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Brazilian Carnival: Music and Dance

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:



Rio de Janeiro, Brazil




• Clear interest and commitment

• Demonstrated preparedness/maturity

• Minimum 2.5 GPA (flexible- contact your UI Study Abroad advisor)

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Completion of at least one semester of college-level study at the time the program begins

• Interest in related disciplines

• Faculty approval


• Participation in orientation programming

Application Due:


Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

This course is designed to provide students with an amazing opportunity to explore interdisciplinary and foundational learning in the area of popular culture, trough interactions and explorations of samba and carnival in Brazil. Through literature, video showings, on-site presentations and practice of the Brazilian samba, students are exposed to aspects present in the dance, music, historical and social contents; production; critical theories of performance; religious backgrounds; and theatre making in the carnival parades in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – from current to centuries-old tradition. The course includes various on-site classes and activities where students are invited to interact, explore, critique, practice, and share their experiences as visitors. In addition, tours to local attractions, historical sites, museums, soccer stadiums, as well as a variety of other cultural performances are also included.

Video From a Past Program

Academic Program

The course includes readings on a regular basis, on-site presentations followed by discussions, direct interaction with locals, guest presentations and practice of the Samba and other related Brazilian popular art forms.

Program Director

Armando Duarte, Professor, Contemporary Choreographer, Researcher of the Brazilian Popular Culture, and Director of Dance Production joined the UI in 1993. He has received numerous awards at Iowa and elsewhere throughout his career and has created works for companies in the US, Brazil and other countries, with more than half of his repertory being based or related to his native Brazilian culture.

In Brazil, he has directed workshops and offered lectures for universities and professional companies such as, the São Paulo Companhia de Danças, Bale da Cidade de São Paulo, as well as at the prestigious Escola de Bale do teatro Bolshoi do Brasil among others.

Currently, his academic research involves an in-depth investigation on the Brazilian popular culture of Samba and Carnival, for what he created courses at Iowa (Brazilian Culture and Carnival - DANC: 1150:0001 and Brazilian Carnival, music, dance, design and street performance -165:894) that offers students theoretical and practice experiences on many aspects related to Samba and Carnival in Brazil. He has shared lectures on the subject at the University of New Mexico, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, San Diego State University, Ohio State University, Denison University, Augustana College and other institutions. In addition, he has attended conferences throughout the US, including presentations in San Antonio, TX (2011), Washington, DC (2013), New Orleans, LA (2014), Seattle, WA (2016), San Diego, CA (2017) and Indianapolis, IN (2018).

At the University of Iowa, he is a two-time winner of the Iowa Old Gold Summer Fellowship; and has received several grants from the Support Program for Arts and Humanities, the Arts and Humanities Initiative Program, and most recently the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies Interdisciplinary Research Grant. Professor Duarte is thrilled and honored with the opportunity of leading another group of UI students to Brazil in the Summer 2020.

Transcripts and Grading

Participants are awarded a University of Iowa transcript, and are graded using US letter grades.

This course provides 3 semester hours (sh) of credit.

Applying credit toward a UI degree

You will receive general elective credit for this course, unless UI Study Abroad has an approval on file for the course to be applied toward a specific major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement.

If you plan to apply the credit you receive for your program course to a major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, contact your UI study abroad advisor for details on the process.

Cultural Activities

The exact program itinerary varies from year to year. A current itinerary, subject to modification, will be provided for participants prior to departure. See below for a sample itinerary from a previous program:

Program Dates

Program dates vary by session. Dates for future sessions are expected to be similar to previous sessions, and will be finalized by early spring.

Dates for the Summer 2020 session are May 17 - June 7.

For More Information

Questions about the academic content of the program can be directed to Faculty Director Armando Duarte, Professor, Department of Dance:

Questions about other program logistics can be directed to your UI study abroad advisor:

Leslie McNeilus
Study Abroad | International Program
1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

Tel: +319-335-0353
Fax: +319-335-0343

Rio de Janiero

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second largest city, lies on the southern Atlantic coastline. Flanked by stunning mountains, white-sand beaches and lush rainforests, Rio occupies one of the most breathtaking settings of the world’s great cities. Rio is home to Brazil’s world-famous Carnival celebrations, where samba music and dance are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. There is always a celebration happening in Rio, whether it’s an impromptu music jam in the street, festivities at soccer matches or a weekend Samba party. It truly is a city full of life!


Situated on the continent of South America, Brazil is the largest country on the continent and the fifth largest in the world. This enormous country is known for its rich cultural history, dazzling beaches, immaculate rain forests and incomparable metropolises. Owing to the country's continental dimensions, varied geography, history and people, the Brazil’s culture is picturesque and diverse. It has several regional variations, and in spite of being mostly unified by a single language, some regions are so distinct from one other that they appear to be different countries altogether. With so much diversity to discover, it's little surprise that Brazilians often say 'Deus e Brasileiro' (God is Brazilian).

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

Students will be housed in centrally located hostel in Rio.


UI Study Abroad will designate a suggested group flight by early spring. Participants will make their own travel arrangements to Brazil with guidance from UI Study Abroad and are advised to take part in this suggested itinerary.

The cost of travel is not included in the course fee.

Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from UI Study Abroad.

