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BRAZIL

PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE COURSES IN RIO DE JANEIRO IN BRAZIL

There is no better or easier way to learn a language than to live it and breathe it ... and there is no better place to study than in vibrant, beautiful Brazil! Learn Brazilian Portuguese in the stunning city of Rio de Janeiro. Private lessons are arranged for you so if you just want to learn some basic survival phrases and vocabulary to help you whilst on your placement, or you would like to have a more structured course or improve your existing knowledge of the language, we have something for everyone!

You can choose to focus solely on learning Portuguese during your time in Rio or you can combine a Portuguese Course with another project/s

NEW! DISCOVER THE REAL RIO

We've added some exciting new half-day and 1-day tours of Rio, with your own personal guide, to make your stay even more ejoyable!

You can add one, two or more of these low-cost / high fun tours to your itinerary and get to see Rio from a local's perspective.

See the "Optional Add-Ons tab below - the hardest part is which choice to make!

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Price: £995 (approx. US$1,300) for 1 week of 10 hours of lessons per week
£400 (approx. US$595) for each additional week.
£1,295 (approx. US$1,700) for 1 week of 20 hours of lessons per week
£500 (approx. US$700) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & Other Currencies
Duration: From 1 week to 6 months or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates: All year round – you choose your start and finish dates.
Requirements: Minimum age 18.
No qualifications or experience required.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation
Food (breakfast only)
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Course fees
Daily transport to and from your programme
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Food (except breaksfast, which is provided, Return transfer to the airport.
Who can do this Programme? This project is open to all nationalities. Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in learning Portuguese or gaining a new skill for their CV or Résumé, or expanding their learning for university credit or requirement. Also available as a summer placement in Brazil or South America.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New language skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

I have been studying Portuguese now for two months and it has been a brilliant and enlightening experience! I have already learnt so much and it has helped me in all my day to day interactions with the locals. My teacher is fantastic and has encouraged me every step of the way. Jessica Tinsley

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN BRAZIL info@travellersworldwide.com

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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

You have two choices regarding the intensity of the course you'd like to do:

  • 10 hours per week - a gentle way to learn that still gives you plenty of time for sightseeing and exploring Rio
  • 20 hours per week for a more intensive learning experience.

You'll study Portuguese (Brazilian Portuguese) in an established Language School in Rio de Janeiro that has an excellent reputation and has been chosen by us for their track record in providing quality language lessons to 'foreigners'. The experienced and dedicated teachers are incredibly friendly and will go out of their way to ensure that you have an enjoyable experience learning Portuguese in Brazil.

Most of the time your lessons will be during the day on Monday to Friday, but it is possible that occasionally your lesson times will vary slightly. Teaching revolves around an intensive language program that utilizes innovative techniques on a one-teacher to one-student basis. You will receive individual tuition and lessons are prepared especially for you.

Teachers try, where possible, to hold classes predominantly in Portuguese, but most teachers are fluent English speakers and will assist you in English if or when you get stuck. The fact that the classes are held in Portuguese helps to immerse you in the language and encourages you to converse and gain confidence in speaking Portuguese.

Portuguese lessons are strongly recommended if you are a complete beginner or if you are undertaking a teaching/care/football placement and want to improve your Portuguese at the same time. Speaking a little Portuguese will go a long way and will be highly appreciated. For combination programmes, we will ensure that your timetable is arranged to give you plenty of time in between your different placements.

When you're living, working, socializing and breathing a new language, you learn fast – and the whole process is exciting, memorable and a lot of fun, especially in Brazil! There are many benefits to learning a foreign language abroad. You can interact with the local people and understand and appreciate the greater subtleties of a culture, such as the local literature, music, art, and folklore.

... And it's an excellent addition to your CV that might give you an advantage over your competitors in a tough job market!

Portuguese classes are normally held within walking distance of your accommodation.

HOLIDAYS AND ... CARNAVAL!
The school runs all year round except for a few public holidays and the week of Carnaval. Carnaval begins at midnight on the Friday before Ash Wednesday (usually around the second week of February) and lasts for five days, but the whole country stops for about two weeks. Carnaval is celebrated all over Brazil. The most famous is, of course, held in Rio, but the authentic versions of Carnaval are found outside that city.

