Learning Abroad Center
A street shot of Salvador, Brazil

Cross-Cultural Experiences in Education & English Teaching in Brazil


Witness the challenge of building an education system in the rapidly developing country of Brazil. Through school visits, speakers, and working in a classroom, you will examine how the country balances spending on showcase projects and other development needs while providing education services to its citizens.

This program is administered by the College of Education & Human Development. Applications are processed by the Learning Abroad Center.

Program Details

Salvador & Feira de Santana, Brazil
Summer Session
Languages Taught In
Languages Taught In
College of Education and Human Development

Program Eligibility

Student Type
Student Type
UofM Students
Non UofM Students
Student Year
Student Year
Graduate Students
Language Prerequisite
Language Prerequisite
While previous study of a Romance language is helpful, no language is required.


Witness the challenge of building an education system in the rapidly developing country of Brazil. In partnership with a model private school, you will co-teach English in an early childhood, elementary, or junior high classroom. As the economic powerhouse in South America and a pivotal provider of world food exports, Brazil has global ambitions (as typified by its hosting of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics), which some citizens believe diverted funds from more valuable priorities like education. Through school visits, speakers, and working in a classroom, you will examine how the country balances spending on showcase projects and other development needs, while providing education services to its citizens. You will teach in Feira de Santana with short stays in Salvador and Espirito Santo, experiencing three distinctive Brazilian cities.

Program Model

Experiential Learning

Housing & Meals


  • Small Inns and a two-week Homestay with Brazilian family.
  • Private room and bath.
  • Breakfast provided (eggs, fruit, cakes, coffee and tea), lunch and dinner at food trucks, fast food, cafes and restaurants, or self-cooked at homestay.
  • Student out of pocket fee amount covers lunch and dinner food during these three weeks.

Feira de Santana

  • 8-person dormitory located three blocks from school.
  • Private room and bathroom, shared kitchen and living area.
  • Large variety of food: chicken, pasta, beans, rice, seafood, pizza, sushi, vegetables, and fruits.
  • Students receive food stipend from school.
  • All food costs during this portion are covered in student fee.

Application Deadline

May/Summer 2024—February 15, 2024

Future terms

  • Spring Semester—October 1
  • Fall Semester—April 1

Program Dates

May/Summer 2024—May 15–August 13, 2024

Future terms

  • Spring Semester—January 9–May 9
  • Fall Semester—August 1–November 29

Note: Dates may fluctuate slightly each year.


Course Description

8 Credits

An experiential introduction to second language teaching internationally. Students engage in inquiry, planning, classroom teaching, and reflection on a team developing curriculum in an English immersion classroom. Topics include cultural adaptation, language acquisition, classroom management, teaching techniques, and comparison with US educational equity challenges. The course addresses issues of global perspectives, as weekly co-planning with a Brazilian counterpart encourages cross cultural sensitivity and negotiation skills. The class satisfies the Liberal Education Global Perspectives requirement and may satisfy other classes depending on your program. Course designator is EDHD 3100/5100 International Topics.

Program Leader

Program leaders lead 3 orientations prior to departure in the US. While in Brazil, leaders review student assignments and have weekly/bi-weekly Skype meetings through the semester. Students will also be connected to education faculty from UFES, a partner Brazilian university who will share their research and knowledge of the country.

Marina Aleixo, PhD, CEHD Program Director of International Initiatives, leads immersive student study experiences domestically and globally, focusing on education topics and cultural competence. Her research explores the experiences of immigrant students. Born in Brazil, she is adept at supporting students in their transition to living in Brazil.

Frances Durkin, MEd, is the Retired Creativity Coordinator at the UofM Child Development Center and instructor of Early Childhood Education. With additional background in Latin American Development and Economics and experience providing training in Brazil, she will support the development of your teaching and your understanding of the unique context in which you will be living.



Salvador is a vibrant city of 4 million people, noted for its history, cuisine, music, dance, and architecture. You will live here for your first week and later for two more weeks. Sites you will likely visit:

  • El Pelourinho, a Unesco Heritage neighborhood famous for its collection of original colonial buildings.
  • Some of the city's 78 museums and 48 theaters for music/theater, depending on personal interests.
  • Capoeira class (Brazilian traditional self-defense and cultural expression).
  • Soccer (futbol) game at Arena Fonte Nova, which hosted the 2014 World Cup games and 2016 Summer Olympics.
  • Olodum rehearsal (traditional Afro-Brazilian band with presence in annual Carnaval celebration).
  • Outdoor Sunset Jazz concert on the water at Solar de Unhão. 
  • Schools, creches, and cultural festivals (Lavagem de Bonfim, Nossa Senhora de Boa Morte, quilombo crab celebration)

Feira de Santana

Biweekly weekend excursions from Feira de Santana will be suggested to visit beach towns, inland waterfalls (Chapada Diamantina), and music events.

More Information

Contact Frances Durkin with questions about the program at [email protected] or Marina Aleixo at [email protected].

Program Fee

The program fee for the course (Summer 2024) is approximately $8,935 for UofM students. This includes tuition, most on-site travel, three weeks of Portuguese classes, and travel insurance.

An additional $4,925 budgeted out of pocket expenses covers international flights and local weekend travel, books, immunizations, weekend meals, excursions, and sundry living expenses.

The fee may be slightly less depending upon the number of students enrolled.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Cancellation Policy

This program will utilize the Learning Abroad Center's cancellation timeline. However, the regular Learning Abroad Center refund policy does not apply to this course. Connect with your program contact for details on the refund policy for this program.


Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

Current US passport processing times are longer than normal. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad, apply for a new passport now.


The COVID-19 vaccine series is strongly recommended, pursuant to CDC guidelines, but not required for participation in this program.

You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now

Application Deadline—February 15, 2024


When you submit your online application, you will be assigned an application checklist that includes:

  • First Step session

Next Steps

  1. After you complete all required application checklist items, you will receive an automated email message indicating your application is ready to be reviewed.
  2. Your completed application will be reviewed by the program leader in the sponsoring college/department.
  3. If admitted, the Confirmation & Payment Agreement form will be added to your checklist. Complete this form to secure your spot on the program. By submitting the form, you also give your approval for the program deposit to be billed to your UofM student account.
  4. Complete the confirmation checklist, which include the following items in additional to program-specific forms:
    • Passport Information
    • Emergency Contacts
    • Health Information Form
    • Online Health & Safety Orientation
    • Release & Waiver
  5. You will receive information about additional steps from the sponsoring college/department.

Cancellation Policy

Review the Collegiate/Departmental Program Cancellation Policy before submitting your application for this program.