• Home
  • Globalization and Afro-Brazilian Music and Culture in Salvador

Globalization and Afro-Brazilian Music and Culture in Salvador

Globalization & Afro-Brazilian Music & Culture in Brazil
Learn about the history of the African diaspora in Brazil and the impact of the globalization of Afro-Brazilian culture by examining music, religion, art, and tourism in Bahia.
Salvador, Brazil
Language of Instruction: 
Winter Break
Academic Disciplines: 
-Open to All Majors
African/African American Studies
Global & International Studies
Latin American Studies
Graduate Courses
Program Type: 
Fulfills KU Core 4.2
Open to non-KU Students
Faculty Led
  • Learn about African slavery in Brazil, Afro-Brazilian history, and the vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture.
  • Understand how and why Afro-Brazilian cultural elements such as music and capoeira have gone global and their complexities.
  • Take an interdisciplinary course abroad in English and elect to take a course that fulfills KU Core requirement 4.2 or 6.1. 
Program Summary: 

Brazil had the longest and largest history of African slavery in the Americas. This course will take place in the coastal city of Salvador, which is the city in Brazil where the African influence is most transparent due to the large diaspora from different African regions during the colonial period and to the constant expression— and celebration— of the African heritage in its culture. Afro-Brazilian cultural elements such as the music of Afro groups, capoeira, an art form/martial art/dance and candomblé, a religion, are now realities around the world.


Brazil is the largest country in South America and is often compared to the U.S. due to its colonial past and racial makeup. It is known for its natural beauty, music, talent for sports, and growing economy. Salvador, located in the state of Bahia, is the third largest city in the country and is home to the largest Afro-Brazilian population. Its architecture, food, music, religions, and culture have fused European, African, and indigenous elements. The city's historic center is famous for its beautiful cobblestone streets and colonial buildings in Renaissance, Baroque, and Art Deco styles. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1985.  

Academic Information: 

Three hours of academic credit are granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program and will be posted to the student's Spring transcript. The title of the course is Globalization and Afro-Brazilian Music and Culture in Salvador, Brazil. Undergraduate students will enroll in one of the following courses: AAAS 496 (meets KU Core Goal 6.1), GIST 304, LAC 302, MUS 300, or PORT 300 (meets KU Core Goal 4.2). Graduate students will enroll in either MUS 800 or PORT 785. 

The group will likely meet several times virtually or in-person before going to Brazil and once upon return. Readings include essays about Afro-Brazilian music, capoeira, slavery in Brazil, and Bahia's African roots and legacy.


Students will be placed in host families and the family will provide three meals daily. Students will walk or take public transportation to class. 

Life Abroad: 

Cultural activities will enhance the students’ understanding of the rich Afro-Brazilian culture in Brazil, and especially Salvador. Guest lecturers will present on topics such as the African diaspora and Afor-Brazilian music in Bahia, the history of Carnaval, graffiti, and Afro-Bahian dance. Planned site visits in Salvador include a candomblé temple, the historic city center, and a museum dedicated to a famed author. The group will also participate in workshops focusing on themes such as percussion and capoeira and may attend a religious procession. Each of these activities will happen with a focus on globalization, the transnationalization of Afro-Brazilian culture, and its influence on the local culture of Salvador.

Planned excursions include the city of Cachoeira to learn about its African heritage and to the beach at Praia do Forte, north of Salvador.

Identity Abroad: 

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Additional Resources

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.


Minimum 2.5 GPA required (exceptions considered after submission of a petition).  The program is open to students of any major. There is no language requirement, though students with previous exposure to Portuguese or Spanish will find it helpful.

Further Reading: 

Passport and entry requirements

All U.S. citizens must have a passport and obtain a tourist visa prior to departure. The tourist visa can be an e-visa and takes approximately five business days to be issued.

June 2021: Passport processing times for U.S. passports are currently 18 weeks for routine service and 12 weeks for expedited service. Students who don't have a valid passport should apply for one immediately. Read more information about applying for a U.S. passport.

All non-U.S. citizens must check with the Consulate of Brazil to see if a tourist visa is required. Students with residency in Kansas will work through the Consulate General of Brazil in Houston and either have to go in person or work with a visa processing agency. It can take several weeks for the visa to be issued plus mailing time if working with a visa processing agency.

Program Faculty: 

Luciano Tosta, Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Dylan Bassett, Lecturer in the School of Music, will co-lead the program.

Professor Tosta specializes in the cultures of the Americas, particularly focused on Afro-Brazilian culture. He is from Salvador and has led numerous study abroad programs there. Contact Professor Tosta at lucianotosta@ku.edu.

Professor Bassett is a lecturer in music, with a focus on world percussion, and is the director of the KU West African Drum Ensamble. He has performed in Cuba, Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, the Gambia, and througout the United States. Contact Professor Bassett at dbassett@ku.edu


Summer 2022 programs now accepting applications !

Study Abroad Information & Advising
Our office is available to help you with your study abroad questions.  Book a virtual appointment. 

Study Abroad Financial E-Advising
Personalized financial aid & scholarship advising Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM,
Book a virtual appointment.


Follow KU Study Abroad


Jayhawks Abroad Blog

Study Abroad Events
IIE Generation Study Abroad Partner

9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
Study Abroad & Global Engagement and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times