ACCOMMODATION

You’ll stay at a welcoming modern hostel in leafy Laranjeiras, a wonderful area of Rio, just a 15 minute walk away from where you can take the train to Cristo Redentor – one of Brazil’s biggest attractions! With friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere, you'll feel at home as soon as you step inside. The hostel comprises lots of facilities including 3 TV’s, computers, free Wi-Fi, and 2 communal areas with a bar, dartboard, snooker table and play station 3!

You'll stay in a dorm room (female dorms for woman and mixed sex dorms for men) but upgrades to a private room is available at a supplement. You will have access to a well equipped kitchen where you can prepare lunch and dinner and the hostel also offers a tasty Brazilian lunch for a good price.

Laranjeiras is one of the most traditional parts of Rio and is close to the Guanabara Palace and the Fluminese Football Club’s training ground. You are just a 15 minute walk from the closest metro station and you can reach Copacabana beach in under 30 minutes. Nearby are banks, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, bars – everything you could need is right on your doorstep.

FOOD:
Breakfast is included in this project and is a fabulous spread of coffee, milk, fruit juice, bread, butter, jams, meat, eggs, yogurts, cereal, fruit and cakes which should set you up for the day. You're located in the heart of Rio so there is an almost endless variety of dishes and restaurants, which is why we've provided the accommodation as breakfast only. Most of our volunteers regard eating out as one of the highlights of living in South America.

On your doorstep are numerous restaurants including local Brazilian fare, ‘Por Kilo’ restaurants (which charge based upon the weight of your food), Chinese, Japanese, Subway and snack shops galore! The snack shops, (Boteco’s) are a good option where ‘salgado’s are served (a type of savoury pastry filled with meat, cheese or chicken) and ‘pao de queijo’ (literally ‘cheese balls’ – delicious little cheese and bread balls) that all cost around Rs 4. One thing is for sure, you won't go hungry in Rio!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity!

ABOUT BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE
Portuguese is similar to Spanish on paper but it sounds completely different to the ear. If you have an understanding of Spanish already you will find it easy to adjust to written Portuguese and you will be able to make yourself understood when speaking to local Brazilians, although you will probably not be able to understand them! Once you start to learn Brazilian Portuguese however it will be easy to transfer this knowledge. These languages are widely spoken around the globe. Mastering this language is time well spent!

The Portuguese spoken in Brazil differs from Portuguese in Portugal in terms of pronunciation and certain vocabulary. When the Portuguese settled in Brazil in the 16th century they encountered a diverse mix of languages of the indigenous Indians as well as various idioms and dialects brought over with the African slaves. The result was quite an extensively transformed spoken Portuguese. Although the upcoming generation will be different, currently not many Brazilians speak English and a basic understanding of Brazilian Portuguese is extremely handy!

The more you can interact with the local people and culture the more rewarding your travelling experience will be. Brazilian Portuguese is a beautiful language with a passionate musicality to its rhythm.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN BRAZIL info@travellersworldwide.com DOWNLOAD THIS INFORMATION in .pdf How to Fundraise for your Program

ANY QUESTIONS?

Please with any questions and include your phone number, if possible, to help us give you the best possible response.

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Travellers Team Karen and Romulo (left and right) with volunteer Lucretia van Wyk from Namibia in the middle BACK TO TOP

OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

1-day Walking Tour of Central Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

DISCOVER THE REAL RIO!
RIO CENTRE WALKING TOUR:
Price: £45 for the 7-hour tour
Includes Lunch, Refreshments, Entrance Fees and Transport. You'll be personally guided on the tour by Romulo, who is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his home-town of Rio and Brazil in general.

You'll be picked up from the hostel at 9.30 a.m. for a full day tour of the city, including lunch. You'll see some of the famous sites of downtown Rio, including Otero da Gloria, Cinelandia, and Largo da Carioca and learn about the history of these areas.

