Study abroad in Florianópolis (known by locals as Floripa) is nothing short of magical, so there’s no better nickname for this USAC program location than “Ilha da Magia” – the Magic Island.
Study abroad in Florianópolis offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the diverse and dynamic culture of Brazil while living on a beautiful island and studying at one of South America’s most prestigious universities. Sound like a dream come true? Keep reading to learn more.
Life in Florianópolis
Brazilian culture is a mix of European, African, and indigenous cultures, and Floripa’s island culture is special in its own right. Surrounded by water and temperate sub-tropical weather all year long, study abroad in Florianópolis ensures many days on white sandy beaches and an eclectic, historic, and vibrant cultural immersion.
While Floripa appears to have small-island charm, Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world and one of the fastest-growing economies, so there’s more to study abroad in Brazil than relaxing on the beach and catching some waves. Floripa is actually a bustling city filled with restaurants, historical sites, theaters, and sports venues, so you’ll always have something to do and somewhere new to explore.
Resident Director for Florianópolis
Each USAC Specialty Program has an on-site Resident Director (RD) who is responsible for the overall operations of the program, such as student housing, organizing exciting field trips, student support, and more.
Meet the Resident Director for our Florianópolis program, Renato Carvalho.
Pre-departure, you will work with the Program Advisor for Floripa, Nadeen Black. As a USAC alumna, Nadeen uses her personal international experiences to help students prepare for their study abroad.
Host University & Academics
USAC classes are held at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), one of the top universities in Latin America. The university is known for its leadership in research and boasts of modern, technologically advanced labs and facilities.
Students who study abroad in Florianópolis can take courses in Portuguese language, sport and exercise science, natural resource management, and Latin American studies.
Internships are also available during select terms in Floripa. If you choose to participate in an internship, you will be placed with a local organization in one of the following fields:
- Digital Marketing and Social Media Management
- English-Language Instruction
- Natural Resources and Environmental Studies
- NGO and Social Services
Field Trips & Tours
We know that if you choose to study abroad in Floripa, you’re going to want to explore the island and beyond to truly connect with Brazilian culture and history. That’s why we offer a variety of field trips and optional tours during each session abroad. Possible destinations include*:
- Tour of Santa Catarina
- Rafting in Santo Amaro de Imperatriz
- Ilha Do Campeche
- Iguaçu Falls and Argentina
- Minas Gerais
*The following are possible destinations, view term calendars for specifics. Due to continually evolving COVID-19 regulations some tours and field studies may or may not be available during the term you choose to study abroad.
One major purpose of study abroad is to immerse in the local culture, and the best way to do that is to get involved with locals at your host university and through various activities in the community. There are many ways to get involved in Floripa.
- Participate in activities organized by UFSC, including sports, music, and dance.
- Practice Portuguese with your language exchange partner.
- Volunteer at schools and in social projects.
- Take field trips and do outdoor activities with other students.
- Attend local cultural festivals.
- Don’t miss the cultural activities going on around town, like sporting events, hiking, beach volleyball, and more.
- Attend a local surfing school.
What Alumni Have To Say
“The USAC Florianópolis program was everything I needed from a summer study abroad experience and more. From the amazing USAC staff, professors, my fellow program peers, and just the people of Brazil all together made this an experience that I will never forget.
I was able to practice and improve my Portuguese through language classes and immersion as well as have new experiences with both local Brazilian and American friends. USAC provided a bridge into Brazil’s beautiful culture and allowed me the opportunity to grow both academically and personally.
The USAC staff on-site is dedicated to providing the best experience while also allowing the students to create their own unique journey. The classes offered were open to Brazilian students and it was really cool to see a different perspective from them and have that cultural exchange both in and outside of the classroom. The buddy program was also a really cool way to integrate with other university students and create lasting friendships.
The natural beauty of the island makes it easy to fall in love with the location and the warmth of the Brazilian people makes it hard to leave. I am grateful to USAC for providing such an amazing atmosphere for learning, growth, and fun!” – Valentina, USAC Florianópolis alum
“All in all, Florianópolis is an extremely fun city to live in. The island has a really cool mixture of city life and rural feel with clubs, bars, beaches, hikes, and soccer teams. This experience can really be whatever you make of it. You can immerse yourself in a rich culture while learning a beautiful language and meeting a diverse mixture of people or you can take a single Portuguese class and spend the rest of your semester tanning on the beach and partying with your American classmates. I recommend finding your balance to enjoy Floripa for all it’s worth.
You’re going to make great friends with your USAC classmates. Build and cherish these friendships, but also take some chances and step outside the USAC comfort zone to meet people from more varied backgrounds. Take chances together, step outside your comfort zone, make travel plans around Brazil, learn the language, make some friends, and learn a lot! Study with USAC Floripa and you’ll have a semester of self-discovery, fun, and fulfillment.” – Cameron, USAC Florianópolis alum