Salvador city should certainly be on everyone’s bucket list, although it is often overshadowed by better-known Brazilian travel hotspots. The city has effortlessly maintained a level of colonial charm and beauty that will blow even the most intrepid explorers mind. Fuel for your Instagram account is not the only thing the city has to offer though. You’ll also find lively nightlife, pristine beaches, and an intensity of Afro-Brazilian culture that is unmatched elsewhere (not to mention the incredible study abroad programs available - it’s almost too perfect!). Study abroad in Salvador and get to know a spicier side to life.
Popular Ways to Study in Salvador
When it comes to choosing a study abroad program in Salvador, you mightn’t be overwhelmed by the number of programs available. In fact, the range of courses on offer is much more refined than in many other locations. That’s because the city’s program offerings, just like most aspects of Salvador-ian life, are overwhelmingly niche.
Popular subjects to study. With a heavy focus placed on study materials which integrate closely with aspects of local culture, language, history and traditions, the topics tend to centre around these key tenets. Portuguese language courses are thus readily available. Students whose aspirations are a little more specific will be intrigued by programs investigating core elements of Afro-Brazilian culture. Programs in Salvador combine classroom based learning with excursions, bringing the study materials to life and adding to the level of cultural immersion up for grabs.
Short term and summer programs vs. long term programs. The language and cultural studies programs on offer lend themselves well to shorter, more focused study abroad experiences, usually lasting between one and two months. This is ideal for those studying at home, as the course can be sandwiched easily into a summer vacation. Students looking for longer term options should find suitable options too; as always, we encourage you to stay as long as you can to really get the most out of the experience.
Attending universities vs. other program types. Dependent upon your program preference, providers might be local universities, or organizations dedicated to study abroad delivery. Either way, you’ll be linked to a group of like minded international students, and hopefully some locals as well, with whom you can share the experience and integrate into local life.
Student Life in Salvador
Salvador seeps culture in the same way that a Brazilian kitchen emits mouth-watering odours. The city buzzes from dawn until dusk and beyond, with crowds gathering in the colourfully lined plazas for music, dancing, drinks and importantly, food! With so many cultures melting together within the city’s bounds, you’ll find influences from the Portuguese colonizers, modern day Brazil, and also incredibly well-maintained links to African culture resulting from the slave trade. With amazing beaches close by, and great transport links to explore further afield in Brazil, you won’t ever have a spare minute.
Accommodation is included with most programs, either in a shared student apartment or homestay. Homestays are a great opportunity to further engage with the local culture, and tend to be particularly advantageous for those studying the language, as you have no choice but to put your skills to use every day! On the flip-side, a shared apartment can be more sociable, and offer support from fellow students if this is your first time studying abroad. Salvador is an inexpensive place to study, especially if you make the most of the delicious street food - don’t miss the famous acarajé - shrimp and bean fritters!
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Salvador is the main city of Bahia state, which is the state most heavily influenced by African heritage in all of Brazil. Don’t miss out on opportunities to engage with this unique facet of local culture and history during your stay as it will provide a valuable insight into how life in the city has, and continues to develop.
With this in mind, be sure to get out and mingle with the locals, whether it be students from the university at which you are studying or simply those out enjoying the relaxed evening vibes. One thing really to not miss, is the chance to watch an Olodum rehearsal, a traditional Afro-Brazilian group who have been around since the 1970s — a sure-fire way to make your study abroad in Salvador experience one you won’t forget in a hurry!
As the locals say, “Smile, you’re in Bahia!” Well, you might not be yet, but you’re probably already packing your bags. Get set for a chance to immerse yourself into a unique part of Brazilian life and culture, and pick up some valuable knowledge along the way.
If you’d like to read more about study abroad programs in Brazil, you can check out our guide here.