Understanding Brazil: Summer School on Brazilian Studies

This course will provide an understanding of key aspects of Brazil from distinct perspectives. The instructors are professors from UFMG (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais), a leading Brazilian university. Lectures will cover the underpinnings of Brazilian politics, history, foreign relations, geography, law, economy, arts and culture.

When and where

The course will begin July 3rd and end on July 14th. Lectures on selected topics will go from 9am to 13pm, from Monday through Thursday, at the Faculty of Economics, UFMG. In the afternoons, there will be classes of Portuguese for foreigners. On Fridays, participants will be taken on field trips to places of historic and artistic relevance (Inhotim and Ouro Preto).


All lectures will be given in English. Applicants are expected to be proficient in English. For students whose main medium of instruction during their education was no English, some proof of English proficiency will be necessary. Results os standard English proficiency tests (e.g., TOEFL or IELTS) will be preferable, but other forms of certification for language proficiency in English may be considered, at the Organizing Committee’s discretion.


Applications are open to students and professionals who wish to gain a wide and multifaceted view of Brazil. The Organizing Committee will select up to 30 (thirty) students among the pool of applicants. Preference will be given to undergraduate students from institutions that have international cooperation agreements with UFMG.

Applications can be submitted via e-mail to summerschool2017@dri.ufmg.br . Please include “Summer school application” in the subject.

Application materials

  1. Letter of motivation
  2. One letter of recommendation
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. Certification of English proficiency

Application deadline: April 13th, 2017.


  • DateTopic
  • Lecture 1 – July 3rd, 2017A short history of Brazil
  • Lecture 2 – July 4th, 2017Brazilian geography
  • Lecture 3 – July 5th, 2017Brazilian society
  • Lecture 4 – July 6th, 2017An introduction to Brazilian culture
  • Field Trip – July 7th, 2017Visit to Inhotim
  • Lecture 5 – July 10h, 2017Brazilian law
  • Lecture 6 – July 11th, 2017Foundations of the Brazilian political system
  • Lecture 7 – July 12th, 2017Brazilian economy
  • Lecture 8 – July 13th, 2017Key aspects of Brazilian foreign relations
  • Field Trip – July 14th, 2017Visit to Ouro Preto

Total course length

  • 32 hours of classes (morning)
  • 20 hours of Portuguese for Foreigners (afternoon)
  • 2 field trips (all-day)
  • Extra-classroom activities (afternoon): Brazilian movies; Seminars on selected topics

Costs and logistics

There will be no tuition fees for the course. In addition, UFMG will provide accomodation and meals, free of charge, for all students selected to the Summer School.

Students are responsible for their own transportation costs to/from Belo Horizonte, personal expenses, and for health insurance (mandatory).

About the Lecturers

The lectures will be given by professors of UFMG. In addition, professors from other leading Brazilian universities may be invited to give lectures in their fields of expertise.


  • Professor Gilberto Libanio – Center for East Asian Studies/UFMG
  • Professor Alexandre Cunha – Center for European Studies/UFMG

For further information, please contact us via e-mail: