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Loyola Exchange - Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Exchange Program) (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall,
Year (Sp/Fall)
Program Dates &
Click here to view
Budget Sheets Spring
Fact Sheet:
Minimum Required GPA:
Minimum Class Standing:
3 Junior
Language Requirement:
2 semesters or equivalent of Portuguese or, 4 semesters or equivalent of Spanish
Housing Options:
Host Families
Type of Program:
Enrollment at a University Abroad
Program Description:

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro

(PUC - Rio)Rio-Jesus 2

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

University Highlights

  • Study Portuguese at the Jesuit university in Rio de Janeiro
  • Take classes in English or Portuguese
  • Immerse yourself in the rhythm of Brazil

The University

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) is a Jesuit university located in Rio de Janeiro. With approximately 10,000 undergraduate students and 2,500 graduate students PUC-Rio is internationally recognized as one of the top five universities in Brazil and one of the two best in Rio de Janeiro. It is world-renowned as the most important doctoral research center in Brazil. PUC-Rio was the first private, Catholic higher-education institution in Brazil. Students are from a myriad of different religious, racial, and economic backgrounds. 

PUC-RIO is located near the forest and the beach. Its beautiful campus has a stream running through it and small monkeys and squirrels can be seen jumping up in the trees.


This program is for students with advanced Spanish language skills or at least one year of Portuguese and that are interested in studying about Brazil. All students must take Portuguese language courses along with a combination of courses offered in English, or Portuguese, if students have adequate language skills. 

Semester Portuguese language courses:

All students must enroll in Portuguese language courses. There are five proficiency levels offered in the Portuguese as a Second Language program. Level I, II and III consist of 90 hours of instruction per term (6 hours per week), corresponding to 6 academic credits. Level IV and V consist of 60 hours of instruction per term (4 per week) corresponding to 4 academic credits.

Note: People who speak Spanish with average fluency can communicate in Portuguese and are able to attend regular courses at PUC-RIO after taking an Intensive Pre-term Portuguese as a Second Language Intensive Course! 
It is strongly recommended that students consider going early to take this course. 


Courses taught in English - Please click on the link for course descriptions.


Arts and DesignBrazilian flag painted

  • Ergonomics and Ergo Design in Brazil
  • Ethics and Aesthetics in Contemporary Brazil

Business and Administration

  • Introduction to Strategy in a Globalized World


  • Brazilian History


  • Contemporary Brazilian Debates from a Sociological and Anthropological Perspective


  • Special Topics in Portuguese Language
  • Topics in Brazilian Literature
International Relations
  • Regional Integration
  • Brazilian Foreign Policy I

Academic Credit and Grading

PUC-Rio is on a ten point grading system. The PUC-Rio grading scale is as follows: 0 (minimum), 5 (minimum passing grade), 10 (maximum).

For example, the conversion scale between PUC and U.S. universities would be as follows:


A+ = 10
A = 9.5
A- = 9.0
B+ = 8.5
B = 8.0
B- = 7.5
C+ = 7.0
C = 6.5
C- = 6.0
D+ = 5.5
D = 5.0
F < 5

PUC - Rio Campus


The Academic Calendar

Semester 1: February 13 - July 3  
Semester 2: August 1 - December 14


Gavea, where PUC Rio's main campus is located, is close to the forest and beaches of Rio de Janeiro’s Zona Sul area. It is beautifully situated within its own tropical forest, complete with lush trees and a small stream meandering through it.

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil and famous for its spectacular landscapes, relaxed beaches, e.g. Ipanema, Copacabana and Leblon, and its carnival celebrations. Rio extends along the Atlantic Ocean and posseses a warm tropical climate, and until 1960 it was the capital of Brazil.

In 2014, Rio hosted many games of the FIFA World Cup, including the final in the legendary Maracanã stadium. Additionally, as Rio gets ready to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, for the first time ever in South America, the city experiences major updates to its urban landscape and a wave of civic acticvism. Students on exchange will be able to embrace the warmth of Brazil as the Games approach.

Housing and Meals

International students are placed in homestays, where they usually receive a private room. The homes are mostly near the university. Breakfast is eaten with the home stay family; additional meals may be purchased, and students can also dine on-campus and off. Click here to get to the housing page of the PUC-Rio website. 

Student Experience


The student's presence is mandatory during Orientation Week. If notified in advance, the International Programs Central Coordination Office can pick up students from the airport (on specificed dates). After their arrival, the International Students Coordinator will be in charge of helping the exchange students accommodate to their new surroundings. PUC rio students

Student Activities

PUC-Rio has three specific areas for athletic activities, with popular sports including soccer (futebol), volleyball, and capoeira. Parties and gatherings are held often for the international students to integrate them into the local culture. Additional ways for students to spend their time include joining the choir or taking part in Brazilian cultural festivals. 
Visit the web page to see the kind of activities typically scheduled.

Visa Regulations

Visa - General Information (General Consulate of Brazil)
Student Visa ("VITEM IV")

Visa Application Information (ISEP)


To Apply

For more information and to begin the application process for the semester or year-long exchange program, please make an appointment with an advisor in the Center for International Education.

Links to Learn More

PUC - Rio Home Page
Info for International students

Country Handbook Brazil (ISEP)
Educational System of Brazil

Travel Information (U.S. Department of State)

Rio Tourist and Event Information (Time Out)
Rio Guide

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Year 2016-2017 03/15/2016
Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Fall 2016 03/15/2016
Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring 2017 09/01/2016 09/15/2016 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed