National Registration Center for Study Abroad
To speak with a NRCSA staff member, please call (888) 678-6211
Or, email us at
Home Register Request Info/Brochure Selecting A Program Top Choice Programs Academic Credit About NRCSA NRCSA Past Participants Contact Us


Sucre, Bolivia
Maceio, Brazil
San Jose, Costa Rica
Quito, Ecuador
2 Weeks Minimum
Quito, Ecuador
4 Weeks Minimum
La Ceiba, Honduras
Cuzco, Peru
2 Weeks Minimun
Cuzco, Peru
4 Weeks Minimum
Cuzco, Peru
12 Weeks Minimum

Brazil Volunteer Program  

City Information

is the capital of the state of Alagoas, in northeastern Brazil, with a population of approximately 325,000 people. It is situated below low bluffs between the Atlantic Ocean and the Norte (or Mundaú) Lagoon. Formerly called Macayo, the city dates from 1815, when a small settlement there was made a villa. In 1839 it became capital of Alagoas and was given city status. Though much of the colonial buildings are gone, giving way to modern architecture, there still remains the Government Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Church of Bom Jesús dos Mártires.

Maceio has an outdoor market of local crafts ranging from dresses and t-shirts to handmade jewelry and hammocks. Many unique gifts can be found to take back to loved ones. The city offers a number of bars and discotheques, both on the beach and in the city, with live music or recorded Brazilian music playing. The cinema in Maceio has current Portuguese language films made in Brazil and abroad. The city also offers a wide range of annual events and the most famous are the street parties such as Maceio Fest (an out-of-season carnival in November) and, of course, the traditional Carnival in February.

You could volunteer in

  •   Medical Volunteer
  •   Teaching English to Street Children
  •   Teaching and Community Development

The Program

This volunteer program is for people interested in learning about sustainable solutions to poverty. All volunteers will work in partnership with local people in a variety of community-based projects. This unique program offers exciting hands-on work opportunities, meaningful cultural immersion, and enriching language program.

The volunteer program is in conjunction with a group portuguese program, for anyone from absolute beginner to advanced levels. Courses are focused on conversation, though there may be some writing requirements to be completed at home. Approximately 95% of class time is conducted in Portuguese. The textbook is excellent, and was developed at the University of Sao Paulo.

Group Intensive Portuguese 20 hours per week. Students receive 4 lessons of group instruction daily, Monday through Friday. Classes are held morning or afternoon, depending on number of students.

Classes can begin on any Monday for all levels of intermediate and advanced students, or one to two dates per month for beginners. Lessons are 50 minutes in duration with three or four 10 minute breaks taken. The content of the classes depends on the level of the student. Groups will have a minimum of 2 and maximum of 5 students.

The volunteer program includes:

• Group - 20 Hours per Week in Group of 2-5 Students per class
• Homestay - Single Room with 2 meals daily.
• Placement Testing
• Arrival Transfer included from Maceio Airport
• 1-2 Organized Activities Weekly*
• Access to E-mail
• Access to Multimedia Learning Center
• Certificate of Completion
• Pre-Departure Information
• Planning Guide
• Medical, Accident and Sickness Coverage **
• Medivac Coverage
• Other Travel Coverage (repatriation, baggage, personal effects, accidental death and dismemberment etc.)
• 24 Hour Emergency Multilingual Hotline (call collect from anywhere in the world)

      * Entrance fees, transportation, etc. may be at additional cost.
      ** See policy for definitions and exclusions.


Homestays Live with a Brazilian family to experience the day-to-day lifestyle and practice Portuguese with your host family. Families are carefully selected, ensuring a clean and comfortable home, a single, private bedroom and convenient location to the school. Hot running water is available in most homestays.

2 meals daily (café da manha and jantar) are included in the homestay. Rice and beans are a dietary staple, as is fruit and meat. For lunch, there are many "self-service" restaurants with excellent food charged by the kilo.

The NRCSA Center

Our center is located in two adjoining buildings with a house-like structure, the quaint environment enhancing the intimate atmosphere provided to students. There are 10 classrooms, 2 equipped with computer, TV, VCR, and audio. The facilities also include a fully equipped kitchen for Brazilian cooking classes. The classrooms are intermingled with staff offices to facilitate the personal and friendly assistance our Center upholds. The two buildings are separated by a lush garden where students, faculty and staff relax and enjoy Maceio's tropical climate. Students, professors, and administrators also get together on weekends to take advantage of the grill on the grounds, a favorite Brazilian pastime.

Since 1991 our school has been devoted to providing high quality, personalized language instruction, specializing in Portuguese for non-Brazilians, along with English and Spanish for Brazilians and students from other exchange countries.

All teachers are professional and experienced native instructors, degree holding and trained in the school's direct approach to language teaching. They are from various parts of Brazil, allowing for exposure to different accents, expressions and styles of teaching.

While studying in Maceio students can take advantage of the following services:

• Business Center - Business center facilities with free use of Internet, computer, printer and fax.
• Currency Exchange - The school can exchange U.S. dollars in the form of traveler's checks, cash, and personal checks. For other currencies and monetary systems, they may be able to assist students. The process requires approximately 24 hours to complete the transaction.
• Mail Service - Personal mail can be sent and received by students.


Excursions,Cultural & Social Activities: The school arranges excursions on the weekend, once every two weeks, in and around the cities of Maceio. These excursions are organized and led by subject-matter experts or the school's staff to both cultural and environmental attractions, beaches, etc., such as Praia de Pajucara, Maceio's main attraction, with jangadas (small sailing boats) that take visitors to the picinas naturais (tidal pools).

Other Activities include:
• Café Regional: Every first week of the month, students, teachers and friends get together in school to have a typical evening meal and even take the opportunity to participate in karaoke.
• Ritmos Nordestinos: See a show of Northeastern Brazilian rhythms and dances in a historic setting.
• Futebol: Watch a Brazilian Major Soccer League match.
• Capoeira: Visit a Capoeira school to learn about this Brazilian martial art.
• Passeio das 9 ilhas: Boat ride along Lagoa Mundau, with stops to visit some of its islands.
• União dos Palmares: Visit to Quilombo dos Palmares, one of the biggest colonies of runaway slaves.
• Piscina Natural: Take a trip in a small sail boat to Pajuçara's tidal pools where one can do snorkeling and hand-feed small fishes.

Travel Assistance: As a member of a group travel agency, the school can help those students interested in arranging travel within Brazil during or after their language program.

Dates & Fees

NRCSA | Volunteer
Volunteer Program   Register  
  2010 Dates: Beginners start on select dates.
All other levels may start any Monday.

  4 weeks: $ 2,216
  6 weeks: $ 3,839
  4 weeks of classes and 4 weeks of volunteer 8 weeks: $ 2,911

Volunteer Program: The volunteer program is for people interested in learning about sustainable solutions to poverty. All volunteers will work in partnership with local people in a variety of community-based projects. This unique program offers exciting hands-on work opportunities, meaningful cultural immersion, and enriching language program.

HOW TO APPLY Send your registration with your resume and an introduction letter describing yourself, your background in the Portuguese language, and the type of internship you are interested in/why you are qualified for that type of position.

  •   Click here to see more details of the program...

National Registration Center for Study Abroad
P.O. Box 1393    Milwaukee, WI   53201   USA
Tel: (414) 278-0631    Fax: (414) 271-8884    E-Mail:
Articles - News