We’ll stop for coffee at Confeitaria Colombo, a café in a historical building over 100 years old. After this welcome pit stop, we'll continue our tour to Mercado Popular and then Saara (Rio’s largest outdoor market), where there are hundreds of shops in small narrow streets. We continue onto Candelaria church and CCBB (one of the most important cultural centres in Brazil) with its neoclassical designs. The CCBB has a good bookshop and often has great exhibitions.

We leave here and walk up a small hill to Mosteiro São Bento, a good example of Brazilian Colonial architecture and amazing opulence! We head back down the hill to Praça Mauá, a large square with great waterside views and home to Museu do Amanha. You'll have time to visit the museum before heading back to the hostel (entrance fee not included).

Morning coffee and lunch is included on the tour. Comfortable shoes recommended. Don’t forget your camera!

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Walking Tour of some of Rio de Janeiro's famous beaches

DISCOVER THE REAL RIO!
WALKING TOUR OF RIO'S FABULOUS BEACHES!
Price: £37 for the 4-hour tour
Includes Refreshments, Entrance Fees (if any) and Transport. You'll be personally guided on the tour by Romulo, who is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his home-town of Rio and Brazil in general.

You'll be picked up from the hostel at 10.00 a.m. We'll take a local bus to Gloria and walk down to the Promenade. Here you'll enjoy amazing views of Guanabara Bay, Pão de Açucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) and Flamengo Park. You can watch the planes take off and land as they circle Sugar Loaf Mountain and enjoying watching beach volleyball all along the beach.

We'll take a well-earned rest at the Obelisk for refreshing coconut water as we leave Flamengo beach behind and walk towards Botafogo Bay. This is a gorgeous walk where you'll see small ships in the harbour and closer views of Urca and Sugar Loaf Mountain - and of course,, the Cristo Redentor.

We'll hop on a bus for a short ride to Urca and Praia Vermelha. You may even catch sight of some small monkeys here! We'll walk through to Urca Beach, where there are many bars and restaurants with lots of people hanging out and sipping on a cold drink. We'll join them and take in more stunning views!

After our long walk we'll take a taxi back to the hostel, arriving around 2.oo p.m. Note: Please wear comfortable footwear and, again, don’t forget your camera!

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1-D Tour of the Ilha de Paqueta (the Island of Paqueta) in Rio

DISCOVER THE REAL RIO!
1-Day Tour of the Gorgeous Ilha de Paqueta (Island)
Price: £65 for the 8-9 hour tour
Includes Lunch, Refreshments, Ferry Costs, Entrance Fees (if any) and Transport. You'll be personally guided on the tour by Romulo, who is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his home-town of Rio and Brazil in general.

You'll be picked up from the hostel at 10.00 a.m. and return at approximately 6.30 p.m. The way to this lovely island is by ferry, which takes just over an hour from the centre of Rio. The trip to and from the island itself is pretty cool! The ferry journey goes under the Niteroi Bridge for amazing views of Rio de Janeiro – not to be missed.

The Island is car-free (except for 1 police car and the rubbing truck) and all transport on the Island is limited to bicycles, cycle rickshaws and horse drawn carriages - and that makes a tour of this island very special. You'll discover colonial buildings, a lovely park, a museum, outstanding view-points, lots of beaches. You'll also see the famous Baobab tree; legend has it you kiss the tree to bring you luck!

Our tour includes a cycle rickshaw ride which makes lots of stops for photo opportunities, including the time to visit the museum.

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Stand-up Paddle Boarding lessons in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil

STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING (SUP) IN RIO DE JANEIRO:
PRICES:
Includes the hire of a board.
Includes transport to and from each lesson.
GROUP LESSONS:
1 Single Lesson = £20.00
5 Lessons = £75

A popular and fun sport in Rio de Janeiro is the fast-growing Stand Up Paddle. This sport originated in Hawaii and is taking the world by storm ... everyone's doing it! Set on one of the most famous beaches in the world, Copacabana, you will spend a little time on land learning from the professionals on how to control the board with the paddle and keep your balance, before taking to the water for a great workout whilst admiring the stunning scenery.

