Cultural Vistas’ Internship Program in Brazil offers an unique opportunity for American university students to gain valuable professional skills in their field of study, experience Brazilian life and culture firsthand, and develop Portuguese language abilities through paid 8-12 week internships with companies and universities in Brazil.
Internship placements are available in a variety of fields, including, but not limited to: business, engineering, finance, tourism, IT, media/communications, international relations, the nonprofit sector, Portuguese studies, and economics.
This program, which is administered by Cultural Vistas and its dedicated in-country partner, CI Experience Brazil, will begin with a week-long orientation on May 27, 2018.
- Customized internship placement with a Brazilian company or research institution
- Housing accommodations in Brazil
- Visa and work authorization sponsorship
- 20 hours of Portuguese language classes
- Stipend to cover basic living expenses
- In-country orientation hosted by Cultural Vistas and CI Experience Brazil staff
- Airport pickup upon arrival
- 24-hour in-country support provided by CI Experience Brazil
- International health insurance
- Reentry information and tips on marketing international experience to U.S. employers
- Students enrolled at a U.S. college or university (undergraduate and graduate)
- U.S. citizenship required
- At least two years of university level studies
- Practical experience in your target internship field (summer employment, prior internship, lab position, etc.)
- No prior experience with Portuguese requiredPlease contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any specific questions regarding eligibility.
The program fee for the 2017 Internship Program in Brazil is $3,500 for a 12-week program and $3,300 for an 8-week program, in addition to a non-refundable $75 application fee. Applications are reviewed only after the application fee of $75 has been received.
Please note that we will only process payments from qualified applicants.
- February 10, 2018 – Application deadline (deadline extended)
- February 2018 – Interviews take place
- February 2018 – Acceptance decisions; Program fee due
- March–early May 2018 – Placement process (the internship search can take a few weeks to a few months)
- May 2018 – Visa application process
- May 27–June 1, 2018 – Orientation in São Paulo
- June 4, 2018–late July/August 2018 – Internship phase
- September 2018 – Reentry Toolkit
Once we have received your complete application and $75 application fee, we will review your documents to ensure the application is complete. If the application is complete and you meet the program requirements, we will schedule a short phone or Skype interview with you to discuss the program, your expectations, and answer any questions you may have. Following a successful interview, we will send your application to our in-country partner, CI Experience Brazil, for a final review. You will then receive your formal acceptance to the program, and the placement process will begin.
After receiving your acceptance notification, you will have a window to confirm your participation in the program. To confirm your participation, you will be required to pay the program fee and submit your completed acceptance documents.
Once you have confirmed your participation, the internship placement process will begin. After reviewing your resume and conducting a telephone interview, we will have a solid understanding of your strengths, relevant experience, and professional interests. CI Experience Brazil has over 25 years of experience coordinating youth exchanges, and have placed students with all types of companies: small startups, medium-sized companies, multinational holdings, research institutions, and non-profit or government organizations.. Many companies are experienced in accommodating foreign interns and have been working with these internship programs for years.
While some placements are secured quickly, the placement process can take up to a couple of months. Brazilian work culture includes more vacation time, more sick leave, and complicated hierarchies, all of which may lead to a lengthy decision-making process.
Program participants will meet in São Paulo for an in-country orientation that will commence on May 27, 2018. This week-long orientation is a great chance to meet fellow American participants and the program staff, and will include a range of activities and seminars including: intensive Portuguese language training, orientation to Brazil professional culture, health and safety information, cultural activities, and more. The orientation program will include:
- Pickup at São Paulo International Airport and five nights of Orientation Week housing
- Welcome dinner
- Comprehensive informational sessions to cover program regulations, living and working in Brazil, cultural adjustments, health and safety, and more.
- Five days of intensive Portuguese language training
- Two days of Cultural Activities throughout São Paulo, including a city tour, visits to museums and historical monuments, parks, shopping districts, and more
Internships will begin for all participants on June 4, 2018 and will last from 8 to 12 weeks. Your program duration willdepend on your preferences and availability.
All internships are paid. Compensation varies by industry and student’s related experience, but will be enough to cover basic living expenses such as transportation and food.
All participants will be enrolled by Cultural Vistas in international health insurance. Additional information about the plan will be provided after acceptance to the program.
Included in the program fee, CI Experience Brazil will make arrangements for participants to live in a private or shared room in a student residence, or with a host family. Participants should recognize that a certain degree of flexibility will be necessary to adjust to Brazilian customs and way of life, as well as to adjust to the difference of living standards that exist between the United States and Brazil.
Participants are responsible for the travel costs to Brazil and back to the U.S. (excluding airport pickup in São Paulo). While we understand that you want to experience as much as possible during your time in Brazil, you are expected to fulfill your internship obligations. Weekend trips to learn more about Brazil and Brazilian culture are, of course, encouraged.
