Travel info

Visas

Nationals from some countries need neither a tourist visa nor a business visa to enter Brazil. The list of exempted countries may change without prior notice and it’s important to check with the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate whose jurisdiction you live in whether your country is really exempted.

The list of exempted countries is below. Please note that this may change from time to time and it’s important to check this information before you book your course and flight ticket.

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • OSM Malta
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican

A passport and visa are required if you are coming from the USA, Canada, Australia, Mexico and Japan. Visas are not required if you are coming from most European countries. Brazilian visas must be obtained in advance. Immigration authorities will not allow entry into Brazil without a valid visa. Minors (under 18) traveling alone, with one parent or with a third party, must present written authorization by the absent parent(s) or legal guardian, specifically granting permission to travel alone, with one parent or with a third party.

This authorization must be notarized, authenticated by the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate, and translated into Portuguese. All those traveling on business do need a visa (except nationals of the UK who will be granted an appropriate business visa on arrival, provided holding a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover the duration of stay).

Passports valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry required by all except nationals of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay arriving in Brazil directly from their own countries and holding a national identity card.

Brazilian Embassies & Consulates

Brazilian embassies and consulates are maintained in the following countries:

Australia

19 Forster Crescent, yarralumla, ACT 2600. ((062)732-3772)

Canada

255 Albert ST, Suite 900, Ottawa, Ontario KIP – 6A9 ((613)237-1090)

France

34 Cours Albert, ler, 75008 Paris ((1)259-9250)

Germany

Kurfürstendamm 11, 1 Stock, 1 Berlin 15 ((49)307-26280)

UK

32 Green St, London W1Y 4 AT((0171)499-0877)

USA

630 Fifth Ave, Suite 2720, New York, NY 10111 ((212)757-3080)

Chicago ((312)372-2179)

Houston ((713)961-3065)

Los Angeles ((213)651-2664)

Miami ((305)285-6200)

San Francisco ((212)981-1870)

Embassy/Passport Information

Please use the following links to help you plan your trip.

Foreign Embassies in the US
Embassies Around The World

Documents

It is a good idea to make a photocopy of the front page of your passport and the page with your entry stamp, as well as any other essential documents you may have. It is better to not carry around the originals. By law you must carry a passport with you at all times, but many travelers opt to carry a certified photocopy. A credit card is quite handy, as is a Hostelling International card if you plan to use the albergues da juventude (youth hostels). To rent a car you must have a credit card and a valid driver’s license.

It’s convenient to have several extra passport photographs for any documents or visas you might acquire in Brazil. As a back up for emergencies, it’s handy to have photocopies of the following: your passport (including relevant visas), tourist card (provided when entering Brazil), traveler’s cheque numbers, and airline tickets.

Money

The Brazilian currency is called the Real (R$) and its value to the dollar changes daily. For the past year it has ranged around R$ 3,00 (three Reais) to the dollar. While in Brazil the best place to exchange money is at a “Casa de Câmbio” or exchange house.

Most travel agencies work as exchange houses, and there are several in Florianópolis. They hold fairly normal business hours, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Many banks do not exchange money and those that do apply the official rate, which is usually lower. Bank hours are: 10:00AM to 4:00PM.

We recommend you bring a combination of US dollars (easiest currency to exchange) and US dollar-denominated travelers checks. Do not expect to cash personal checks. All major credit cards are widely accepted and there are many ATMs where it is possible to get cash using your credit card.

Weather

Due to its continental proportions, Brazil has several different climatic zones. Florianópolis has quite warm weather during most of the year.
– The spring months, September to November, have warm temperatures ranging from approximately 20º to 30º Celsius (77º to 95º Fahrenheit), and are normally dry. For much of this season shorts and t-shirts are comfortable during the day, although sometimes it does get cooler, and you’ll need a light jacket in the evening.

– Summer includes the months from December through February and is quite warm. Temperatures often reach above 32º Celsius (90º Fahrenheit) during the heat of the day, and evenings can be hot and humid too. It is advisable to bring light clothes, and a lot of sunscreen.

– The fall includes the months of March, April and May and is very pleasant. Temperatures can vary from 20º to 30º Celsius (68º to 86º Fahrenheit), and it can rain occasionally. For this season you should bring summer clothes along with a warm jacket and a sweater or fleece for cool days or evenings.

– Winters (June, July, August) are mild in Florianópolis. Temperatures during the day usually range between 15º and 25º Celsius (59º and 77º Fahrenheit). Although you should bring warm clothing, there is no need for the heavy attire used for American or European winters.

Health

Brazil has some of the best medical services in Latin America (in the private sector). It is not advisable to use the public hospitals as they are typically under funded. It is a good idea to contract traveler’s insurance prior to leaving home. No vaccinations are required to enter the country. Here are a few useful health tips:

– Use plenty of sunscreen when outside for any length of time, especially at the beach. The sun can be strong and you may get more than that longed-for tan.
– While in Florianópolis, you shouldn’t drink water straight from the tap. Although it is treated, it still has microorganisms. Most people have water filters in their homes, and it is safe to drink from them. While on the street, drink bottled water.

– Food cooked by your host family or in restaurants is usually safe, but it is not advisable to eat food cooked on the street or in eateries that look questionable.
– Unlike the U.S. and Europe many normally prescribed medicines can be purchased over the counter at any pharmacy.

Courtesy Rules

Shaking hands is the customary way of saying both hello and good-bye between men; otherwise two kisses on the cheek (one on each side) are common. It is always very kind to bring a small gift when paying a visit. Suggestions for gifts are: candy, a bottle of liquor, or something local from your hometown.

Communications

Internet:
There are internet cafes all over Florianópolis. There is one close to the school and several in the downtown area and in different suburbs. The price for one hour is about US$1,00.

Telephones:
There are many card-operated public telephones in the city. To make international calls, you will need an international calling card or a local prepaid telephone card. Telephone cards are sold at many kiosks and newsstands and can be purchased for different amounts. The cards may be used in either public or private phones simply by calling the company indicated on the card. Long-distance operators speak Portuguese, English and Spanish.

Mail:
It takes about a week to receive a letter from the U.S. or Europe. Letters from Brazil take about the same to reach the U.S. and Europe. You may use the school’s address to have mail sent to you. If you are in a hurry, there are special mail services that deliver within three or four days that are cheaper than the usual courier services (DHL, Fedex or UPS).

Meals

For most Brazilians, breakfast consists of a cup of coffee and a slice of French bread with butter or cheese, or fruit. The big meal is midday.
Lunch is traditionally eaten between 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM. Many restaurants offer buffets where you pay by the weight. You may help yourself to as much food among those offered and your plate is weighed before you go to your table. Prices vary a lot depending on the kind of restaurant and the foods offered. Restaurants offering regular menus are also available, but they are usually more expensive.