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Country Handbook

Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado

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Program Snapshot

Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) in Brazil offers the best of many worlds. São Paulo, the largest city in the southern hemisphere, is a political, economic, and cultural hub. This bustling metropolis is ideal for international relations or business majors looking to understand the Latin American perspective on world issues. The multitude of museums and theaters are also fantastic for students studying the arts.

“I learned quite a lot about not only Brazil as a rising power, but the rest of Latin America as well. The activities outside of the classroom, like art expositions, film festivals, and academic lectures were my absolute favorites because they attracted the entire FAAP students, faculty, and staff into one cultural melting pot! It was an indescribable experience to live in a country like Brazil, a city like São Paulo, and study at a university like FAAP; simply, an outstanding experience!” -- ISEP Student

FAAP is located in one of the most traditional districts of São Paulo, called Higienópolis. Founded in 1554 by Jesuits priests, São Paulo is the main city of Brazil.

The fourth largest city in the world and the largest of South America, São Paulo was born destined to be the economical and cultural heart of the country.

São Paulo is also the largest port for all foreign visitors with a total of 1,345,000 arrivals by air per year. The business tourism and events, place São Paulo as a very important door for “Mercosur” and a straight line to all main cities in the world.

Entertainment and Art have the face of São Paulo; there is a feeling of culture everywhere. The city has 223 cinemas, 92 theatres, 11 cultural centers, 70 museums, and a dozen of historical buildings. The five amusements parks and the great number of leisure places are the icons of the city. São Paulo has 7 large soccer stadiums and the automobile racecourse of Interlagos, seat of the World Championship of Formula I, the only one in the entire Latin America.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year or semester
ISEP Direct: undergraduate programs available for an academic year, semester, or summer

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.
ISEP-Direct site for students from all member institutions.
Summer program available.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chance of placement is generally Good for US students.
ISEP Exchange change of placement is generally Good for I-to-I students.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.

ISEP Direct chance of placement is Excellent.

Program Dates
Academic year: February through December
Semester 1: February through June
Semester 2: July through December
Please note that this site observes the Southern Hemisphere academic calendar. If you want to study for a full-year in the southern hemisphere, consider starting your program at the beginning of their academic year in February or March. Some institutions offer annual rather than semester courses. For southern hemisphere programs, ISEP benefits do apply during the recess between semesters (June-July), whereas they do NOT apply between the end of one academic year and the beginning of a new academic year (December to February-March).

Information about ISEP Direct fees and deadlines.

The ISEP-Direct program fee includes the benefit package for: Tuition, Housing,
Meals and Insurance

ISEP-Direct Program fees:
Summer 2016: $3,750

Regular Program
U.S. Full Year 16-17: $26,450
U.S. Semester 1 16-17: $14,750
U.S. Semester 2 16-17: $15,500

Extensive Portuguese Program*
U.S. Full Year 16-17: $24,250
U.S. Semester 1 16-17: $12,950
U.S. Semester 2 16-17: $13,250

Study in English Program
US Semester 1 16-17: $13,950
US Semester 2 16-17: $14,600

*Single “Study in English” courses can be taken additionally for $950

**1st semester Extensive Portuguese Program, 2nd semester Regular Program or EPC

For priority consideration, applications for the following semester should be received before February 15 and September 1 unless otherwise noted. Rolling admissions are considered for ISEP-Direct before these final application deadlines:
SM1: May 1, 2016
SM2: November 1, 2016

Summer Program
Study Portuguese in vibrant São Paulo while learning Brazilian song and dance, cooking, and jewelry-making. This five-week Brazilian Language, History, and Culture program includes several cultural activities, two literature classes, and a tour of Downtown São Paulo where students experience authentic cuisine in the traditional Mercado Municipal. Students can live in a homestay, student house, or hostel.

See summer program information

Fast Facts
São Paulo, Brazil (pop. 11 million)
Student Enrollment: 13,000
Language of instruction: Portuguese
University Home Page
Regular Program Course Information (Option 1)
Extensive Portuguese Course Information (Option 2)
Study in English (Option 3)
International Office Home Page

Option 1: ISEP Exchange and ISEP Direct: Academic Year or Semester - Regular Courses
  • School of Arts (Architecture, Fashion, Fine Arts, Industrial Design)
  • School of Business (Business Management)
  • School of Communications (Advertising, Cinema, Public Relations, Radio and TV)
  • School of Computer Science (Information Technology)
  • School of Law (Law)
  • School of Economics (Economics, International Relations)
  • School of Engineering (Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering)
Option 2: ISEP Direct: Academic Year or Semester - Extensive Portuguese Course

The Extensive Portuguese Course at FAAP offers language learning and practice in the contexts of culture, history, geography, literature, and current events. Students enroll in either Portuguese I or II (subject to minimum enrollment requirements; 285 credit hours each per semester), which consist of Portuguese language instruction as well as subject-specific instruction in Portuguese. Students are evaluated by class participation, completion of assignments, written evaluation, and oral presentation. All courses are instructed in Portuguese.

