Placement Information

Partner Organization: Fulbright Commission Brazil 

Eligible Program Dates: 4-5 months from February - June 2025 or August - December 2025 

Host Institution Expectations: Host institutions will be assigned after selection, according to the candidate’s research project. They can be public or private universities or NGOs.

Language Requirement: None, however either intermediate Portuguese or advanced Spanish is strongly preferred. 

Monthly Allowance: Between $3,700 - $4,000 (exact amount to be confirmed at a later date) 

Dependent Information: School children can attend local public schools, but classes will be in Portuguese with no assistance for speakers of other languages. They can also attend private schools with tuition costs ranging from $600 to $2,800 per month. Not all private schools will offer bilingual education (English and Portuguese). Please note that the Fulbright Commission in Brazil cannot offer assistance on this matter. As participants can be placed in small or rural towns, there could be limitations for family housing, schooling, and/or childcare. It is not advisable for young dependents to accompany participants for the full grant term. 


Country Overview: Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and is similar in size to the continental United States. It is also the largest country in South America and the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world, with around 214 million people and 43% of them living in the Southeast region of the country. The most important economic sectors are agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and services. Despite the achievements in poverty reduction over the last decades, inequality remains at high levels in one of the largest democracies in the world. After achieving universal coverage in primary education, Brazil is now struggling to improve the quality and outcomes of the system, especially at the lower and upper secondary levels. 

To learn more about Brazil, please visit: 

Educational System Overview: Education is offered at public tuition-free institutions through the cooperation between the central government, states, and municipalities. It can also be offered by either for-profit or nonprofit private entities. Public officials in charge of providing the compulsory education levels are liable for any flaws in the system because access to these education levels is considered a subjective public right. Education in Brazil has two levels: basic education, which includes early childhood education, primary education, and secondary education; and higher education.

These education levels can be offered in many modalities depending on specific demands and needs, e.g., special education, professional education, distance education, youth and adult education, indigenous school education, specific ethnic-racial and rural education.  

Most children, youth and adults enrolled in basic education attend public schools; the opposite occurs in higher education. The responsibilities in offering basic education are formally distributed among the federate entities. Municipalities must provide early childhood education (ages 0 – 5) and primary education (ages 6 – 14); the latter is shared in variable levels in some states. States must provide secondary education (ages 15 – 17). 

Key Educational Themes in Brazil  

Though the country has made substantial progress, there are still several challenges to improve the quality of school education. Some of the challenges are listed below. 

• Continuing efforts to improve access and support to early childhood education and care while supporting school completion among students who might be at risk.  

• Further improving access to quality upper secondary education and initial vocational education and training while ensuring the quality of public and private tertiary institutions.  

• Continuing efforts to develop quality in teaching and school leadership.  

• Ensuring that key stakeholders, such as school leaders and teachers, have the capacity to use evaluation and assessment results to improve student outcomes. 

• Ensuring alignment and coordination between the different levels of government and stakeholders to deliver quality education. 

• Continuing investment in education and ensuring schools are equally and efficiently funded across all education levels.  

To learn more about the Brazilian educational system, please visit the following website:  

Possible Topics of Interest for U.S. Educators:  

• Latin American History 

• The Brazilian Common Core Curriculum 

• Climate Engagement 

• Clean Energy 

• Human Rights 

• Arts and Culture 

U.S. educators with other areas of interest pertaining to primary and secondary education in Brazil are encouraged to apply.