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  • Locations: Florianopolis, Brazil
  • Program Terms: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Break
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: PBA applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Study Abroad Language of Instruction: English
Workship Credit Eligible: Yes Chapel Credit Eligible: No
Sending Department: Center for Experiential Learning When: Fall Semester, Spring Semester
Minimum GPA: 2.5 Class Eligibility: Must have completed 70 credits
Number of Credits: 12-18 Program Advisor: CEL advisor
Shots Recommended: Check with the CDC before travel, Hepatitis A, Routine Vaccines (see note), Typhoid Eligible Majors: All
Projected Cost: $15,495 - $24,045 Housing Options: Homestay
Areas of Study: Business Visa Required: Yes
Program Description:

Find the Florianopolis, Brazil course listings here. 

About the Program

Veritas Christian Study Abroad in Florianopolis, Brazil, recognized worldwide for its soccer stars, samba, and beautiful beaches, Brazil has emerged as a political and economic leader in Latin America. Brazil encompasses one-half of South America's land area, is home to one-half of South America's total population, and is the world's third-largest democracy. As a nation of contrast, diversity, and rich cultural heritage, Brazil offers a study abroad experience unlike any other. Known for their warm and welcoming nature, Brazilians are experts in enjoying life to the fullest and celebrating the diverse influences that shape their history and culture.The Veritas Brazil program allows students to combine strong academic offerings with endless amounts of cultural experiences and outdoor activities. Both inside and outside the classroom, students will find themselves immersed not only in the Portuguese language but also in a uniquely Brazilian way of life.

Around 40% of the worlds Catholics live in the region, with Brazil being the world's most populous Catholic country--65% say they are faithful to Rome.  The country is seeing an increase of Protestant churches particularly among the poorer segments, though many of the young Brazilians say that they follow no organized religion.

Students participating in the Veritas in Florianopolis, Brazil program will attend Universidad do Sul de Santa Catarina (UNISUL). UNISUL is recognized by The Ministry of Education, Brazil (Ministério da Educação, Brazil). The university was ranked 56th in Brazil in the 2013 Cybermetrics Lab International Ranking.

Minimum GPA: 2.5
Language requirement: NONE (open to all levels)
Program Highlights
  • Courses in English
  • Courses with Locals
  • Gap Programs – post high school study for credit

Academic Overview

Semester Programs (Spring, Fall & Academic Year)
Students are required to maintain fulltime student status during their programs, including:
  • One Veritas course: Religion & Culture required
    • (45 contact hours/3 semester credits; taught by Veritas professor)
  • International Missions/Service-Learning Practicum required
    • (1-3 semester credits; facilitated by Veritas Mission Mentor)
  • One Portuguese language course required for beginning language level students only
  • Other courses at the UNISUL to maintain fulltime student status
Summer Programs
Students will enroll in the following:
  • Two courses at the UNISUL required
    • One Portuguese language course required for beginning language level students only
  • International Missions/Service-Learning Practicum required
    • (1 semester credit; facilitated by Veritas Mission Mentor)
Academic Credit
Credits earned may vary according to the policies of the student's home institution. For visa regulations, and according to Veritas Christian Study Abroad policy, students must maintain full-time enrollment status for the duration of the program, as determined by their home institution. Students may be required to obtain a student visa and should inquire with the corresponding consulate.

About the City

Florianópolis, a city situated on an island in southeastern Brazil, is modern and cosmopolitan yet also blessed with tremendous natural beauty. Floripa, as it is called by locals, showcases over 42 beaches, rolling mountains, Atlantic rainforest, soft white sand dunes, and an array of offshore islands. As a complement to its natural beauty, this popular city has been named one of the best places to live and do business in a country that is rapidly becoming an economic superpower. Florianópolis is a unique destination where past, present and future coexist harmoniously, making it a fantastic place for a student wanting to study abroad in an active and dynamic city environment.