Visa and Work Authorization
Once your placement has been finalized, you will receive the documents required to apply for your Brazilian visa. Cultural Vistas and CI Experience Brazil will assist you with the visa application process.
How to Apply
To begin the application process, please submit an application request through our online portal. A staff member will review the request to determine your eligibility for the program. If eligible, you will receive an email including login information so that you can complete the online application. You will also receive an invoice for the $75 application fee. The online application and application fee payment will be due by February 10, 2018.
The complete application must be received by February 10, 2018, including any letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc. that are mailed separately.
Application materials to be submitted:
- Online Application
After you have requested an application you will receive a username and password to access, complete, and submit an application. You may preview and edit your application at any time until you have clicked on the “Submit” button. To preview your application, click “Print Version.” When editing your application, please be sure to click “Save” before exiting to ensure that all data is saved. We encourage you to print a copy of your completed application before submitting it. Please note that once an application has been submitted it is considered final.
- Personal Statement (no more than one full page, 1.5 spacing, 12pt font)
In three paragraphs, please describe:
- The reason you would like to intern in Brazil
- The field in which you would prefer to intern
- The type of work you would like to do
- The skills and experience you have to offer a host company as an intern
- Professional Photo (example)
Your photo should be the same size and format as a passport photo, taken from the shoulder up, in front of a monochromatic background. You should wear business attire. The picture can be taken with a digital camera but should be good quality.
- Copy of the picture page of your passport
- Resume in English
- College Transcripts
- Letter of Enrollment
This document must be signed and stamped by the registrar at your university.
- Letter of Recommendation
Preferably from a professor or supervisor with knowledge of your work in your field of study.
- $75 Application Fee
You will receive an invoice once you submit an application request.
Please note: The Cultural Vistas application fee of $75 is due at the time of application; applications will not be processed until this fee has been paid. Upon acceptance into the program, you will conform your participation by paying the full program fee
All hard copies of materials can be mailed to:
Attn: CIEB Internship Program
440 Park Ave South, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I receive school credit for my internship?
Credit is given at the discretion of each respective college or university. Be sure to speak with a coordinator at your school before beginning the internship to arrange proper credit. Cultural Vistas is able to provide a letter certifying participation in the program should the university request it. Please contact us for assistance.
Do I need to speak Portuguese?
There is no language requirement for the Internship Program in Brazil. English will be the primary language used during your internship, but prior knowledge of Portuguese can assist in the placement process. We also encourage students to begin looking up Portuguese phrases or commonly used words upon acceptance to the program, to start gaining a sense of familiarity with the language prior to arrival in Brazil. Cultural Vistas will provide pre-program exercises to encourage interaction with Portuguese, and language training will be included during the in-country orientation.
How much is the program fee and what does it cover? What additional costs can I expect?
The program fee is $3,500 for a 12-week program, and $3,300 for an 8-week program, in addition to the non-refundable application fee of $75. The program fee includes: a paid internship placement with a Brazilian company or research institution, housing accommodations, visa and work authorization assistance, in-country orientation, 20 hours of Portuguese language classes, in-country support provided by CI Experience Brazil, international health insurance, and re-entry information after program completion. The participant is responsible for airfare, additional fees related to the visa process, meals, and transportation while in Brazil.
What kind of companies offer internships?
Our partner, CI Experience Brazil, has over 25 years of experience coordinating youth exchanges. They have placed students with all types of companies: small businesses, medium-sized companies, and multinational holdings. Many companies are experienced in accommodating foreign interns and have been working with these internship programs for years. We will work with our partner to locate the best possible internship for you, based on your previous work experience, educational background, and interests.
Are the internships paid?
All internships will be paid. Compensation varies by industry and host company, but will be enough to cover basic living expenses such as transportation and food. Some participants will earn more based on their level of experience, host company, and field of study. Due to the current strength of the American dollar, cost of living in Brazil is relatively inexpensive (the currency exchange rate is always subject to change.) You should receive compensation similar to that of a Brazilian citizen in the same field with the same amount of experience.
Are graduating seniors and recent graduates eligible?
Due to visa regulations, we are unable to accept applications from graduating seniors and recent graduates. Participants in the program must be enrolled at a U.S. college or university for the duration of their internships. If it is possible to extend your graduation date to accommodate this requirement, we encourage you to apply.
How does the placement process work?
Once you have confirmed your participation, the internship placement process will begin. After reviewing your resume and conducting a telephone interview, we will have a solid understanding of your strengths, relevant experience, and professional interests. CI Experience Brazil has over 25 years of experience coordinating youth exchanges, and have placed students with all types of companies: small startups, medium-sized companies, multinational holdings, research institutions, and non-profit or government organizations.
