universities that offer diverse academic programs and vibrant student life, all within a culturally rich environment. Whether you are interested in engineering, humanities, environmental sciences, or the arts, Brazil has something to offer.

Find universities in Brazil

Try our University Finder and discover the best universities for your needs

5. Further Practical Information 🛠️


Brazil’s transportation network is extensive and varied, making it easy to explore the country and commute to university.

Public Transportation 🚆: Major cities like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasília have extensive public transport systems, including buses, metros, and trams. Monthly passes range from BRL 150 to BRL 300, with student discounts often available. São Paulo’s metro system is particularly extensive and user-friendly.

Bicycles 🚴: Many Brazilian cities are becoming more bike-friendly, with dedicated lanes and bike-sharing programs. Cycling is an excellent way to navigate certain areas, especially during the cooler months.

Long-Distance Travel 🚐: Brazil’s intercity bus system connects major cities and towns, offering a convenient way to travel across the country. For longer distances, domestic flights are available and relatively affordable.

Tips 💡: Always check for student discounts on transportation passes. For intercity travel, booking bus or flight tickets in advance can secure the best rates.

Banking and Finances

Managing your finances effectively is crucial for a smooth study abroad experience.

Opening a Bank Account 🏦: Most banks in Brazil offer special accounts for students with low or no fees. Popular banks include Banco do Brasil, Itaú, and Bradesco.

Documents Required 📑: To open a bank account, you will typically need your passport, proof of enrollment, and a local address.

Currency 💵: The currency in Brazil is the Brazilian Real (BRL). Having a local bank account helps avoid foreign transaction fees and simplifies everyday transactions.

Tips 💡: Look for student-friendly bank accounts and make use of online banking apps to manage your finances efficiently. Consider using services like for seamless international transactions.

Local Culture and Etiquette

Understanding local customs and social norms will help you integrate smoothly into Brazilian society.

Punctuality ⏰: Punctuality is somewhat flexible in Brazil, but it’s still important to be on time for classes and formal appointments.

Greetings 🤝: A common greeting in Brazil includes a warm handshake, often accompanied by a friendly “Olá” or “Tudo bem?” In more casual settings, a kiss on each cheek is common.

Mealtimes 🍽️: Brazilian mealtimes are usually social events, with lunch around 12-2 PM and dinner around 7-9 PM. Sharing food and hospitality is common, and tipping (usually 10%) is appreciated in restaurants.

Public Behavior 🤫: Brazilians value politeness and friendliness in public spaces. Being loud or disruptive is generally frowned upon, especially on public transportation and in residential areas.

Do you still have doubts?

Book a 1:1 consultancy with us

We would be glad to help you guiding step by step in every application you have to complete or to simply solve your doubts.