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Program Description:
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Faculty Led -  Tait Chirenje
Study Tour Course

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Program Description:
International Sustainable Development (SUST 2701) is a Spring course that requires Fall semester preparation. Students registered in this course must register for the prep course (ENVL 2500, 2 credits) in the fall to prepare for the trip, which takes place during the first two weeks of January. They must also participate in a weekend preparation trip during or at the end of the Fall semester. SUST 2701 field sites in Brazil include 

  1. Manaus, where we will cover the Amazon River and Rain forest issues, 
  2. Curitiba, where we will discuss urban planning and sustainability, 
  3. Foz do Iguacu where we will cover rain forest and energy issues and 
  4. Rio de Janeiro where we will cover energy, water quality and natural resource conservation). 

SUST 2701 students will also be assigned readings that deal with the issues we will cover during the trip (see similar experiences from Ecuador earlier this year: The draft itinerary and activities in Brazil is included at the end of this document (based on last year's trip - I may change a couple of things here and there). See blogs from last year's Brazil group (link: The packing list is immediately at the end of the itinerary. 

The specific topics we will cover include (and they will be covered in the prep class in the fall):

International Development

Role of International Trade
International Political Economy
Ecotourism, etc

Ecology and Resource Conservation

Neotropical ecology and biodiversity
International Trade in Endangered Species
Forestry, Deforestation and Forest Products, etc 

Environmental Quality

Water issues
Mining and oil exploration
Urban transportation
Air Quality, etc

The learning objectives for each field site are described on each site's page (see links above).

To request more information about this trip please contact Dr. Tait Chirenje (Tait) via email here or on his office phone: 609 652 4588. You can also reach him on his cellphone if you have it (posted on his office door), but do not send text messages. Carefully go over the information presented on this and related pages before you call or email.

You could see the full program details here: The Brazil Experience
Trip duration
15 to 16 days (January 1 - January 16)

Approximate cost: $3,950
Payment due dates (group airline tickets will be confirmed on late September, so payments for this trip are non-refundable). You can get your international ticket and do whatever you want with it but we cannot refund you if you change your mind).
Payment schedule:
April 15th: $550
May 15th: $600
June 15th: $800
July  15th: $1000
August 15th: $1000
One big fat check of $3,950 is also acceptable. You can use financial aid for this trip because it is a credit earning experience.

Included in the cost are:
  • All flights to and from the US
  • All domestic flights within Brazil (we are covering a lot of ground – Brazil is actually larger than the continental US) 
  • All accommodation (this includes hotels in all four sites we will visit)
  • All ground transportation in Brazil (shuttles, taxis, buses and rented vans)
  • Activities (educational) that are designated as group activities, e.g.boat trip on the Amazon and Rio Negra
Not included in the cost are:
  • All meals and all food you consume during flights
  • Souvenirs and the admission to Christ, the Redeemer in Rio
  • Costs to get a passport if you do not have one
  • Cost to get a visa ($160 if you drop your passport to the consulate on your own, more if you use an agency). Everyone who holds a US passport needs a visa to get into Brazil. Visas often take up to a month to process, but they are also valid for 10 years. If you are nervous about this I’ll help you every step of the way and submit your visa applications together (provided you submit all required documentation to me by the deadline)
  • Vaccination costs
    • mandatory vaccines: Yellow Fever vaccine and Malaria medication
    • recommended vaccines for travel to Brazil are: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Typhoid. There’s a travel clinic next to campus and the Student Health Services Center may offer some of these
  • Any other costs not listed specifically as covered costs in the section above
Important Safety Information
To be distributed to program participants via the Office of Global Engagement. A representative of the Office of Global Engagement will give a briefing during our December 18th meeting. The State Department website also has important safety information about Brazil in general: This is my third trip to Brazil in three years and I did our exact itinerary on my own in January 2014. I’ll take you to places where I feel safe. It’s important that you do not wear flashy clothes and jewelry or carry fancy cameras and hand bags on this trip. Also, remember, Brazilian law is different from US Law. I’ll discuss important differences in our briefing.

Packing list
  1. A decent lined notebook or laptop computer (will inspect notes on January 14th).
  2. Electrical converter for Brazil – they use 220V, instead of 110V, there. The electrical sockets are different. The guys at Radio Shack will help you select the right one. DO not forget to bring your phone chargers too.
  3. Two pairs of pants, one has to be made of light material (we will hike in in hot weather).
  4. Several synthetic t-shirts that dry quickly in hot weather.
  5. A couple of shorts and/or swim wear.
  6. Enough underwear for about a week (will do laundry midway through the trip). 
  7. Enough socks for a week.
  8. A nice brim hat for the sun, a cap too (but definitely a sun hat!).
  9. Toiletries and other stuff (toothpaste, comb, hairbrush, lotion, towel, soap, cologne, perfume, medication [don’t forget your antibiotics, malaria medication and other medication you are taking], razors, sunscreen lotion, sunglasses etc). Please check with your family physician to make sure that the antibiotics and malaria medication we are going to take have no interactions with your own medication.
  10. A waterproof wind breaker - will show you mine on December 18th.
  11. One pair of hiking shoes.
  12. One pair of sandals and a belt if you need one.
  13. One pair of nice shoes (option). 
  14. One nice outfit for when we have meetings in nice places e.g. the meeting with shell resentatives in Rio and for our last dinner on January 14th.
  15. A flash light and BUG SPRAY (I use products with about 30% DEET). .
  16. Two water bottles that hold at least 2 liters of water between them.
  17. Enough spending money (either as traveler’s checks or cash or on a bank card) for 15 dinners (at about $US 12 each on average), souvenirs, snacks, etc. Do not bring more than $500 cash. Most all places in Brazil accept credit cards. You can get local currency (Brazil Real, current exchange rate is 1US$ to BZR 2.40). If you use a bank card at local ATMs you can get local currency. If you are confused, I will be using a bank card for all my cash needs and those for the group. It’s just easier that way. I may use a credit card here and there but I will not carry cash or traveler’s checks.
  18. A safe travel pack where you can keep your cash and cards when we travel. Something like this would suffice:  REI has nice ‘undercover money belts’ that you can wrap around your waist inside your pants. I’ll show you mine on December 18th. 
  19. Cameras and phones – You and your parents are encouraged to download Whats App  (it’s a good way to communicate with friends and family on the road for free). Every place we stay will have wifi, so you can also just switch your phone to airplane mode and use Facebook or other social media software to communicate with family and friends.
  20. If you are being dropped off on January 1st and getting picked up on January 15th, consider leaving your winter coat behind and carrying a smaller fall coat (just a thought!). You are definitely not going to need your winter coat anytime between the time you walk into the terminal in Philadelphia and the time you exit upon our return.
Students blog
Visit the student participants blogs on Weebly where they share their Brazil experience: The Brazil Experience - Student Blogs
Faculty Led Program: Brazil

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2020 11/03/2019 11/10/2019 TBA TBA