Sep 7, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

Today is Sete de Setembro, or the Independence Day of Brazil! This national holiday is celebrated with patriotic displays and military parades throughout the country. We are celebrating by highlighting these six things to know about studying in this spectacular spot.

1. Brazil is massive.

“Brazil is one of the largest countries as well as one of the most diverse and fascinating nations in the world. The country has one of the most magnificent economies in the world. This country is filled with a rich dose of history, culture, religion and great sports as well. With intriguing people, plants and animals this country is surrounded by a fantastic Amazon rain forest and beautiful tropical oceans. Brazil is one of the most fascinating tourist destinations for travelers,” asserts Medium.

So whether you’re yearning for beach sun or mountain fun, it’s waiting in Brazil. If your cravings are more cosmopolitan, cities like Rio, Brasilia, and São Paulo deliver on delight.

In addition to giving yourself time to explore all that Brazil has to offer, you will also want to make sure you are well packed for its dynamic climate and weather. “With seasonal rainfall areas providing light relief from the tropical heat, the balmy, warm evenings and super sunny beach days, every day, means that you are just about guaranteed to have an outdoor adventure every day! Go hit the place and feel the tropical aura,” adds Medium.

2. An English or Spanish language foundation will help you.

Brazilian composer and musician Tom Jobin said, “Brazil is not for beginners.” While he was referring to the complexity of the country, the sentiment can also apply -- to a degree -- to languages. Portuguese is Brazil’s official language and dominant tongue: many Brazilians speak it exclusively. Some familiarity with it will go a long way.

However, English speakers and Spanish speakers will not be completely lost. “English is often studied in school and increasingly in private courses. It has replaced French as the principal second language among educated people. Because Spanish is similar to Portuguese, most Brazilians can understand it and many can communicate in it,” proposes Brazil Travel.

3. Cheek kissing abounds.

Depending on where you are from, the concept of cheek kissing as a platonic greeting may be either familiar or frightening. Brazilians take cheek kissing to a less than predictable art in that there is no consistency regarding the number of cheek kisses to give or get. For an overview of 'Brazilian Kissing Culture,' check out Jetfarer’s handy guide.

And while it can be surprising and/or confusing, it’s just part of being Brazilian. Kay Rodriguez writes in Jetfarer, “Personally, I think Brazilian kissing culture is a testament to how open and friendly the people are there, and speaks wonders about the warmth of their culture.”

4. It takes multiculturalism to the max.

“Often referred to as the melting pot of the world, Brazil is a country defined by its multiple ethnic variations and diverse cultures. Immigration from Africa, Europe and Asia coupled with Brazil’s own indigenous origins have created a vast range of different traditions, beliefs and physical appearances,” explains global tech startup Culture Trip.

There’s no better place to discover its remarkable diversity than on one of its bustling university campuses.

5. Brazil’s diversity extends to its educational offerings.

Home to more than 2,000 public and private higher education institutions, Brazil has extensive, world-class offerings across a breadth and depth of subjects. Whether you’re interested in biology, business, or anything in between, you’ll find it in Brazil.

According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), meanwhile, “In recent years, Brazil has invested heavily in international education to increase the visibility and standing of its postsecondary institutions on the global stage.” Its efforts are working:  because of the country’s growing reputation, many multinational corporations now actively recruit from Brazilian universities.

6. Be careful with voltage.

There’s no standard voltage in Brazil; rather, it varies depending on where you are. Avoid electronic issues by bringing a universal adapter and converter kit on your trip. (For more details on voltage in Brazil, check out World Standards’ exhaustive list of the respective voltages of all 27 Brazilian federative units.

Interested in learning more about Brazil as an international study destination? Check out our roundup of 10 Top Reasons Why You Should Study in Brazil.




Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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