While some placements are secured quickly, the placement process can take up to a couple of months. Brazilian work culture includes more vacation time, more sick leave, and complicated hierarchies, all of which may lead to a lengthy decision-making process. Cultural Vistas maintains close contact with our participants throughout the search until a host company is found.
Will I receive a refund if I am not offered an internship?
Yes. All fees paid (less the $75 non-refundable application fee) will be refunded if you are accepted into the program and an internship is not found for you, but this is unlikely.
Where will I live during the program?
Included in the program fee, our partner organization, CI Experience Brazil, will make arrangements for participants to live in a private or shared room in a student residence, or with a host family. Participants should recognize that a certain degree of flexibility will be necessary to adjust to Brazilian customs and way of life, as well as to adjust to the difference of living standards that exists between the United States and Brazil.
What is the duration of the program?
In-country orientation will commence on May 27, 2018. Internships will begin for all participants the following week, on June 4, 2018, and will last from 8 to 12 weeks. The duration of your internship will be arranged between you and your host company during the placement process.
Will I need a visa?
The Brazilian visa will be sponsored by our partner, CI Experience Brazil. We recommend that you do not purchase your plane ticket before receiving the Brazilian visa. Further instructions will be sent about this process upon acceptance into the program. Cultural Vistas and CI Experience Brazil will help you with the visa process.
What is the difference between a study abroad and internship abroad?
Beyond the obvious difference of studying in a classroom vs. showing up to work each day, an internship abroad can be much different than studying abroad. Cultural Vistas and CI Experience Brazil are there to provide in-country support whenever needed, but an international internship experience is typically a more independent experience than a traditional study abroad program. You will be responsible for showing up to work on time each day, completing assigned tasks, and asking questions when you don’t know the answer. Many of our participants come away from the program amazed at how much they were able to accomplish and grow while abroad. From growing close to their Brazilian coworkers and fellow participants, to taking a first solo trip, each person finds a way to make the experience their own.
What are the benefits of an internship abroad?
Interning abroad gives you the unique opportunity to explore a new culture, improve your language skills, and gain intercultural competence all while boosting your resume and gathering professional experience. Many articles about the benefits of interning abroad can be found online, but perhaps most important are the long-term effects on your career. Whether it’s standing out from the crowd while applying for your first entry level position, or having the opportunity to transfer to Brazil or another country mid-career because of your previous internship experience, your internship abroad will only continue to pay off down the line.
What kinds of companies offer internships?
Our partner, CI Experience Brazil, has over 25 years of experience coordinating youth exchanges. They have placed students with all types of companies: small family-owned businesses, medium-sized companies, multinational holdings, research institutions, and non-profit or government organizations. Many companies are experienced in accommodating foreign interns and have been working with these internship programs for years. We will work with our partner to locate the best possible internship for you, based on your academic background, professional experience, and interests.
Here are a few examples of companies where last year’s participants interned: GRI Club, UNESP (university), Aktie Now, and Fundação Julita. This is not a comprehensive list, but should give you a good idea of the types of companies last year’s participants worked with. Please note that Cultural Vistas cannot guarantee that you will intern at any of the companies listed here. We will work to find the best possible internship for you, based on academic background, professional experience, and interests.
Where will my internship take place?
The majority of internship placements will be located in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. However, there is the possibility that your internship could be with a company in the bordering states of Rio de Janeiro or Minas Gerais. The in-country orientation will take place in São Paulo.
What is involved in the application process?
Complete an online application by clicking the “Apply Now” button. After submitting some background information about yourself, we will email you a password granting you access to our online application system. Upon submission of a completed application (including supporting documents and the $75 application fee), Cultural Vistas will schedule a short phone or Skype interview with you to discuss the program, your expectations, and answer any questions you may have. After a successful interview, we will submit your application to our partner organization, CI Experience Brazil, for final review. You will then be formally accepted into the program, and receive your acceptance documents. The internship search will begin upon receiving the program fee payment.
Are international students at U.S. universities eligible for the program?
Unfortunately, due to the visa application process, applicants must be U.S. citizens in order to be eligible for the program.
Do I need insurance coverage?
To ensure that all participants are covered throughout the duration of their internship, all participants are enrolled in international health insurance coverage. The cost of the insurance is covered by the program fee. Additional details about the insurance policy will be provided upon acceptance.
Will I have an opportunity to travel while interning abroad?
Cultural Vistas encourages you to explore as much as possible during your time abroad; however, please keep in mind that unlike a study abroad experience, you are an employee at a company. Therefore, you are expected to attend work according to the expectations for your employer.