  • All abilities catered for.
  • Lessons are one hour each

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Learn the art of Brazilian Cooking in Rio De Janeiro

LEARN BRAZILIAN COOKING IN RIO DE JANEIRO:
PRICE: £65 for the half-day lesson
Includes lesson fees and ingredients.
Includes transport to and from the lesson.

A fantastic opportunity to join other foreigners for a real taste of Brazilian cooking. This is a fun half day where you will cook, eat, drink, have a lot of laughs and make new friends. You'll learn to cook traditional and exotic Brazilian food with a popular, friendly and knowledgeable teacher who will also give you an insight into the history of the food you will be cooking.

Your classes take place at a cooking school in the heart of Copacabana. Classes are 4 hours long and take place on Mondays to Fridays, mornings or afternoons, with two delicious menus to choose from:

  • Seafood Moqueca – a delicious Brazilian fish stew
  • Feijoada – a stew of black beans and meat which is part of the staple Brazilian diet
  • Vegetarian options are also available.

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Portuguese Lessons in in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

PORTUGUESE CLASSES IN RIO DE JANEIRO:
PRICES:
** 1 Week Intensive Portuguese Course, 10 hours, private lessons, £545
(prior to starting your placement, including accommodation)
** 1 Week Intensive Portuguese Course, 20 hours, private lessons, £745 (prior to starting your placement, including accommodation)
** Portuguese Lessons, 10 hours per week, £180 per week (at the same time as your placement)
** Portuguese Lessons, 20 hours per week, £340 per week (at the same time as your placement)

Take Portuguese lessons alongside ANY project or as an intensive introduction course before you start. You can take a course for any length of time to run alongside your placement OR you can take a 1 week introductory course before you start your project at a super discounted price:

Your Portuguese lessons are with a private tutor for maximum exposure to the Portuguese language, and lessons are structured to suit your needs for maximum flexibility. Classes are held Monday to Friday and you will take your classes at a professional, prestigious school in the heart of Rio de Janeiro.

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Portuguese Lessons in Florianopolis in Brazil

PORTUGUESE LESSONS IN FLORIANOPOLIS:
Price: £70 per week for 5 lessons of 1 hour each per week
Includes transport to and from each lesson.
Includes Course fees.

Your classes will take place at the home of a local Brazilian teacher who has taught Portuguese as a foreign language since 2008. She also lived in the USA for 8 years and speaks fluent English. Lessons take place around 30 minutes by bus from your accommotion.
Classes are in one hour sessions and take place Monday to Friday, and they will be fit around your volunteering schedule.
Portuguese Language Lessons (5 hrs per week at the same time as your main project)
Lessons are available at Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced levels and are in the form of private classes that are prepared personally to fit your needs. You'll also be strongly encouraged only to speak Portuguese

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Surfing Lessons in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

SURFING LESSONS IN RIO DE JANEIRO:
GROUP LESSONS:
1 Single Lesson = £22.00
5 Lessons = £85

Includes transport to and from each lesson.

Surfing is a way of life in Rio and its home is Arpoador Beach, where our surfing lessons take place. Because of the fantastic rolling waves, the beach hosts to many surfing tournaments a year, and for the truly daring, spotlights on the beach also allow for surfing at night!

  • Lessons are arranged in conjunction with your main project and each lesson lasts one hour.
  • Lessons are arranged in groups with other volunteers or tourists up to a maximum of 4 people.
  • You can choose as many lessons as you like.
  • These lessons cater to all levels of skill, from Beginner upwards.

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Surfing Lessons in Florianopolis in Brazil

SURFING LESSONS IN FLORIANOPOLIS:
Price: £90 for a Course of 8 x 1-hour lessons
Includes Course fees.
Includes transport to and from each lesson.

The island of Florianopolis has 42 beaches and some of the most consistent surf spots in Brazil! Some of the beaches hold the worldwide surfing championships making it an ideal place to learn or improve your surfing skills. Lessons will take place on either Praia de Ingleses or Praia Barra da Lagoa, normally in the mornings. Your teacher speaks good English and is a member of the local Surf Association.

  • Lessons are arranged in conjunction with your main project and each lesson lasts one hour.
  • The course consists of 8 hours of surfing
  • Lessons are group classes with other volunteers/tourists up to a maximum of 4 people.
  • These lessons cater to all levels of skill, from Beginner upwards.

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Capoeira lessons in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil

CAPOEIRA LESSONS IN RIO DE JANEIRO:
Prices:
Includes course fees.
Includes transport to and from each lesson.
£65 for the first 1 week (4 lessons)
£50 for each additional week of 4 lessons

Comprises 4 classes per week, Monday to Thursday, each lasting 1.5 hours

Our Capoeira lessons run concurrently with your main project and the course consists of 6 hours per week, 4 lessons each lasting 1.5 hours. These are group lessons which you will take with locals and foreigners and if you are a beginner please don’t worry, after the warm up a teacher will be allocated specifically for beginners and will help you with the moves.

You don’t need to be particularly fit, flexible or have previous martial arts experience to learn Capoeira but of course this well help. You need to wear comfortable clothing but the purchase of a uniform is completely optional.

Capoeira is not only a martial art, a dance and an art form steeped in Afro-Brazilian culture, it's also a language, a form of self-expression and freedom inside yourself - and the way to gain a deeper understanding of Brazilian culture! The basic moves are simple and, with a little practice, they are easy to learn.

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Ju-Jitsu Lessons in Florianopolis in Brazil

JU-JITSU LESSONS IN FLORIANOPOLIS:
PRICE: £25 per week, includes 3 lessons a week of 1.5 hours each. Also includes transport to and from your lessons.

Lessons take place in a classroom attached to a local church, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday evenings for 1.5 hours each session. Classes are held in groups where you'll mix with other volunteers, tourists and local people. You will need to wear a kimono which you can either bring with you or you can purchase one locally.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the martial art with speciality in floor fighting and grabbing, in which weight and strength are not the most important in fighting. Practice this martial art in a Brazilian style, with an experienced Brazilian teacher with over 20 years experience, teaching in Florida and Hawaii. Get to know Jiu-Jitsu Brazilian fighters, make new friends, learn the Brazilian technique and have fun!

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Latin Dance Lessons in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

LATIN DANCE LESSONS IN RIO DE JANEIRO:
PRICES:
£55 for fortnight (4 lessons of 1 hour each, 4 lessons in total per fortnight)
£50 per fortnight, i.e. each additional 2 weeks

Styles of dance taught: Ballroom Dance, Samba, or Forró.

You can choose to learn Samba, Forro, or Ballroom dance and you will have 2 x one hour of group lessons per week. You can also learn Tango or Zouk but these classes are taught only once a week – but you can mix and match!

These dance classes are designed to be taken alongside your main project. The classes tend to take place in the evenings on Mondays to Saturdays and your timetable will be given to you prior to your arrival. You will take group lessons with locals and foreigners.

The dance studio is a short bus ride away from your accommodation and the cost of transport is not included in the price.

Brazilians seem to be born with the natural ability to dance and it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of Samba in Brazil – it’s everywhere! You can put into practice what you learn at your classes at the multitude of clubs in Rio!

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Photography lessons in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil

PHOTOGRAPHY LESSONS IN RIO DE JANEIRO:
PRICES:
Includes Course Fees and transport to and from each lesson.

  • 2-Week Nature Photography Course - £345
  • 2-Week Lighting & Studio Photography Course - £445
  • 4-Week Beginners Photography Course - £595
  • 8-Week Full-On Photography Course, includes all 3 individual elements above - £1,145

Take some inspiring photography courses in than Rio de Janeiro alongside your main project. You'll enhance your Brazil experience and really capture the flavour of this beautifully enigmatic city with your lens. Courses are available at beginner, intermediate & advanced levels to cater for any kind of student.

The Photography Centre is the oldest and traditional photo school in Rio. It's located around 15-20 minutes from your accommodation on public transport. Courses run throughout the year - as you'll be working 1-1 with your tutor, the course can run at any time. All lessons are taught in English and all course materials are in English.
You'll have lessons 2 or 3 times per week. You’ll be taught using videos, slides, enlarged photographs and your course book. You’ll also have access to all the different cameras and studio equipment at the centre. Most students will work with both digital and film cameras. On the course, you will cover a variety of skills and ideas and have the opportunity to put them into practice in beautiful Rio de Janeiro! For example, the basic course covers:

  • How to use digital and film cameras
  • Technical skills including composition, lighting & colour usage, flash techniques, exposure and filters
  • Practical studio photography, including portraits and still life
  • Practical outdoor photography
  • A visit to a professional studio

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Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.

SEE ALL PROJECTS IN BRAZIL info@travellersworldwide.com

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LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:

Location: Laranjeiras is one of the most traditional parts of Rio and is close to the Guanabara Palace and the Fluminese Football Club’s training ground. You are just a 15 minute walk from the closest metro station and you can reach Copacabana beach in under 30 minutes. Nearby are banks, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, bars – everything you could need is right on your doorstep!

THINGS TO DO IN RIO:

  • Visit the beach! Choose from the famous Copacabana, Ipanema, Barra de Tijuca (pronounced Ba-ha), and Leblon, to name but a few! Copacabana is probably the world's most famous beach, with 3 miles of sunbathers and beach parties in front of one of the most densely populated cities on the planet.
  • Ipanema is Rio's most chic beach for the rich and the beautiful. Brazilians prefer busy beaches, with crowds of people, beach volleyball players, food sellers and sun tanners.
  • Volleyball, futevolley (volleyball but where you can’t use your hands!) and beach soccer.
  • Futebol (soccer) is the national obsession, and Rio is the location of Maracana Football stadium, the largest stadium in the world. Many football legends have played in this ground.
  • Surfing in perfect rolling waves is ideal for beginners or more advanced surfers.
  • There are excellent opportunities for rock climbing in and near Rio and hiking is great along the coast and in some of the national and state parks.
  • For some adrenaline packed fun, try hang-gliding, especially around Pedra Bonita, near Pepino beach.
  • The city has grown around the very green Tijuca Forest, creating the largest urban forest in the world. There are various trails into the forest and exploring it could easily take an entire day.

CARNAVAL!
Like Mardi Gras, Carnaval has its roots in ancient pagan ritual. The wild parties began in the Middle Ages. Over time it flourished and incorporated extravagant costumes from India and primitive carnal beats from African rhythm. Carnaval takes place before Lent where Catholic Brazilians officially gave up luxuries such as meat, alcohol and pastries.

The excitement of Carnaval builds practically all year round. Rehearsals at samba schools begin in August and marching percussion bands practise for their performances of music throughout the year. Carnaval Balls are extreme, surreal and erotic events. There is various stages of undress, extravagant body painting, stickered tattoos, fishnets and spandex involved! Hypnotic music, grinding movements and beautiful ladies of the night vying for the camera’s attention are included in the price of the ticket. Some of these beautiful ladies are less ‘lady’ than they may appear…

Street Carnaval is all about the dancing in the streets, marching bands pump out their theme tune and other rhythms as the drag queens and party crazed people bop along behind. The samba parades are perhaps a highlight of carnaval. As the Lonely Planet so nicely puts it, the Brazilians harness sweat, noise and confusion and turn it into art. The best Samba schools in the country prepare all year for their moment of glory. This procession is a competition of the art. There are many aspects to samba including percussion, song, dance, choreography, costumes, story line, floats and decorations. The winner of the samba parades earns admiration and the pride of Rio and all of Brazil.

TRAVEL:

Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.

REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:

LIZZIE FAITHFULL
British
(1) Teaching Disadvantaged Children
(2) Care for Children in a Creche on a Volunteering Placement, in Brazil
(3) Portuguese Language Course

I would definitely recommend Travellers Volunteering to anybody that wants a challenge and is ready to get stuck in! Or if you’re interested in spending time to get to know a place and its people. In addition anyone seeking to gain experience, whether it’s teaching or something else, you are given responsibility and a chance to prove yourself that might not be open to you in this country, so I say, Go for it!

TEACHING DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS
I taught English to children of mixed ages and abilities in two different institutions. Before I left I attended a two-day intensive TEFL TIME course organised by Travellers but other than that I had no previous experience of teaching.

