IES Rio de Janeiro

  • Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Language of Instruction: English, Portuguese
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Class Eligibility: Juniors and seniors


This program leverages Brazil’s rich history and culture, the academic excellence of the local universities, its booming economy, and the unmatched opportunities for living and learning in one of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating cities.

You enroll in English-taught IES Abroad courses in a variety of disciplines, along with a Portuguese language course. The study of Brazilian art, music, literature, and film will also be fundamental parts of your learning experience.

You can also enroll in one or more English-taught courses at a local university where you will experience first-hand the Brazilian educational system in disciplines like business, marketing, journalism, or public relations. Maybe you’ll even make some Brazilian friends while you’re at it! Advanced Spanish speakers with at least four semesters of Spanish may be able to take Portuguese-taught courses at a local university after taking an intensive Portuguese language course during the program orientation period.

Partner Institutions: Students can take courses at Ibmec, ESPM, or IED.

Ibmec:  Centrally located in downtown Rio on the famous Avenida Presidente Wilson, Ibmec is one of Latin America’s most prestigious business schools. Classes are small (usually fewer than 20 students), admission is extremely competitive, and faculty have advanced degrees from top institutions

Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM):  Over the past 62 years, ESPM has become one of the top institutions in Brazil for marketing, journalism, and public relations.  ESPM’s Rio campus, close to historic Rio and many cultural attractions, offers degrees in the management and marketing of entertainment and sports, business administration, communications, public relations, graphic design, journalism, and international relations. English-taught courses are offered in many of these fields for Brazilian students at ESPM, and classes are small and interactive.  Classes offered for IES Abroad students vary per semester and are not guaranteed.

Instituto Europeo di Design (IED):  Founded in 1966, IED has its headquarters in Milan and operates in many cities of Italy, Spain, China and Brazil.  The Rio de Janeiro branch occupies one of the most important landmarks in the city, the old Casino of Urca.  IED has established itself as a leading school in the fields of Design, Fashion and Visual Communication.  Its mission is to offer young creatives a thorough training — both theoretical and practical — and hand them the “Design Knowledge and Mindset” that will accompany them throughout their lives.  The school offers courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as advanced training courses for professionals in the field.

  • Visa:


  • Fees: TBD

  • Requirements

    Students applying to this program are required to have a meeting with Dean Mancini prior to starting the application to IES. The application requirements can be found on the IES website.

    No previous Portuguese language experience required.

    Academic Credit

    Each semester, students must carry a minimum of 15 semester credit hours. Students are not permitted to take less than 15 credits unless they have the permission of their dean and advisor in advance.  Students take one language course at the IES Center, at least one course at a partner institution, and the remaining 3 courses either at the IES Center or one of the partner universities. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.


    Internships, Field Study, and Service Learning are available.

    Course Highlights

    Business, Economics, Design, Anthropology, Biological/Environmental Sciences, Cultural Studies, Film Studies, History, Political Science/International Relations, Literature, Music, Portuguese, Sociology, Urban Studies

    Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

    Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

  • Non-Academic Overview

    Orientation: The program begins with a multi-day orientation that introduces you to our Rio staff, your fellow students, and the city of Rio. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during the week. You will also delve into local culture through activities to help you learn about and make the most of the new surroundings. In the Spring, orientation culminates with a two-day trip to Ilha Grande, an island with one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Brazil. Fall students take this trip towards the end of the semester to prepare for re-entry to their home culture. After orientation, students begin an intensive Portuguese language class, which students will be placed into based on your skill level.

    Number of Students: TBD

    Housing/Meal Plans

    Students stay in homestays, located in the southern part of the city.  Homestays generally house one to two students and include 7 breakfasts + 4 additional meals/week. Internet access is available.

    Opportunities / Cultural Events

    Students can redefine the way they live and learn in Rio through cultural events, such as:

    • Taking Capoeira lessons
    • Joining a local sport teams
    • Playing footvolley on the beach
    • Attending samba rehearsals

    Field Trips:  The program fee includes trips to Minas Gerais (3-4 days) and Ilha Grande (3 days).  Optional Field Trip: Amazon (partially subsidized)


Students who are applying to study in Brazil must have both parents sign the Parent Waiver on the Travel Resources website.  We also strongly suggest that parents of students studying abroad, especially in Brazil, also have valid passports.

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • Semester/Year
  • Fulfills Language Requirement
  • Semester I: Mid-August to mid-December
  • Semester II: Early February to early June
  • Year: Mid-August to early June
Application Deadlines
  • Semester I: March 1
  • Semester II: September 21
  • Year: March 1
Faculty Contact

Donna Mancini

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