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Brazil: Sports, Youth, and Social Justice (Summer)

Brazil: Sports, Youth, and Social Justice (Summer)

Learn how sports have provided a key strategy for engaging young people in positive change and working toward social justice in Brazil.

With Brazil's preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games as a backdrop, study how sports and social justice interact in Brazil. Interact with soccer clubs, NGOs, and social justice groups as you consider the transformative potential of young people's engagement in sports. Examine where sports fit into Brazilian culture and popular imagination and how sports have intersected with or challenged racial, gender, and other forms of social exclusion.

Major topics of study include:

  • Social movements in Brazil’s past and present
  • Ways in which civil society and governmental organizations develop sports policy and practice as an instrument of human development and social justice
  • How race, gender, and sexuality have affected access to sports participation, influenced media portrayals of players, and currently inform new sports initiatives
  • How sports are being used to offer at-risk youth opportunities to develop self-confidence and self-esteem
  • How mega-sporting events fit into Brazilian society and how politics and the media portray these events

Please note: The program will occur before the Olympic Games and will not include any attendance of events.


Live and study in Fortaleza.

Fortaleza is a vibrant city with a wide range of sports options and innumerable NGOs working to promote positive social change. While soccer is the most popular sport in the city and Fortaleza is home to a number of soccer clubs, tournaments and championships, the city also offers capoeira, beach and water sports, and other activities. During your time in Fortaleza, you will study Brazilian culture and learn about the local social and political context. You will also be immersed in Portuguese language study and daily life in Fortaleza through interaction with your host family.

Volunteer with NGOs.

Discover firsthand how sports are being used to make a difference in the lives of young people. Volunteer with NGOs engaging youth in different sports such as soccer, volleyball, futsal, and capoeira. Learn how capoeira is being used to offer at-risk youth opportunities to develop self-confidence and self-esteem.

Hear diverse perspectives from local community members.

Throughout the program, you will have opportunities to interact with local soccer clubs, young athletes, activists, and others. For example, you will  participate in panel discussions with former professional footballers working with youth from communities most impacted by poverty and social exclusion.

Thematic seminar on sports, youth, and social justice

Learn about social movements in Brazil’s past and present and study how race, gender, and sexuality have affected access to sports participation. Consider how civil society and governmental organizations develop sports policy and practice as an instrument of human development and social justice. By the end of the course, you will have a greater awareness of Brazil's struggles for social equity and the ways in which sports are being used to create social change.

Links to syllabi below are from current and forthcoming courses offered on this program. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Sports, Youth, and Social Justice – syllabus
(LACB3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
In this core seminar, students explore the potential relationship between sports and social justice for Brazilian youth. To contextualize this study, students first learn about struggles for social equity and the fight against diverse forms of oppression in Brazil. In particular, they inquire about the socioeconomic realities for young people. As NGOs, schools, and the State have searched for strategies to engage youth in the construction of a more just society, sports has emerged as one particularly promising area in which to work. The seminar explores numerous modalities of sports and sports policy to help students understand how sports in Brazil can be both an expression of social injustice and an important instrument in its eradication. This seminar provides the intellectual frame for the program and allows students to think deeply about the power and potential of sports in the movement for social change.

Portuguese for Social and Development Studies I – syllabus
(PORT1000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Portuguese for Social and Development Studies II – syllabus
(PORT1500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Portuguese for Social and Development Studies III – syllabus
(PORT2000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Emphasis on speaking and comprehension skills through classroom and field instruction. Based on in-country evaluation, including oral proficiency testing, students are placed in beginning or intermediate classes. Special arrangements are available for advanced speakers of Portuguese.

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

FIFA fan festDuring your time in Fortaleza, you will visit a number of field sites relevant to the program’s theme. Visit Arena Castelão (part of a massive investment in sports stadiums to host the 2014 World Cup) and the recently constructed Olympic Development Centre in Fortaleza, which provides facilities for training and competition for 26 Olympic sports. Through these visits, you will consider the effects of mega sporting events in Brazil.

You will also visit local television and radio stations to explore the role of the media in sports.

Faculty and staff information coming soon.

homestayYou will stay in the home of a local family in Fortaleza for approximately five weeks. Through this homestay, you will gain valuable insight into urban Brazilian life. Host families are chosen for their interest in, and connections to, the program theme. Most host families come from working- and middle-class backgrounds and represent a cross-section of ethnicities.

Other accommodations during the program include hostels and/or small hotels.

Program Dates: Summer 2016

Program Start Date:  Jun 15, 2016

Program End Date:    Jul 27, 2016

The dates listed above are subject to change. Please note that travel to and from the program site may span a period of more than one day.

Student applications to this program will be reviewed on a rolling basis between the opening date and the deadline.

Application Deadline:   Mar 18, 2016

SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding; this award can be applied to any SIT semester program. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.

Tuition: $6,750

The tuition fee covers the following program components:

  • Cost of all lecturers who instruct students in:
    • Sports, youth, and social justice
    • Portuguese language
  • All educational excursions 
  • Educational tours and meetings with NGOs, youth athletes, and local experts
  • Health insurance throughout the entire program period

Room & Board:$2,050

The room and board fee covers the following program components:

  • All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes during orientation, time in the program base (Fortaleza), on all excursions, and during the evaluation period
  • All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered by SIT Study Abroad, directly or through a stipend

Estimated Additional Costs:

International Airfare to Program Launch Site

International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.

Visa Expenses: Not yet available.

Immunizations: Varies

Books & Supplies: Not yet available.

International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.

Discretionary Expenses

Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.

Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.


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SIT was founded as the School for International Training and has been known as SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate Institute since 2007. SIT is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC) through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

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