Host City and Institution:
Brasilia was built to be Brazil's new capital city. The idea was to transfer the federal capital of Brazil from the coast to the midwestern interior of the country. Brazil had two capital cities before that: Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. By transferring the capital city to the interior, the government intended to help populate that area of the county. With its bold architectural style, the capital city is so avant garde that is stands out as the only 20th century architectural complex to be proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Central Brazil celebrates many traditional festivities throughout the year. In June, there are large festivals celebrating Catholic saints, such as Saint Anthony and Saint Peter that are called "festas juninas" or June festival. West of Brasilia is located the Mato Grosso Pantanal (Wetlands), a veritable ecological sanctuary, preserves the pristine nature in this unique ecosystem. The visitor may stay in lodges and venture out with trained guides to safely observe crocodiles, anacondas, rheas, anteaters, parrots, deer, capybaras, and countless birds, who choose the Pantanal as one of the world's most important stops on their migratory routes.
The University of Brasilia was established in 1962. The architect Oscar Niemeyer who designed most of the public buildings in Brasilia, was also responsible for its main building, the Central Institute of Science. From its very beginning, the University of Brasilia (UnB) strived for excellence in teaching, research and outreach courses open to the community at large, thereby ranking as one of the most respected universities in Brazil.
UnB is located in the heart of Brasilia, on the banks of Paranoá Lake. Paranoá Lake is a giant artificial lake built in order to increase the amount of water available to the region. Marked by an unmistakable modernist architecture, the university houses 23 institutes and schools; 50 departments; 16 scientific, technological, cultural, artistic and general service centers; student, faculty and staff residences; a University Hospital; a Sports Center equipped with swimming pools, race-track and various sports fields and courts; a Seismological Observatory capable of registering earthquakes across the planet; an Animal Research Laboratory and an Ecological Station. UnB is also about to build its own technological park.
Brazil's GDP is the highest of Latin America with large and developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, as well as a large labor pool. The country has been expanding its presence in international financial and commodities markets, and is regarded as one of the groups of four emerging economies called BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China). According to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Brazil has the ninth largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity (PPP) and tenth largest at market exchange rates.
A wide variety of elements influenced Brazilian culture. Its major early influence derived from Portuguese culture, because of strong colonial ties with Portugal. Among other inheritances, the Portuguese introduced the Portuguese language, the Roman-Germanic legal system, and the colonial architectural styles. Other aspects of Brazilian culture are contributions of European and Asian immigrants, Native South American people (such as the Tupi), and African slaves. Brazil is a multicultural and multiethnic society. Italian, German and Japanese immigrants came in large numbers and their influences are felt more in Southeast and South Brazil. Amerindian peoples influenced Brazil's language and cuisine and the Africans, brought to Brazil as slaves, influenced Brazil's music, dance, cuisine, religion and language.
Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Brazil. The Brazilian national football team has been victorious in the World Cup tournament a record five times, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Brazil is also home to the world famous carnival festivities that take place in every town in the country, but attracts visitors mostly to Rio, Recife, Salvador (Bahia). Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is known worldwide for the elaborate parades staged by the city?s major samba schools and is one of the Rio?s major tourist attractions. Each samba school rehearses all year round for this event and all its members take part in the rehearsals, whether experts or not. It is a place where people who always wanted to write a song, play a percussion instrument or choreograph a dance will have their opportunity. It is usual that during the carnival aristocrats dress up as commoners, men cross-dress as women, and poor people dress up as princes and princesses - social roles and class differences are expected to be forgotten once a year, but only for the duration of the festival.
About the program:
The University of Brasilia (UnB) is Texas Tech partner in the U.S. Department of Education FIPSE U.S.-Brazil exchange program targeting students in interdisciplinary, civil engineering, geology, geography, agriculture, business programs addressing some of the arid and semiarid land related issues. Texas Tech students will pay Texas Tech tuition and fees before leaving for one semester in Brazil. Students awarded FIPSE scholarships receive free round trip airline tickets to the host university, an $1,800 stipend covering basic living expenses, free one-month intensive Portuguese training at a private university in São Paulo or Rio and $200 to help pay for one semester of introductory Portuguese course at Texas Tech. Students may need supplemental funds for additional expenses. Because this is an exchange program, grades will be factored into a students GPA.
Courses and Areas of Study:
The University of Brasilia (UnB) does not offer classes in English. A student must be proficient in Portuguese to participate in the exchange program. To find out more about classes a student must meet with the study abroad advisor for Brazil. Students accepted for a FIPSE scholarship at UFPE must take for credit courses that will be transferred to Texas Tech.
Students must have taken one or preferably two semesters of college level Portuguese or at least four semesters of Spanish and the approval of the Portuguese language faculty to enter the program. Classes at Brazilian universities are taught in Portuguese, however most Faculty speak English and are very helpful. Students applying to the FIPSE scholarship must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.
Housing and Meals:
UnB has limited on-campus housing for students. The university will help students to find housing at private homes registered with the university or to rent apartments near campus. Boarding at private homes usually includes breakfast and the average cost is US$300 per month. The cost of renting apartments may require sharing the unit with another student. Students may need supplemental funds for additional expenses.
Financial Aid and Scholarships:
Students accepted to study at UnB may apply for a FIPSE Scholarship with a $4,500 total value. To apply for this scholarship students must meet with Dr. A.C. Correa at The International Center for Arid and Semiarid Land Studies (ICC Building)
Students are required to attend a pre-departure orientation before they leave Texas Tech University to participate in their study abroad program. NTNU will provide an orientation for students upon their arrival.