Students may concurrently enroll in one or more courses within the Study in English program for an additional fee.

Option 3: ISEP Direct: Semester - Study in English

The Study in English program at FAAP offers courses primarily focusing on business and international studies. Students can take up to six (6) courses in English. English courses in the past have included subjects such as Doing Business in Brazil, Human Rights, and Environment and Social Change in Brazil.

Courses taught in English
FAAP offers a limited selection of courses in English.

Option 1: Students on the Regular program can enroll in 1-3 courses in English, in addition to their subjects instructed in Portuguese, under ISEP benefits. Students taking the Regular program MUST either be advanced Spanish speakers or have an intermediate level of Portuguese.

Option 2: Students on the Extensive Portuguese Course can take additional courses in English, but there is an extra fee per course in English.

Option 3: Students on the Study in English program can take up to six (6) courses in English. The course offering can vary every semester.

Go to the Study in English page for more information.

Courses for Graduate (Masters) Level
Graduate Programs - Executive MBA; Professional MBA Specialization Programs - Financial and Business Management, Business Management, Business Management for Engineers and Architectures, Marketing Management, Banks Business Administration, Human Resources Management, International Trade, Written and Oral Communication, Engineering in the Medical Practice, Urban Engineering, IT Strategies, City Manager, Sports Management, Basic Sanitation Manager, Business Logistic, Marketing of Services Management, Strategic Management of Manufacturing, Arts History, Real State Business, Entrepreneurial Planning and Controlling, Planning and Management of Events, Communication Process for Engineers and Architects, International Relations, Telecommunications Technology, Technology in the Surfaces’ Treatment, Technology and Environmental Management, Marketing Management of the Retail Market, Engineering and Work Safety, Corporative Governance and Relationship with Investors, Structures in Prestressed Concrete, Product Design, Theory and Mechanisms of the Financial Market, Packaging Technology, Cinema Review, TV Sport Programs Production, Technology and Business Management based on Free Software, Master in Digital Arts, Fashion Management, International Business Law and International Trade Law.

Academic Notes
FAAP offers small classes and individualized programs. ISEP students are welcome to attend and combine courses in all fields of study provided they have the appropriate level of Portuguese and preparation for the classes they choose.

Extension courses - Photography as Art, Art, Myth and Rite in the XX Century, Creating Jewels and Gems, Digital Photography (Basic), Experimental Cinema in the Perspective of the Visual Anthropology, Sculpture, Jewels Design, Art Philosophy and Esthetic, History of Design, Afro-Brazilian History and Culture, History of Fashion, Introduction of the Animation Techniques, General History of Western Art (from the Origins to the Middle Age), The Sound in Scene, Video and Television Workshop, Painting, Techniques in Illumination, Creativity and Theater.

“Drawing classes of the human figure I found especially interesting… these classes not only taught me how to draw human figure better, but also gave me a place and a time for concentration and attentiveness. These two will be needed in my medical studies back home in Finland.” -- ISEP Student

Option 1: Students typically enroll in 8-9 classes per term which averages to 16-20 hours in class per week. A term runs for 18-19 weeks.

Option 2: Students enroll in a Portuguese language couse, as well as an Introduction to Brazilian History and Culture course, totaling 285 contact hours per term. A term runs for 18-19 weeks.

Option 3: Students typically enroll in 5-6 classes per term which averages to 12-16 hours in class per week. A term runs for 18-19 weeks.


Transcripts are generally released in August for Semester 1 and January for Semester 2. Full year transcripts are sent as per the final semester. Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student’s home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes
Option 1: ISEP Exchange and ISEP Direct: Regular University Courses
Language Requirement: A minimum of 4 semesters of university-level Portuguese (Intermediate level) or an advanced Spanish level (native speaker or equivalent) must be completed prior to program. Spanish speakers that do not have an Intermediate level of Portuguese will be required to enroll in the 5-week pre-session intensive language program. The tuition for the pre-session program is included, but room and board is an additional fee.
Language Courses: A 5-week intensive Portuguese language course is offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year or semester for the Intermediate level.
Pre-session: A 5-week pre-session, intensive Portuguese language course is offered before both semesters for an additional fee for Intermediate level students.

