Ole Miss Students in Brazil Study Abroad Program
A beautiful Fortaleza beach at sunset
Eligibility requirements for applying to the program
  • Students should have an interest in sustainable drinking water, water resources, wastewater engineering, and/or environmental remediation.
  • Students must be at least sophomores at the time of the exchange.
  • Students must take at least one semester of Portuguese at Ole Miss prior to the exchange and commit to a technical Portuguese short-course by Dr. Cristiane Surbeck.
  • Applications from undergraduate students in civil, geological, and chemical engineering are encouraged. Applications will also be accepted from other majors (business, psychology, chemistry, etc.) if the students can make a reasonable link between their majors and subjects listed in part (a) above.
  • 18 years of age or older.
  • Recommended minimum GPA: 3.0
One of the buildings at the University in Fortaleza
Study Abroad Duration

A major goal of the project is to establish fraternal relationships whereby students from the U.S. and Brazil are exchanged in equal numbers and study side-by-side in the classroom, laboratory, and in the field. The following list shows how five Ole Miss students to be exchanged with the Brazilian universities are distributed from 2011 to 2014:

  1. Academic Year 2011-2012: Two Ole Miss students

  2. Academic Year 2012-2013: Three Ole Miss students

  3. Academic Year 2013-2014: Three Ole Miss students

  4. Academic Year 2013-2014: Three Ole Miss students

Each Ole Miss student will be required to spend up to six weeks (typically January to February or June to July) of pre-term intensive language Portuguese language training in Brazil, one semester studying at a Brazilian university, and then may elect to remain in Brazil for additional months for an internship.

Note that prior to the exchange, students will be required to take at least one semester of Portuguese at Ole Miss and subject-specific Portuguese training with Dr. Surbeck of the Ole Miss Department of Civil Engineering.

Language Training

Ole Miss students participating in this project are expected to learn the Portuguese language. It is Ole Miss's experience that our students are both interested in and are good at learning a foreign language! Details of the language training requirements, after a student is accepted into the program, are:

  1. At least one semester of Portuguese instruction at Ole Miss prior to the study abroad in Brazil.
  2. Intensive training at Ole Miss with Dr. Cristiane Surbeck prior to departure to Brazil. This training will focus on vocabulary related to drinking water studies and other academic material relevant to the students.
  3. Completion of the Pre-term Portuguese as a Second Language Intensive Course, at PUC-Rio. The pre-term course is offered twice a year in January/February and July. The course consists of 90 hours of instruction, and the course does not count for academic credit.
A bikerack in Rio de Janeiro

Students are not required to have previous Portuguese language training to apply for acceptance in the Sustainable Drinking Water Studies program.

Ole Miss students will be assisted by bilingual (Portuguese and English) citizens in Brazil at the participating universities. Many professors are fluent in English, as are staff at the International Offices at both Brazilian universities.

Academic Credit and Fees

The Brazilian university will award credit for students participating in the exchange, and Ole Miss will accept these courses as transfer credit based upon receipt of the official transcript from the Brazilian university.

Bi-lateral agreements are in place or are in development between the partner universities. The agreements are based on the premise that there is a one-to-one exchange between each partner university each academic year. Each participating student will pay the full-time, in-state rate of tuition and academic fees at their home university, and these students will not pay tuition or academic fees at the host university.

Student Support and Services

The partner universities in Brazil have participated in other FIPSE projects, and are well-experienced to help Ole Miss students who are studying in Brazil. Specific assistance includes:

  • Picking students up at the airport
  • Portuguese language training
  • A formal orientation program which includes cultural, logistical, and safety issues
  • On-call 24/7 support from university International Office
  • Assistance with immigration documents and immigration-related registration with the Federal Police
  • Assistance with identifying housing
Application Process

Ole Miss students who are interested in participating in the project must plan well in advance of the term that they plan on studying in Brazil.

Application Procedure for Ole Miss Students

This is the step-by-step process that should be followed by Ole Miss students interested in going to Brazil. We have made a good faith effort to include all the necessary steps, but it is possible that individual circumstances may require additional steps. There are two essential keys to be successfully accepted for participation in the project:

  • Work closely with Dr. Surbeck, Department of Civil Engineering (csurbeck@olemiss.edu).
  • Plan early -- it usually takes 3 to 4 months to get ready. You must complete one semester of Portuguese before you travel to Brazil.

The application process consists of the following steps:

  1. Completing the FIPSE-CAPES application form by April 9th of each year. March 31, 2014 (changed due to high number of students entering Brazil during the 2014 Soccer World Cup)
  2. Completing the Ole Miss Study Abroad application after being accepted to the program.

Acceptance is not guaranteed for all applicants.

Financial Support and Participant Costs

Ole Miss students selected to participate in the exchange are eligible for the following financial support:

  • A US $1,000 language stipend which is to be used to defer costs associated with attending the PUC-Rio Pre-term Portuguese as a Second Language Intensive Course.
  • A stipend of US$4,000 which is to be used for
    • roundtrip airfare to and from either Rio de Janeiro and/or Fortaleza; and
    • other costs associated with the study abroad

Students who do not complete the study abroad or otherwise violate the terms of the project Student Participation Contract, are required to repay the entire $5,000 in support listed above.

Ole Miss students are required to pay for:

  • Ole Miss tuition and fees, which is equivalent to 12 credit hours (undergraduate) in-state fees ($3,968 for the Spring Semester 2011)
  • University-required supplemental health insurance (approximately $250 per semester)
  • Passport and visa fees
  • The Ole Miss Study Abroad Fee ($1000)
  • Non-credit program fees at the host universities including, but not limited to, pre-term intensive language training and fees to the host International Offices associated with in-country orientation and student support

Ole Miss students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with an Ole Miss financial aid advisor to determine any impact the study abroad will have on the students' current scholarships and other grant-in-aid.

Before Leaving for Brazil

After acceptance to the program, students should do the following to prepare for spending a semester in Brazil.

  1. Work closely with Dr. Surbeck as your advisor for this exchange program.
  2. Verify your passport validity. Please consult the Brazilian Consulate in Atlanta, GA for recommendations. The Brazilian consulate usually requires that your passport is valid for at least three months after your scheduled date of departure from Brazil to the U.S.
  3. Select a Brazilian university (either PUC-Rio or UFC) in consultation with Dr. Surbeck.
    1. Identify the courses that you will take in Brazil
    2. Submit an application to the Brazilian university
    3. Confirm/check equivalency of Brazilian courses at Ole Miss (you want to receive degree credit for the courses that you take)
  4. Complete a three credit hour course in Portuguese language (typically Portuguese 101)
  5. Complete 20 hours of subject-specific Portuguese training with Dr. Surbeck.
  6. You will be issued the documentation that you need to obtain a Brazilian visa. It is your responsibility to obtain the correct visa in a timely manner. More information about visa requirements can be found at the website of the Brazilian Consulate in Atlanta.
  7. Identify the start date of the appropriate Pre-term Intensive Portuguese Course at PUC-Rio, and follow the instructions posted at that website regarding the placement test, enrollment, airport pickup, homestay assistance, and other issues. Be aware that you will be charged fees for these services.
  8. Purchase the Ole Miss-required health insurance (your Study Abroad advisor will help you with this).
  9. If you are going to Fortaleza to study at UFC, Dr. Surbeck will put you in contact with Dr. Santos who will help you identify housing options. If you are studying at PUC-Rio, you will have already made arrangements for housing during the pre-term Portuguese course.
  10. Stipend payments will be organized at Ole Miss. Ole Miss will issue 50 percent of the stipend before you leave for Brazil, and the balance will be issued around the middle of your stay in Brazil.
  11. Make your airline reservations.
Brazilians standing in shade
While in Brazil
  1. Attend the orientation by the host university's International Office.
  2. Attend the pre-term Portuguese language classes at PUC-Rio in Rio de Janeiro.
  3. Attend and pass the semester courses that you are enrolled in at either PUC-Rio or UFC
  4. Work with your FIPSE-CAPES advisor, either Dr. Araruna at PUC-Rio or Dr. Santos at UFC)
Many students eating in the cafeteria in one of the universities.
After Return from Brazil

You will be required to make up to three presentations about your stay in Brazil: CE 101 or 102, Engr 100, and CE 471

FAQs
Where will I live in Brazil?
Four photos of a very nice apartment in Fortaleza.

A major difference between Brazilian universities and U.S. universities is that most students in Brazil live with their parents until they marry (that includes university students!). So there are no dormitories or residential housing at either PUC-Rio or UFC. Students who participate in exchanges at PUC-Rio typically make "home-stay" arrangements with apartment owners near campus. This means that the students rent a room (typically with a bath) from a family near campus. Home-stay typically includes breakfast and one lunch each day, and the culture is that students are treated like one of the family. Home-stay is not as common at UFC, and students typically rent apartments in Fortaleza.

A bright building complex in Rio de Janeiro.
Do I have to learn Portuguese?

Yes, language training is an important element of this program, and significant effort by Ole Miss and Missouri S&T has been made to help U.S. students with their Portuguese language training. Students will be required to learn Portuguese in the following three ways:

  1. Take one semester of Portuguese 101 at Ole Miss
  2. Take 20 hours of subject-specific training with Dr. Surbeck before departure to Brazil
  3. Take a pre-term intensive Portuguese course at PUC-Rio before the start of the semester. You will receive a $1,000 stipend for this pre-term Portuguese course.
What health insurance will work in Brazil?

All students are required to purchase supplemental health care through a specific provider used by Ole Miss for international exchanges. The one-semester fee is $250. The Ole Miss Study Abroad office administers enrollment in the insurance.

Will credits from the courses taken in Brazil transfer to Ole Miss?

The intention is for enough course credits to transfer so that Ole Miss students will not need to be in college for an additional semester. Students are responsible for scheduling an appointment with their advisor to review the transfer credits before they enroll in classes in Brazil.

What kind of immunizations do I need?

Immunizations are the responsibility of each individual student, and there are several resources available to help students make decisions about the immunizations that they will receive. Ole Miss Student Health Services and/or your county health departments are good places to get information about recommended immunizations for U.S. visitors to Rio do Janeiro and/or Fortaleza.