The Florianópolis program offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the incredibly diverse and dynamic culture of Brazil while living on a beautiful sub-tropical island and studying at one South America's most prestigious universities. The program is ideal for students who want to learn about the world's fifth-largest country, one of the fastest-growing economies, and its diverse mix of European, African, and indigenous cultures. Learn an old European language with a unique modern twist while soaking up the beautiful weather and sandy white beaches of the southeastern Brazilian coast. Influences from centuries of immigration collide and are reborn on this island which has retained and developed a culture that is different from the mainland and unique to Brazil. Locals mingle with visitors from Europe and the Americas who choose the island's charms and almost perpetually warm climate. Near the thriving old colonial center, you will study Portuguese and a range of optional courses at Brazil's third largest university. All of these factors create a fascinating learning and social atmosphere for USAC students.
This program focuses on academic areas in which Brazil is a world leader: Cultural Studies, Global Economy, and Natural Resource Management. You will have the opportunity to study the complexities of contemporary Brazilian society through a wide selection of courses in English, as well as through your own interactions with the host culture. In addition, an intensive Portuguese language course is offered to all students to create an essential base with which to better understand the country. The intensive approach will allow you to complete up to two years of university foreign language coursework in only one semester or one year of language coursework in one summer. You may stay for one semester or a full year. The summer Florianópolis program offers one 3-week session (Session I) and one 5-week session (Session II) which can be taken individually or combined for an 8-week session.
The academic courses are only one part of the intended value of your study abroad experience. Participation in formal and informal activities, such as field trips and visits to cultural events and local festivals, constitute an integral and enriching part of your stay. During each semester you will also have the opportunity to join an optional tour to the stunning destinations of Iguaçu Falls and Buenos Aires (Fall) and Minas Gerais (Spring or Summer).
Puntarenas offers the peace and rural beauty of a small beach town while at the same time affording easy access to the activities of the capital. During the nineteenth century it was Costa Rica’s major seaport, but Puerto Limón and Caldera (11 miles to the southeast) have assumed that role. Now primarily a tourist destination and transportation hub, it is a bustling town, particularly during the dry season months (November–April). During the wet months (May–October) it is hot with refreshing afternoon showers. The geography of the city is unique since it is located at the end of a sandy peninsula almost five miles long, but only 120 to 700 yards wide. Consequently, one is always close to the ocean, and there are many beaches from which to choose.
Puntarenas offers access to the Nicoya Peninsula on two ferries. Nicoya is best known for its pristine beaches and resorts, as well as for its native folklore. From Puntarenas, you can travel up and down the coast to world-class surfing beaches, nature reserves, and plantations. This central Pacific region offers something for every outdoor enthusiast. Students find buying a used bike upon arrival is the easiest form of transportation for getting around Puntarenas.