Internships Abroad in Brazil

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A Guide to Interning Abroad in Brazil

Brazil is a rising economic powerhouse in Latin America with one of the fastest growing middle classes in the world. Internships in Brazil are attractive to international students interested in biology and environmental studies, due to the ease of access to the Amazon. In fact, Brazil has an internship culture, many Brazilian degree programs require a non-paid internship in order to graduate. Social work and development students will also find plenty of internship placements in Brazil, as the increasingly healthy economy is not benefiting all citizens equally. Opportunities for business placements in Brazil are also common, as the nation develops.


Salvador, the "City of the Holy Saviour of the Bay of all Saints," is a beautiful and edgy city, and the largest city on the northern coast of Brazil. Interns can find music and dance internships in Salvador, and also social work internships working directly with impoverished communities

Rio De Janeiro has always been a major destination for internships in Brazil. The Favelas (shanty towns) and tourism industry drawing from the many beaches, provide numerous internship placements in Rio. Recent urban development, due to the World Cup and organization for the 2016 Olympics, has helped revive some areas of the city and solidify the transportation infrastructure.

Brasilia is the federal capital of Brazil, and with nearly three million residents it is the fourth largest city in the country. The city was planned in the interior in the 1950’s and is recognized by UNESCO because of its modern architecture. Political science and journalism internships are common in Brasilia, as well as legal internships.

Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and in the southern hemisphere, and it is the ninth largest city in the world with a population of nearly eight million. Internships in Sao Paulo are available in nearly every field, but science and health care internships are especially common in Sao Paulo.

Florianópolis is a metropolis located in the southeast and surrounded by dozens of beautiful beaches. Called Floripa by locals, the city is located where the mountains meet the beaches. Interns can select from programs which offer education and teaching internships all the way to health care, development, and sports placements.

Internships in Brazil

Due to the size of the country and its growing economy, Brazil offers the greatest range of internships in South America.

Business internships in Brazil include placements within multinational companies, as well as national and local companies. Internships in accounting, economics, marketing, advertising, and public relations are fairly common, especially in the larger cities.

Interning in Brazil on development or social welfare projects provides interns with plenty of options for work experience and skill development. Development internships include those focused on social work and education, which can both be found in cities as well as smaller villages.

Environmental placements are frequently available due to the geography of the country, including internships in biology and marine science.

Other popular internships in Brazil include law or legalhotel administration, culinary arts, and tourism, which can typically be found in cities more frequented by tourists.

Salary & Costs

Internships in Brazil are structured by the government and are non-paid. On rare occasions a small stipend may be offered but it’s not required. Most internship placements in Brazil require interns to pay a placement fee; however shouldering this cost is worth the extra expense, since it provides orientation, support service, and vetting of the internship by the provider in advance.

Foreigners are prohibited by law to receive a salary while interning in Brazil, but interns may receive a stipend and/or transportation support. The cost of an internship placement in Brazil can range from under $1,000 to $4,000. Internships in Brazil can range from one month to a full year.

Accommodation & Visas

Accommodations vary according to the placement organization. Many urban internship placements in Brazil will include a shared apartment, while those in rural areas and smaller villages may include a homestay arrangement. Homestays are a great asset, as interns can develop their Portuguese and network through the family’s friends, not to mention the great food! Staying with a family can be an economical choice if you have to find your own housing during your internship in Brazil.

Internships in Brazil are regulated by Lei do Estagio, and because internships are standardized in Brazil you will know exactly what is expected in advance. Interns work six hours per day and up to 30 hours a week. Thirty days of vacation must be provided per year. Bank holidays and 11 federal and state holidays as well as election day are all days off.

While getting a working visa in Brazil is very difficult and includes plenty of red tape, internships in Brazil are relatively easy to get. The visa required by international interns is the same as the one required for studying, it is called Vitem IV. To obtain this visa, interns must be gaining professional experience or university credit. Students must have documentation from their home university, a copy of their birth certificate, and proof of financial means to cover their costs of living while interning in Brazil to apply for the student visa.

Benefits & Challenges

The benefits of interning in Brazil are vast and varied. The growing economy means a global marketplace of the future. Portuguese is a valuable language, and is a nice compliment for Spanish speaking students. The beautiful geography of the country converts many interns in to residents. Most attractive however are the people, their friendliness and hospitality to be exact.

Applicants can increase their odds of getting the gig by having both an English and Portuguese resume. Interns who are not proficient in Portuguese should study the language before they come to Brazil, find a placement that includes language instruction, or consider an English-focused internship placement in Brazil, like teaching English as a foreign language.

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A Guide To
Interning Abroad in Brazil


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