Language and Culture in Salvador, Brazil

Image of Salvador, Brazil
Study Brazilian Portuguese at the beginning , intermediate, or advanced level and live with a Brazilian host family.
Location: Salvador, Brazil
Language of Instruction: Portuguese
Term: Summer
Academic Disciplines: PortugueseGraduate Courses
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: Yes
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Study Brazilian Portuguese language
  • Live with a Brazilian host family and learn about Brazilian culture
  • FLAS-eligible summer program for undergraduate and graduate students

Students will study Brazilian Portuguese at the beginning, intermediate, or advanced level and focus on the culture of Salvador’s African heritage. Students will live with a Brazilian host family and have a unique opportunity to learn about Brazil and improve their Portuguese language skills.

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, which has made studying Portuguese even more valuable. 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. 

Six hours of academic credit are granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program. This program is FLAS eligible.

Students will take Portuguese language courses taught by both local instructors and KU faculty and staff. Additionally, there will be site visits and guest lectures given by locals.

Beginning Portuguese

Pre-requisite: None

PORT 106: Elementary Brazilian Portuguese, Accelerated I (3 credits)

PORT 110: Elementary Brazilian Portuguese, Accelerated II (3 credits)

Graduate students can enroll in PORT 611 and PORT 780.

Intermediate Portuguese

Pre-requisite: PORT 110 or consent of the instructor

PORT 212: Intermediate Brazilian Portuguese I (3 credits)

PORT 216: Intermediate Brazilian Portuguese II (3 credits)

Graduate students can enroll in PORT 612 and PORT 780.

Advanced Portuguese

Pre-requisite: PORT 216 or consent of the instructor

PORT 490: Intensive Advanced Portuguese (3 credits)

PORT 540: Textual Analysis and Critical Reading (3 credits)

Graduate students can enroll in PORT 540 and PORT 785.

Students will be placed in host families and three meals daily will be provided. Students will walk or take public transportation to class. Host families generally host one or two students per home. 

Students will participate in cultural activities and attend lectures that will enhance their understanding of Brazil, and in particular, Salvador. Lectures may include topics such as religions in Brazil, Afro-Brazilian history, Carnaval, LGBTQIA+ issues, race and health, and graffiti in Bahia and Brazil with a tour included.

Planned workshops include capoeira, Afro-Bahian dance and its rhythms, and percussion. Some of the excursions planned include a panoramic tour of Salvador and a historic tour in Pelourinho, visitss to local museums, the folkloric ballet, and historic sites of interest.

Several meals are planned for the group, including welcome and farewell dinners with the host moms as well as a celebration for São João. There will be several days with no class due to holidays in Brazil.

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.

Open to undergraduate and graduate students from accredited U.S. colleges or universities. Minimum 2.5 GPA. Exceptions considered after submission of a petition.

KU partners with ICR Brasil to offer this program. ICR Brasil requires all participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Luciano Tosta, Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, will lead the program. Professor Tosta is from Salvador, so he is very familiar with the city, its history, and Brazilian culture. He has led numerous study abroad programs to Salvador.

For More Information Contact:

Luciano Tosta, Associate Professor

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

2630 Wescoe Hall