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  • Writer's pictureMarcia Farias

Graduate school in Brazil? Of course!

Updated: May 13, 2021

If you are looking for quality, affordable higher education, consider #Brazil!

We do not normally advise on rankings, as these can be misleading depending on how the database used in research is designed and on how the data is collected.

But if one must... here are positions held by some of the country's best institutions of #higher #education.

The University of São Paulo - #USP, for example, with a student body of over 80,000 and campi in various locations, is placed first in many #rankings in best universities in Latin America, and 9th in Agricultural Sciences, right after #Cornell University.

Whereas #undergraduate/#bachelor programs at public universities have a low admittance rate and are difficult to access for those not educated in Brazil (unless affiliated with a foreign mission), due to complex, competitive and transparent entrance exams in Portuguese, access to post-graduate programs can follow a simpler process.

  1. The first amazing fact about Brazilian higher education is that it can be tuition-free for most programs in federal and state schools, even for non-Brazilians. Brazil has a universal higher education system, open to all applicants. The country also has universal health care, free of charge to all, regardless of nationality or residence.

  2. The second interesting fact is that Brazilian universities are in general very #diverse and welcoming of foreign students.

  3. The third aspect of how exciting it can be to study in Brazil is, of course, the cultural immersion!

Many #Master and #PhD programs open public and transparent selection processes, some of which may even give preference to foreigners in certain conditions or phases of the process, either for admission or for scholarships, which aim to cover costs such as housing and meal plans. Some programs have a separate selection process for foreigners, who then do not compete with Brazilians, making the admission into the program much simpler. Selection to the University of Brasilia - #UnB, in its Political Science graduate programs, is an example.

The language can, of course, be a challenge. If you have no Portuguese language skills, it may be difficult to be admitted to many programs. Some, however, such as the one in Political Science mentioned above, require proficiency in Portuguese or Spanish, so if you are proficient in Spanish, you may be admitted. In exceptional cases, proficiency in either language may be waived, as long as the student is willing to study Portuguese once matriculated.

Much of the literature in graduate programs is in English or translations of other languages into English or Spanish, and to be admitted to a graduate program #Brazilian students undergo foreign language examinations, so that if you are not fluent in Portuguese, you will certainly not suffer socially. Brazilians, actually, are very friendly and keen to learn different languages and cultures.

A careful research of programs and universities and possibly the help of a professional educational consultant, fluent in Portuguese and English (such as me, of course!) can be the right way to start your path to a graduate diploma from a globally recognized university, at very little financial cost.

In a separate post, I will share information on private universities - also a very affordable path to a graduate degree!


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