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  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: SIT/World Learning 
  • Eligibility: Please see below for requirements.
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
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SIT Study Abroad Brazil: Social Justice and Sustainable Development

Major topics of studydancing

  • Social injustice, marginalization, and inequality in contemporary northeastern Brazil
  • Colonial Brazil and Brazilian history
  • Social emancipation struggles and Brazilian civil society
  • Race, gender, and sustainable development
  • Public policy and social and restorative justice

Program Overview

  • Examine the vast human and environmental challenges confronting northeast Brazil, in the fascinating city of Fortaleza. 
  • Look at socioeconomic conditions and the impact of local development efforts and public policy.
  • Interact with different ethnic groups, including indigenous and Afro Brazilian populations.
  • Gain insight into the challenges and benefits of implementing social change within a multicultural environment.


Classroom instruction and field study are incorporated into each course. Course content is delivered by SIT faculty as well as guest lecturers from local universities, research institutes, NGOs, and community and professional associations. Field-based activities and assignments complement readings, discussions, and research papers, allowing students to engage in a variety of study methods. 

All students are enrolled in the following courses (syllabi available on the SIT website):

  • Social Justice and Public Policy in Brazil (3 semester credits)
  • Race, Gender, and Sustainable Development in Brazil (3 semester credits)
  • Research Methods and Ethics (3 semester credits)
  • Portuguese for Social and Development Studies (3 semester credits)
  • Independent Study Project (4 semester credits)

Educational Excursions

Excursions are integrated into the curriculum; throughout each excursion, students are engaged in learning as part of the academic program.  Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

  • Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) Settlement
  • Recife or Salvador, Bahia


During their time in Brazil, students have the opportunity to live with two different homestay families:

  • Fortaleza (seven weeks)
  • Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) Settlement (a few days)

Other accommodations during the program include hostels, private homes, or small hotels.

Program Structure

There is no "typical day" on an SIT program, activities may take place on any day of the week and at any time of day according to local norms and to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities.  Thus the schedule and structure of the program are very different from what students are used to on their home campuses. The semester progresses in phases:

  • The program begins with a thorough orientation. 
  • During the first two and half months of the program, students are engaged in foundational coursework, 
  • For the last month of the program, students conduct an Independent Study Project (ISP) on an approved topic of their choosing. 
  • Finally, students present their project, participate in program evaluation, and prepare to return home.

What Makes SIT Unique

  • SIT Study Abroad offers a field-based, experiential approach to learning. 
  • Each program has a small group of students (typically 10–35). 
  • On an SIT program, you gain high levels of access to many different stakeholders and experts relevant to the issues your program is examining. 
  • While some learning will be conducted at the SIT program center, extensive learning is done outside the classroom — in host communities, field stations, NGO headquarters, ecological sites, health clinics, and art studios.
  • Many students go on to use their Independent Study Projects as a basis for senior theses on their home campuses. Others use their undergraduate research and overall study abroad experience to successfully apply to fellowships such as Fulbrights and Watsons.

Money Matters

Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.  

SIT tuition, room and board fees include: 

  • All educational costs, including educational excursions.
  • All accommodations and meals for the full program duration.
  • Transportation to and from the airport, and on all educational excursions.
  • Health and accident insurance. 


  • SIT awards nearly $1.3 million in scholarships and grants annually. 
  • All scholarships and grants are need-based.
  • Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000.  
  • The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program. 
  • Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your college or university to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants, and federal and state aid programs, can be applied to an SIT Study Abroad program.

Contact SIT Study Abroad

This program is currently not accepting applications.