If you need advice on making travel arrangements, contact your UI study abroad advisor.


This program is open to students attending US institutions, and who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment: This program is open to students of all academic backgrounds. Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity: Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA: Students must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a GPA below 2.5 may be considered for the program, but will be interviewed by the faculty director in order to make a final acceptance decision.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa, or at another US college or university where the applicant is enrolled in a degree program. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program.
  • Completion of at least one semester of college-level study: First-year student applicants should be prepared to provide at least two academic references when submitting their application materials.
  • Suggested interest in the subject area: A declared major, minor, or strong interest in any of the following areas is suggested: Dance, Music, Theater Arts, Performing Arts, Sociology, Anthropology, African American Studies, Latin American Studies or Spanish and Portuguese
  • Approval By faculty director and UI Study Abroad: Applications will be reviewed by the program’s faculty director, and students will be accepted based on their eligibility, a grade report, an academic recommendation, and a statement of purpose.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming: Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming.

Participants who are enrolled at institutions other than the University of Iowa

Students who attend institutions other than the University of Iowa must also contact their home school study abroad office to review any additional study abroad requirements.


Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.

The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid 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. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.

Cost Sheets

Cost sheets for the Summer 2020 session will be available by mid-spring 2020.

Calculating Fees

The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:

Cost sheets do not include the following optional costs:

Personal Travel Costs

Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.

The cost of personal travel depends entirely on each student’s individual travel plans and spending habits. Estimates for personal travel costs provided by past students on this program vary significantly from $400 to as much as $2,000 or more per session.

Costs charged to the U-Bill

  • Application fee (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
  • Course Fees Includes housing, breakfast, course-related excursions (charged shortly before departure)
  • Study Abroad Fees (charged shortly before departure)
  • 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 from Cedar Rapids (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Local transportation (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
  • Passport (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Immigration fees (paid by student as needed prior to departure or on arrival to the host country, before financial aid/scholarships disburse. See the Immigration/Visa section under the Predeparture tab for more information.)
  • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
  • Personal expenses (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
  • Cell phone (paid as needed while abroad)
  • Textbooks (paid as needed while abroad)
  • Personal travel expenses (paid as needed while abroad)

How to Apply

Students Attending the University of Iowa

  • Meet with your academic advisor(s) to discuss how this program might fit your graduation plans, and to ensure that it meets your academic and personal goals.
  • If you and your academic advisor agree that this program is a good match for you, complete the UI Study Abroad application. Please note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
  • Submit the online application before the application deadline.
  • The faculty director and UI Study Abroad will review your application materials and, if you meet the requirements for the program, you will be contacted with your acceptance status within 2 -3 weeks.

Students Attending Other Universities

  • Contact the study abroad office at your home institution and ensure you follow all of the policies and procedures required for you to participate in this program.
  • Contact UI study abroad advisor Leslie McNeilus by email at to request an application for the program.
  • Complete the UI Study Abroad application. Please note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your University of Iowa U-Bill as part of this online application.
  • Submit the online application before the application deadline.
  • The faculty director and your study abroad advisor will review your application materials and, if you meet the requirements for the program, you will be contacted with your acceptance status within several weeks.



If you are accepted to the program, you will be asked to commit to participating in your program by submitting the University of Iowa Confirmation of Participation form by mid-March.

After you have formally confirmed your plans to participate, your UI study abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.

Application Deadline

Applications for the Summer 2020 session are be due by mid-February 2020.

Applications for the Summer 2020 session will be available by early January 2020.

Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

After you have received an email from UI Study Abroad indicating that you have been formally accepted to the program, have reviewed the estimated costs, and you are ready to commit to participating in this program, you will need to complete the following steps:

All Students

Thoroughly review the following sections of text:

  • Financial Aid & Scholarships
  • Immigration/Visa
  • Orientation
  • Passport
  • Predeparture Resources

Financial Aid & Scholarships

You can find information about options for funding your study abroad experience, including financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc, on UI Study Abroad’s Funding Website.


All program participants are required to complete immigration requirements to enter and study in your host country. UI Study Abroad and your program provider/host institution abroad will provide you with immigration instructions prior to departure.

Note that permission to enter and study in your host country is provided exclusively by the host country’s government based on that country's immigration requirements. Your host country’s immigration requirements may include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to receive permission to enter the country in some cases. Contact your UI study abroad advisor for more information.

It is essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration materials before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are absolutely complete and accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration materials are in order and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration materials contain inaccurate information of any kind, contact your UI study abroad advisor immediately to discuss your options.

Do not take steps to complete your host country’s immigration requirements until you receive more information from UI Study Abroad.

Review the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website for further guidance on the immigration/visa process.


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. 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 your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.


All students need a valid passport to participate in this program. You can find details about applying for a passport on the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website.

Predeparture Resources

UI Study Abroad offers a variety of general predeparture resources. Review the following materials, and feel free to pass them along to your family or other loved ones to help them understand more about your upcoming program.

These materials may be periodically updated to reflect new program information prior to departure- contact your study abroad advisor for more information.

Please note that your program provider and host institution may provide you with additional predeparture materials specific to your study abroad program. Also review those materials, share them with your family, and refer back to them if you have any questions.