Option 2: ISEP Direct: Extensive Portuguese Course
Language Requirement: This program is designed for students without enough knowledge of the Portuguese language to enroll in regular courses. Students should have between 0-2 semesters of university-level Portuguese or the equivalent prior to program.
Language Courses:Students participating in this program have Portuguese language courses built into the curriculum for beginning or intermediate levels.
Pre-session: A 5-week pre-session, intensive Portuguese language course is offered before both semesters for an additional fee. Please note the pre-session program for students on the Extensive Portuguese Couse is only available to Advanced level Spanish speakers.

Option 3: ISEP Direct: Study in English
Language Requirement: This program is designed for students without enough knowledge of the Portuguese language to enroll in regular courses. No prior knowledge of the Portuguese language is required.
Language Courses: A 5-week intensive Portuguese language course is offered in addition to the classes in English during the semester for the beginning level.
Pre-session: A 5-week pre-session, intensive Portuguese language course is offered before both semesters for an additional fee.

Additional Information:
For more information on courses and language options, see the:
ISEP Portuguese Language Advising Guide for US Students
ISEP Portuguese Language Advising Guide for I-to-I Students

The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Special ISEP Application Instructions
Sophomores may apply.

Hints for Researching Courses
Option 1: Regular University Courses
1. Go to the Regular Program Course Information page to find a list and description of courses offered at FAAP.
2. If you are studying January-June, only the classes listed in the ODD-NUMBERED semesters will be available to you. If you are studying July-December, only the classes listed in the EVEN-NUMBERED semesters will be available to you. The annual courses are year-long courses instructed during the Southern Hemisphere academic full year (January – December)

Note: The courses may not be available each semester. Some courses are full-year only (January – December) and these are known as annual. Upon receipt of your application, the ISEP coordinator at FAAP will confirm whether or not your desired courses are available during your requested study period.

Option 2: Extensive Portuguese Course
1. Students take a Portuguese language course, as well as a Brazilian History and Culture course. All courses are instructed in Portuguese.
2. Students enroll in either Extensive Portuguese Course I or Extensive Portuguese Course II. Extensive Portuguese I and Extensive Portuguese II are offered both semesters (subject to minimum enrollment requirement). Students will be contacted by FAAP to determine exact language proficiency level.

Option 3: Study in English
1. Students on the Study in English program can take up to six (6) courses in English. The course offering can vary every semester.
2. Go to the Study in English page to find the list and description of courses available on this program.

Housing and Meals
Students are housed in either a student house or a homestay. In a homestay, students will live in a shared apartment with a Brazilian and other international students. In the student house, students will live in a shared room with other international students. All students will receive stipends to pay for meals. The meal stipend will be equivalent to 19 meals per week, which can be used to prepare meals, purchase meals at a cafeteria, or purchase meals from restaurant. FAAP also has a cafeteria on campus.


You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: optional fees (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month are estimated at $500 Brazilian reais.

The orientation program introduces the student to FAAP and the city of São Paulo. All international students will have an “Orientation Meeting” and an “Integration Meeting”. The orientation meeting provides information about the city of São Paulo, the neighborhood “Higienópolis”, the institution and the different internal procedures and rules that the students must follow during the semester. The integration meeting is an event organized by FAAP’s Portuguese Language Professors and consists of games aiming to integrate the international students into Brazilian culture. During the semester, the International Office will organize more integration events.


Students arriving on the Official Arrival Date can arrange for pickup through FAAP at the Guarulhos International Airport.

FAAP was a small foundation destined to help and develop Fine Arts in 1947. Today it is considered one of the most important and respected academic institutions in Brazil and houses the following schools: Arts, Business, Communications, Law, Economics, Engineering and Computer Science; besides FAAP - Graduate School, the Executive MBA (considered one of the best courses in Brazil) and a High School.

With over 13,000 students and 750 current professors, FAAP is also present in the cultural area through the MAB - Museum of Brazilian Art and the FAAP theatre.

But it is in the formation of students that Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado stands out in the academic scenario. It is considered an institution that prepares future leaders of the country in business, public, cultural and artistic spheres. Its main mission is to foment both teaching and arts, permitting the student an all round formation as human beings. In the classrooms, professional specialization meets the requirements of modern production, based on new technologies, concepts of productivity and total quality. Besides preparing the youth to full exercise the citizenship, FAAP is committed to a national project for development and social well being.

What Past Students have to Say
Read photo essays from students who have studied at FAAP: