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Last updated August 2020

The University

PUC Rio Campus buildingPontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) is a private nonprofit communitarian institution, founded in 1940, with the objective of developing knowledge based on humanistic values. It is an academic institution recognized worldwide as one of the most important doctoral research centers in the country. Above all, PUC-Rio is a community of people who praise diversity and the plurality of ideas united to act in accordance with the needs of the society and the ever changing world.

PUC-Rio is located in Gávea, a charming neighbourhood near the forest and beaches of the Zona Sul area of Rio de Janeiro. Its campus is beautifully situated within a tropical forest, surrounded by lush trees and with a small stream running through it. Visitors and students can often see small monkeys and squirrels jumping among the trees.

Rio de Janeiro is an exciting city perfectly situated between a lush tropical forest and the Atlantic Ocean. Rio provides its residents and visitors alike with a majestic realm of colors, sounds and smells. With an intense cultural life, Rio de Janeito is the perfect place for those who want to immerse themselves into the South American reality: plays, shows, concerts, exhibitions, street performances, scientific conferences, cultural debates - everything happens in Rio.

Exchange Information

Rio de Janeiro

  • Undergraduate level exchange only.
  • Language of Instruction - Portuguese and a limited number of courses in English. Courses taught in English have a content based on Brazilian and Latin American aspects, such as: culture, literature, business, design, civilization and history.
  • Academic Year: February - December. Fall Term: February/March - July; Winter Term: July/August - December.
  • Course load: minimum of 8 credits (2 courses); maximum of 24 credits (5 courses), including the mandatory Portuguese as a second language course. International students do not have pre-requisites to take classes.
  • Credits system: 01 credit= 1 class hour/week of lecture class or 02 hours of laboratory class/week or 03 hours of exercise class/week, considered a standard term of 15 weeks.
  • European Students System (ECTS): 15 PUC Rio Credits = 30 ECTS (according to the equivalency between Brazilian and European credits).
  • Level I Portuguese is covered under the exchange agreement and it is mandatory for all students.
  • The Pre-Term Portuguese Intensive Course is not covered under the exchange agreement with PUC Rio.
  • Students willing to take courses offered in Portuguese will complete a placement test as part of their application.

Relevant links

Rio de Janeiro at night

Student Evaluations

Further Information

For further information about Otago Global Student Exchange please email

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