Page last updated on March 17, 2017
Extended application due date for 2017: contact us for details.
Organized by Pitzer College in collaboration with the Steve Biko Institute (with financial support from a Capacity Building Grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State) the Brazil Summer Program takes place over six weeks in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
Salvador, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and capital of Bahia State in North East Brazil, is the first colonial capital of Brazil, and the center of Afro-Brazilian culture. The Summer Program in Brazil provides students an unparalleled opportunity to engage with a city and region that have retained and celebrated their African roots. This cultural uniqueness has a tragic underbelly. The Bahia region was the center of the Brazilian slave trade economy, and racism and the legacies of colonialism are ever apparent. In Bahia, 70% of the population is of African descent, but more than 80% of those who graduate from university are white Brazilians.
This is a very structured, intensive program for students willing to work hard; the rewards will be great and commensurate with students’ efforts. Participants earn two course credits in only six weeks, but more importantly, they experience a very special opportunity to live with families, work in Brazilian institutions, travel in a beautiful country, and meet people they will never forget.
The Pitzer in Brazil Program is open to students with a 2.0 or higher GPA on a 4.0 scale
|Brazil in the Bahian Context
|Intensive Portuguese Language
- One year of college-level Portuguese or a demonstrated equivalency is strongly recommended. Students with a background in another romance language (e.g. Spanish, French, Italian) are eligible to participate without previous Portuguese studies and will take an intensive beginning Portuguese class on site.
- Coursework in South American area studies is recommended.
Summer: Six weeks in Brazil from late May to early July
The Steve Biko Institute is a nationally renowned organization that has achieved extraordinary success in helping black Brazilians enter and succeed at university.
The Core Course
Brazil in the Bahian Context
This core course provides an overview of history, culture and society in Brazil. The course includes lectures by local faculty and specialists from non-governmental organizations, site visits, and reading and writing assignments that allow students to explore a
variety of topics in Salvador, including but not limited to the legacy of colonialism and slavery in Brazil, health care, political structures, women’s issues, and environmental issues. All students participate in an internship of six to eight hours per week for four weeks with a local non-profit or tutoring ESL at a local public school. Students complete a capstone research project on a topic of their choice supervised by local experts.
As part of their core course, all students will participate in an internship of six to eight hours per week for four weeks with a local non-profit organization. For students with lower levels of Portuguese, there will be a multitude of possibilities to provide greatly needed ESL tutoring with local public schools and non-profit educational organizations such as the Biko Institute. A final reflective paper on the internship experience is a required part of the course.
Intensive Language Study
Intensive Portuguese will be offered at the introductory and intermediate levels through local language faculty. With a maximum of six students per teacher, the course employs a highly communicative, interactive curriculum that emphasizes both spoken and written Portuguese and is closely connected to the family stay experience, the core course, and other field activities. Students attend language classes for 12 to 14 hours a week for a total of roughly 60 hours of in-class instruction.
An extended family stay for the duration of the program is an important part of the program, providing a human face to the ideas presented in readings and lectures. Students are encouraged to participate fully in family life. Only one student is placed in each home to maximize use of Portuguese.
To deepen your understanding of topics covered in the core course, you will participate in several study visits in or near Salvador, including the Baroque city of Cachoeira, Quilombo Ilha and Itaparica Island.