Get ready for a life-altering experience in Brazil! MIT-Brazil orientation sessions, educational seminars, and resources are designed to familiarize you with Brazilian culture, society and workplace norms. We review and assist with complex travel, visa, health, and housing arrangements. Attendance is required at all spring training sessions.

Country Prep Subpages

Culture Courses

Background courses are highly recommended
Course No. Course Name
Political Economy of Technology and Development in Latin America
Introduction to Latin American Studies
Topics in Modern Portuguese Literature and Culture
The Beat of Brazil: Portuguese Language and Brazilian Society through its Music

Language Courses

At least one year of college-level Portuguese language (or equivalent) is required for undergraduate students.
Course No. Course Name
Portuguese I
Portuguese II
Portuguese III
Portuguese IV
Accelerated Introductory Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
Conversational Portuguese

Additional Resources

In addition to academic courses, there is an excellent variety of resources to improve and practice your Portuguese language skills.
BBC – Learn Portuguese Reference for free online resources


Recommended Reading

From Brazil An experimental English-language blog aimed at highlighting news, analysis, culture and commentary for the global community
The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics by Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti, eds. A good overview of Brazilian society.
Carnivals, Rogues, and Heroes: An Interpretation of the Brazilian Dilemma by Roberto Da Matta. Social anthropology by a Brazilian scholar.
Rebellion in the Backlands (Os Sertões) by Euclides da Cunha. About the government's brutal suppression of Canudos, in 1896-1897.


Every student needs a valid passport. If you are a US citizen and need to apply, please contact the passport division of the State Department. Routine service requires 4-6 weeks.

Visa for Brazil

Program manager can advise students about the application process, timeline and documents required.  See if your country requires an entry visa in Brazil.

To schedule an appointment with the Consulate General of Brazil in Boston, visit the website and fill out the online form. It is recommended to have all documents for the specific visa at least one month in advance of your departure date.

Check out the Visa FAQ for Brazil.


Each student flight is booked either by MISTI Brazil or the student. This is discussed at the meeting with the Program Manager. For summer internships, most students book flights in April after they have confirmed their internships dates.

Budget airlines: Azul/TripAvianca

If your stay is fewer than 90 days and you do not require an entry visa, it should be possible for you stay in Brazil to travel after your internship ends (at your own expense).


MISTI provides resources and advice for housing throughout Brazil. Housing options vary by location, so start looking early.

1. University housing
Contact your host to see if there are sublets available within the research group. Some universities have excellent International Offices (often called Escritórios de Cooperação Internacional)

2. Research Institute housing
Explore whether the institute has a guesthouse. Contact your host to see if there are sublets available within the research group

3. Shared apartments (Airbnb, craigslist)
Check out local university board postings


The cost of living varies from city to city. Check out this website for a first cost-of-living estimate.  

Housing Resources