1. Could I start to learn a new language in another country even though I don’t speak a word of that language now?
Our program is effective because we offer abundant opportunities for you to practice what you’ve learned in real situations: whether you’re socializing, dancing, doing yoga, etc, you are always talking to people and improving your Portuguese. However, we offer no miracles. For those who know nothing and are anxious to learn as quickly as possible, we suggest buying a basic grammar book prior to arrival and getting a head start. For everyone else, the experience offers plenty of practice and the chance to become accustomed to being spoken to in Portuguese.
2. Do we speak in Portuguese 100% of the time?
We speak in Portuguese the majority of time. Keeping in mind many of you don’t yet have conversational ability, we make sure that everyone follows all that’s being done or said, while picking up new vocabulary, phrases and grammar every step of the way. From complete novices to those already fluent, everyone should be prepared to challenge themselves within our fun and supportive environment. You set the limits.
3. How long will it take me to learn Portuguese?
This is different for every person. It depends, of course, on your previous knowledge and language learning experience. For instance, if you have studied one or two other languages in addition to your native language, learning another one will be easier. As a guideline we say that somebody with no knowledge at all needs approximately 4-6 months for fluency.
4. How will you know my language level?
The first day in school all students take a diagnostic placement test, which will test your reading and listening comprehension as well as grammar and vocabulary. During the course students’ progress is closely monitored by the teacher.
5. Can a student at a very advanced level of the language take a Step1 course?
Of course! If you are at an advanced level your course will focus on fine tuning your language abilities to gain the subtleties and nuances of your study language.
6. What qualifications do my teachers have?
All teachers are native speakers, have college degrees, and have experience teaching their language to foreigners. In addition to their professional credentials, they are selected for their ability to keep students entertained and interested during their classes.
7. I want to learn Portuguese but do not have much time to spend in Brazil. Which course is best for me?
For motivated students with limited time, we recommend our intensive course. This one-on-one all day program will propel you to a higher language proficiency level much more quickly than any other course, and gives you the specialized attention you require to focus on your personal learning needs.
8. Who studies at Step1?
People like you! Our students are interested in seeing the world, learning a language and experiencing new cultures. Possible barriers such as age, race, native language and different backgrounds are all transcended by the camaraderie between our students sharing this wonderful new experience with each other! The majority of our students come from North America and Europe.
9. What types of optional activities are available?
There are all sorts of optional activities available (from sports to special tours) both during the week as well as on the weekend. All optional activities (such as visits to Campeche Island, surfing, yoga, etc.) can be arranged once you’re here.
10. Will my host family live near my school?
We try to find families that live close to our schools. Usually our students do not have to walk more than 15-25 minutes to get to school.
11. What if I want to come to Florianópolis before the course begins?
For participants planning on arriving in Florianópolis before the course starts we can book up to 2 extra days at your accommodation of choice. For instance, extra days at home stays (students’ preferred accommodation) cost USD30 each. Please let us know the dates and number of nights necessary in order to make a booking. This bookings will be made if there’s availability in our home stays.
12. If I have my own accommodation, can I just pay for classes?
Absolutely, you can arrange your own accommodation and pay for classes only.
13. How early should I register?
To guarantee a spot in our school, you should enroll at least four weeks in advance. For registrations less than four weeks before the start date, we cannot guarantee a place in a group class or in a home stay.
14. How should I pay for my courses?
We require an initial deposit of USD100 to secure your enrollment. This deposit is deducted from your course price once you complete your payment. Payment can be completed before your travel to Florianopolis, through Paypal. Or on your first day of classes. However, it should be done on this first day, right after the commencement of your course. Click here for information about pricing.
15. When can I start my classes?
New private students may start any Monday of the year. For group instruction, we usually offer two starting dates per month.
16. What should I bring?
Please pack the same clothes and items you would normally bring on a vacation, keeping in mind seasonal temperature differences (December-March: 25-35 degrees Celsius; April- June: 20-30 Celsius; July-August: 10-25 Celsius; September-November: 20-30 Celsius). In addition, we strongly recommend a Portuguese dictionary. Any other study materials (grammar books, vocabulary lists) are also very helpful for independent study.
18. Will I need a visa, or will a passport be sufficient?
Students of most nationalities will need a visa to come to Brazil. Visas are issued for 90 days and can be renewed for another 90 days. After that, the student would need to leave the country in order to obtain another visa. You should contact the Brazilian embassy in your country in order to get a visa.
19. Can I speak with someone personally about your schools?
Yes! Please feel free to contact us at XX 55 48 3233 6605, via email to [email protected], or adding us on Skype under the name or our coordinator “Miguel Kieling” with any other questions you may have about Step1 courses!