The most important thing is to be flexible, resourceful and creative and just throw yourself into it. Lessons and classes can vary some were half an hour, some two hours – which sounds a lot but time flies when you’re in the classroom! We were given guidance on what level the children were at and what topics they had covered before. This was helpful when planning lessons so as not to repeat what they had already learned or in some cases to repeat it if necessary.

The main focus for us was conversation and getting the children to communicate with one another in English so it involved finding fun ways to encourage them, this can be fun for you too!

CARING FOR CHILDREN IN A CRECHE IN RIO DE JANEIRO:
I was also placed in an inner-city Crèche and was immediately made to feel very welcome by both children and staff. I admired the whole ethos of the Crèche, parents that could afford it paid for their children to attend but those that couldn’t pay were equally as welcomed.

Many of the children lived with social and learning difficulties as a result of impoverished living conditions and disrupted family lives. It was important to be mindful of this and be considerate and attentive to each child’s needs.

Although we were there to try to teach English to the children, this was in a very relaxed environment where playing with, caring for and loving the children was seen as equally if not more important. I absolutely loved my time with the kids and I found it difficult to leave.

On my last day the kids made me a poster and I was presented with a watermelon with a candle on top (this was not some weird Brazilian tradition they merely had no time to bake a cake!). I was also delighted and a little speechless when they took me on a surprise trip to a nearby Samba school and I was treated to seeing the kids samba moves!

LEARNING PORTUGUESE LESSONS DURING THE PROJECT
I signed up for a few Portuguese lessons a week alongside my project. After buying some ‘teach yourself Brazilian Portuguese’ tapes and failing to pick much up before I left, I thought the lessons would help me get the most out of my project. I was right, in that although it’s not essential to speak the language it can allow you to feel more independent and also to become more involved in the projects.

They organised the lessons to fit around my teaching and my language teachers were very accommodating when I would arrive rushed from school/crèche without having done my homework due to a late running lesson or bad traffic!

My lessons were one-to-one which was fantastic as I could move at my own pace - in my case this was pretty slow! We covered practical topics such as purchasing goods, food and drink, transport and helpful classroom phrases. I also got useful tips from my friendly teacher on where was best to shop and go out in Rio! And every lesson I was offered Coffee (which I learned to drink short and black with lots of sugar) and sometimes homemade cakes!

MY TIME IN GENERAL
I can't speak highly enough of my local co-ordinator, Fabio, he was great! Always available and constantly checking in with us to make sure we were happy with everything. He introduced us to the schools and the children but also to the City. He took us out to sample local food, music and dancing, we also saw him in action practicing Capoeira (he teaches it). Anything I needed to ask about my projects or Rio, he had an answer for and I’m very grateful to him for ensuring I had such a good time.

The Art Hostel where I stayed was amazing, it is in a great location, a very safe, vibrant and interesting area of the city and I felt really welcomed and thrown into Brazilian culture during my stay, they also pushed me to speak Portuguese which was great!

I had an unforgettable time in Rio de Janeiro and although I didn’t visit at Carnival time, there was still a vibrant party atmosphere. I’m not a big football fan but Futebol is an entirely different ball game and seeing Fluminense Vs Boca Juniors game at the huge Maracanã was a highlight of my trip.

With a volunteer placement I was able to see sides of the city that most tourists brush past or don’t see at all.

KEN RUSSELL
Canadian
(1) Teaching Disadvantaged Children
(2) Portuguese Language Course in Rio de Janeiro

I had a super time in Rio. I love working at the Centers, seeing the children's smiling faces every day was refreshing. They fulfilled me as a volunteer. I really miss these children.

One special experience I had was with one little girl who stayed by herself, she did not speak or play with the other children. She had a bad rash and sores all over her body. She was scratching all the time. I bought some lotions and creams and applied it to her sore areas and she got better and better. I spent more time with her and she started talking. I got her and the other children to interact and play games together. Soon she was just one of the group and fitted in with the rest. I will never forget her and she made the experience so special for me.

I really would recommend anyone to take time to be a volunteer with Travellers.