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USAC Florianópolis Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Florianópolis, Brazil




2.5 GPA, Good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

9/24 for Spring, 2/24 for Fall & Academic Year, 3/4 for Summer

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

This program has been suspended by USAC for the Academic Year 2022-2023

Bridge leading to the mainland

This program offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the diverse and dynamic culture of Brazil while living on a sub-tropical island and studying at one of South America’s most prestigious universities. The program is ideal for students who want to learn about the world’s fifth-largest country and learn Portuguese. The academic courses are only a part of the value of USAC Studies in Brazil as students have the opportunity learn about contemporary Brazilian society through personal interaction and immersion in the the host culture. The program is administered by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), of which the University of Iowa is a member. The USAC Resident Director and staff are present on-site full-time to welcome and support students during their term abroad. UI students earn resident credit on this program.

Academic Program

Classroom building at UFSC


Upon arrival, students take an intensive Portuguese language (at one of four levels) and culture course. Classes will also include site visits and activities to provide an understanding of the local culture. After this language intensive period, students have the option to continue their Portuguese language learning. Students then enroll in 12 - 14 semester hours of coursework in the fields of Sport and Exercise Science, Natural Resource Management, and Latin American Studies. All courses are taught exclusively for program participants by local Brazilian faculty.

USAC Florianópolis Program website.


USAC offers two 4-week summer sessions. Students can do either session or both. Students enroll in three to six semester hours in each summer session. One 3-semester hour course must be taken each summer session. Course availability is contingent upon student interest and enrollment and is subject to change.

USAC Florianópolis Program website.

Cultural Activities

Foz do Iguazu

Students are encouraged to participate in local university activities, including sports, music, and dance, and meet Brazilian students who will help them understand the Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. USAC staff plans events to help students immerse themselves in the host campus and host community. These activities include capoeira classes, yoga, soccer games, hikes conversation exchange events, and movie showings. Many organized field trips are included in your program fee. These field trips may take students to Costa Da Lagoa, Anhatomirim Island and Fortress, Lagoinha do Leste, Santo Amaro de Imperatriz and Ilha Do Campeche to swim in crystal clear blue ocean waters.

Program Dates

Fall: Late August to mid-December
Spring: Early January to mid-May
Summer Session I: Late May to late June
Summer Session II: Early July to early August

For More Information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application with USAC, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa.
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353

The University

Entrance to the University

Classes are taken at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), which is the third largest university in the country. UFSC has an enrollment of nearly 35,000 students. It is known throughout Latin America for its leadership in research. Its green, spacious, and modern campus is relatively new and is located in a lively part of the city. The campus is close to markets, stores and cafes. The locals refer to the university as “oofski” or “the Federal”.

The City

Looking onto the mainland of Florianópolis

Called “Floripa” by the locals Florinanópolis is the capital of the state of Santa Catarina. It is located in the southeastern part of Brazil and has a population of roughly 425,000 residents. The city is bustling but yet relaxed and is located partly on the mainland and partly on the island of Santa Catarina. Floripa and its different neighborhoods are urban and lively while maintaining a laid-back atmosphere. The average high temperature in January (summer) is 84°F with average low temperatures in the 70s. The average daily temperature in July (winter) is 69°F with average lows near 55°F.

The Country

Brazil occupies 47% of the continent of South America and is recognized as having the greatest biological diversity in the world. It is a democratic republic with the classic tripartite branches of government, executive, legislative, and judicial under a checks and balances system which is formally established by the constitution. Brazil’s culture is derived from Portuguese culture but is heavily influenced by African, indigenous and non-Portuguese European cultures. Brazilian cuisine varies greatly by region reflecting the country{s varying mix of indigenous and immigrant populations. Brazil has been the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

Beach and mountain on the island

All accommodations are located in the center of the island, as close to the university as possible. Students have two options: Homestays and Share Apartments.

