Everywhere you look in Brazil, there are stunning and fascinating artifacts of the country’s rich history and culture. The country is just as well known for its buzzing vibrant culture in cities like Sao Paulo, as it is for its beautiful variety of wildlife in the Amazon. And while Carnival is going on and people are celebrating, miles away waves are crashing at the Iguaza falls. As the country establishes itself as an international economic power, the population is growing to be more diverse and international too. Truly, there is never a dull moment in Brazil. After all, “É o jeitinho brasileiro.” - “It’s the Brazilian way.”
As the fifth largest country in the world, the opportunities for internships in Brazil are endless. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in Brazil.
- Business: Brazil has one of the fastest growing economies in the world - with an average annual GDP growth rate of over 5%. Due to technology advancements, many local Brazilian companies have gone international in a very short time span. Where better to start your career in international business? The Brazilian economy will provide a fast-paced learning environment. The skills you will earn in the Brazilian business environment will likely help you gain the experience necessary to work in the international job market.
- Environmental: Brazil is home to 60% of the largest rainforest in the world - the Amazon. The country has fascinating biodiversity in both its flora and fauna. However, due to population growth and demand for natural resources, many habitats have been destructed and many species have been on the track towards endangerment. When you intern in Brazil, you can work on saving the lives of many of these species. There are also opportunities for interns to focus on environmental education for local communities.
- Healthcare: In recent years, Brazil’s economy has been rapidly growing. However, there are still many disadvantaged and low-income communities in the country. For the members of these communities, finding access to healthcare can be difficult. As a healthcare intern in Brazil, you can work directly with medical professionals to help individuals get the medical attention they need. Depending on prior experience, interns can gain hands-on experience and shadow doctors on their rounds in a wide variety of fields such as surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, clinical medicine, and more.
When and Where to Look for an Internship:
Your internship location will depend highly on the kind of field you would like to work in. Corporate and business internships will likely be somewhere in a large city like Rio De Janeiro or Sao Paulo. On the other hand, interns interested in working with smaller communities or NGOs will be placed in more rural parts of Brazil. Internships concerning wildlife or the environment will be probably be near the Amazon or beaches. Generally, internships be available year-round.
Cost of Living in Brazil:
With a large country such as Brazil, the cost of living can vary quite a bit depending on location. Overall, your cost of living will be higher in bigger cities such as Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo. On average, the rent per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the center of a large city in Brazil is about R$1,000. On the other hand, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the more rural parts of Brazil averages around R$650. For more information, check Numbeo.
Work Culture in Brazil:
- Etiquette: Overall, Brazilians prefer to do business face-to-face with people they know. The Brazilian business culture is often very lax and there are no strict protocols regulating business meetings. One thing to note is that Brazilians take pride in presenting themselves well, so it is important to look neat and presentable during business settings.
- Language: Almost 100% of the Brazilian population speaks Portuguese. Although English is common in business environments, more rural parts of the country will function entirely in Portuguese. It is highly recommended that you have at least an intermediate understanding of Portuguese before working in Brazil. The only differences between Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese are mild accents and few vocabulary changes.
- Networking: Since Brazilians prefer doing business with people they know, it is important to build relationships and connections during your internship. You can join networking organizations such as BNI Brasil.
Work and Labor Laws in Brazil
Internships in Brazil are regulated by Lei do Estágio ("Law of Internship"). This law requires that all internships have a 30-hour week limit, and provide Personal Injury Service. For more information and specifics of the law, please visit the Brazilian government’s website.