Florianópolis consistently ranks as one of Brazil's top five safest cities and in the past ten years has become one of Brazil's premier destinations. Florianópolis offers something for everyone, including a bustling commercial core, pristine beaches, countless water activities (there's a lake and the ocean of course!), untouched nature reserves, charming fishing villages and great seafood, numerous mountain trails, some of the best museums, cultural attractions and academic institutions in Brazil, trendy lakeside eateries, and of course the opportunity to blow off some steam dancing the samba while watching the sun set over the bay.

What's Florianópolis Like?
Florianópolis is known for having a high life quality, being the Brazilian capital city with the highest Human Development Index (0.875) according to the UN. Tourism is one of the staples of Florianópolis' economy as many are drawn to its 40+ beaches and the mix of modern and traditional culture. Many inhabitants and tourists consider Floripa to have a singular beauty endowed with strong lines of Azorean culture, observed in the buildings, workmanship, folklore, culinary and religious traditions.You may notice right away that life in Florianópolis is different from life in the U.S. Some differences are subtle such as the sound of the telephone ringing, while other changes will be more striking. Most things look, sound and smell differently. Discovering these differences is one of the joys of an adventure in Florianópolis. You will learn to appreciate the Brazilian way of doing things, and before you know it, you'll fit right in! By experiencing life in Brazil, you will gain a much greater understanding of Brazilians and their culture, as well as a new outlook on your own heritage.

Region and Population
Florianópolis is located in the state of Santa Catarina in the southern region of Brazil. This exceptionally beautiful city is situated on a small coastal peninsula and a main island connected by three bridges. Florianópolis, or Floripa as it is called by locals, is home to approximately 400,000 inhabitants spread across the Northern, modern half of the island, and the traditional rural South.

Florianópolis experiences a humid subtropical climate with seasons that are opposite to those of the northern hemisphere. In general, temperatures are warm, 82°F during the day and 72°F at night. June through September are the coolest months in Florianópolis, with fall-like temperatures of 57°F at night and the 72°F during the day. The rainy season in the region starts in December and ends in March.

Mission Work

While abroad, students will be partnered with a Mission Mentor who will help them get involved with ministry opportunities and connect them with a local church and the Christian community in Florianopolis. Students will grow in their faith as they learn about missions by building relationships and serving others alongside the Mission Mentor and local missionaries. Students will meet regularly with their Mission Mentor for prayer, reflection, and spiritual accountability; the spiritual support and opportunities will make their time abroad transformational.
The International Mission/Service-Learning Practicum provides a great opportunity to reinforce cross-cultural missions and earn college credit. The reflection activities, journal entries, and cultural research will enhance and help students internalize their experience .

Ministry opportunities may include:
Campus Outreach Refugee Ministry Social Justice Ministry
Children's Ministry English Clubs Homeless Ministry
Orphanage Ministry Elder Care Prayer & Intercession
Special Needs Worship & Bible Studies Sports Camps

Better your selfie
Rafael T, University of Georgia, with children in Peru

Culture Corner
Florianópolis has endless activities for international visitors to enjoy. Listed below are some different cultural activities to do while in Floripa. You can do many of these activities on your own or with friends, or they may be sponsored by ISA. Upon arrival to Florianópolis, different sponsored cultural activities will be announces throughout your program abroad.
  •     Attend a Florianópolis soccer game
  •     Play beach soccer with the locals
  •     Learn Capoeira (a folkloric dance/martial art)
  •     Pick up surfing at one of the many beaches
  •     Learn the Floripa-founded sport of sandboarding
  •     Visit Fonte Caldas da Imperatriz to bathe in natural thermal waters
  •     Learn to dance Samba
  •     Explore the many old Portuguese fortresses
  •     Snorkel through the clear waters
  •     Climb the Mirante Morro da Cruz for breathtaking views of the city
  •     Take a Brazilian cooking class

Cultural Immersion 

Language Exchanges
Students will be given the opportunity to meet local and international students wishing to share their knowledge of Portuguese and learn English in exchange. This activity, based on student interest, is a great way to get to know other students of Florianópolis and to share your culture and language with others while learning more about your surroundings and Brazilian student counterparts!

Floripa Culture
The society of Brazil is marked by a mix of many races that come together and contribute to the country's language, cuisine, music, dance, religion, and architecture. Indigenous, Portuguese and African cultures were the first major contributors to Brazilian society, joined later by German, Italian and other non-Portuguese European settlers. The mix of races has made Brazil a culturally rich and at the same time unique country with all the diverse influences found in every aspect of Brazilian society.BRAZILIAN FRIENDLINESS
Brazilians are found to be a very welcoming, happy, and overall friendly people. As close relationships are key in Brazilian interaction, personal and informal conversations take rein. The use of body language in communication is prevalent, and eye contact and close distances between the speakers are practiced. It is common for Brazilians to touch during friendly conversations and the typical greeting between friends is a kiss on the cheek, or hugs and pats on the back between males. The comfortable nature of Brazilian communication is a way of sharing with others the relaxed, high life of beautiful, sunny Brazil.

Many travelers are drawn to the laid-back day-to-day lifestyle of Brazil. Whether it's enjoying a long evening with friends or family, lounging on the beach, or taking frequent coffee breaks, Brazilians love to take it easy. While basking in the smooth rhythms of bossa nova is more than appealing, many do not find the same slow-pace in businesses, bureaucratic offices, banks, and supermarkets to be as attractive. Brazilians place little importance on abstract rules like traffic laws, queues or punctuality—it is accepted and expected to show up for appointments thirty minutes late or at least an hour late to social events. The best way to enjoy this laid-back way of life of "tudo beleza" (all's beautiful) is to kick back and join in on all the smiles and laughs of Brazil.


Monuments & Must-Sees

Hercílio Luz Bridge
As one of the largest suspension bridges in the world, the Ponte Hercílio Luz was inaugurated in May of 1926 in honor of the former governor of Santa Catarina. Stretching a span of 1,113 feet (340 meters), the bridge was the first to connect the island of Florianópolis to the mainland and was later joined by two more. Due to restoration and repair, the bridge has been closed since 1991 but remains a famous postcard image of Florianópolis.

XV de Novembro Square and Centenarian Fig Tree
In the heart of Florianópolis and just around the corner from the ISA office, is Praça XV de Novembro, a lively square and popular hang out spot for locals. In the center of the square is the Figueira Centenária, a giant century-old fig tree that provides cool shade for sitting and strolling. The History Museum of Santa Catarina and the grand Metropolitan Cathedral surround the square with the well-preserved Alfândega (old customs house) and the Municipal Market just down the road. The square is host to a local artisan market every Friday as well as popular displays and concerts. On the nearby pedestrian street, Rua Felipe Schmidt, one can find an ample selection of shops, cafés and bars built into antique historic buildings.

Cruz and Sousa Palace
Also situated in the center of Florianópolis is the Palácio Cruz e Sousa, which housed the state government until 1984. The palace was the scene of a dramatic episode of the Federalist Revolution when in 1891 it was taken over by revolutionaries against the state government. Ten sculptures by Italian artist Gabriel Sielva adorn the exterior of the building, and after several restorations the palace was finally turned into a museum in 1986.

Florianópolis displays 42 magnificent beaches all with their own draw and flair for water sport enthusiasts and sunbathers alike. Visit Praia dos Ingleses for its fame among tourists as well as the tradition of the Azorian colonizers. Visit Campeche for paradisiacal beauty and excellent nightlife. Visit Armação to find important archaeological sites and to enjoy the history of the Sant'Anna church. Visit Joaquina for its famous sand dunes great for the Florianópolis sport of sandboarding. Visit Mole to surf its renowned waves or participate in the annual WCT Surfing Championship. And visit Santinho to explore nature and beauty on an untouched tranquil beach. These are just a few of the popular beach destinations, but there are plenty more to explore and enjoy!

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2019 09/14/2018 09/21/2018 02/26/2019 07/03/2019