  • Homestays Staying with a host family is an excellent way for students to immerse themselves in Brazilian culture, and quickly improve their Portuguese language skills. Host families will welcome you and provide various services including all meals.
  • Shared Apartments This option involves living with USAC and other international students close to the university. It offers a bit more independence and is good for students with particularly strict dietary requirements.


US Citizens

If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for a visa or leaving the United States.

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Travel Arrangements

Students make their own travel arrangements to arrive in Brazil by a designated date. Specific information will be provided in post-acceptance materials from USAC .

Local Transportation

Beached boat with street art

The university is served well by a regular bus service. The public bus system has nine terminals. The terminals are like hubs for bus services connecting different regions of the city and island so students can get nearly everywhere.


This program is open to UI students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing - It is the policy of the UI Study Abroad office that all students who study abroad must be in both good academic standing and good disciplinary standing at the time of their application. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad. In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance and will not be allowed to study abroad. Any student who must forfeit their acceptance and/or attendance on a study abroad program due to a probationary status is wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.


    Costs charged to the U-Bill

    • Application fee (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Course Fee- Includes program course fee, tuition, housing, meals, pre-departure advising, group flight airport pick-up, orientation, program-organized field trips, and host university student photo and ID card. (charged shortly before departure)
    • University of Iowa Study Abroad Administrative Fee (charged shortly before departure)
    • The mandatory Iowa Regents International CISI Health Insurance (charged shortly before departure)

    Out-of-pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

    • Food (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Round trip airfare (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Local transportation (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
    • Passport (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Consular and visa fees (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Textbooks, copyright permission fees, course packets, and other course-related materials (paid upoon arrival to your host country)
    • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Personal expenses and personal travel (paid by student as needed while abroad)
    • Rental or purchase of required cell phone- does not include usage fees (paid as needed while abroad)

    Cost Sheet

    The cost sheet outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid and planning purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

    Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session.

    PDFUSAC Florianópolis Progrm Cost Sheet for Summer 2022 Sessions I and II.

    Scholarships & Financial Aid

    Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options. Scholarship opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities.

    USAC funding opportunites are available for students participating in a USAC program. The comprehensive list of scholarships is detailed on USAC's Scholarships and Discounts webpage.

    How to Apply

    Steps to Studying Abroad

    1. Before initiating an application with USAC, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa.
    2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
    3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

    Students will need to complete a University of Iowa Study Abroad application and a USAC Online application. Information on these applications will come from the study abroad advisor. Final admissions decision is made by USAC.

    Application Deadline

    Fall and Academic Year: February 24
    Spring: September 24
    Summer: March 4

    Acceptance & Confirmation Materials

    Coming Soon


    It is highly recommended that students review the following information:

    Health & Safety Planning

  • Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information
  • Health Abroad
  • Safety and Security Abroad
  • Visa

  • Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago (for visa information)
  • Diversity and Identity Abroad

  • Race and Ethnicity Abroad
  • LGBTQ Identity Abroad
  • Students with Disabilities Abroad
  • First-Generationa and Non-Traditional Students Abroad
  • Orientation

    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. In addition to orientations provided UI Study Abroad, USAC may have other required pre-departure orientations and information. Please see below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad for University of Iowa purposes. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to the University of Iowa including, but not limited to, billing, insurance, the Credit Approval Form (CAF), and transcripts. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on the type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    USAC Orientation

    USAC provides students with pre-departure documents in their USAC GATEWAY that include such topics as; Visa Guide, Arrival Guide, Site specific COVID guidelines, Pre-Departure Timeline, Packing Lists, Study Abroad Toolkit, and On-site wellness guide. In addition to the information on the USAC Gateway, USAC has a Virtual Orientation for students and parents and students will have one mandatory advising Zoom or phone session with USAC. Moreover, USAC has site-specific webinars with enrolled students and/or on-site staff.

    Night picture of the bridge in Florianópolis
    Federal University of Santa Catarina Office building
    Our Lady of Exile and St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral