How to Study Nursing in Brazil for International Students

Brazil has been experiencing a stable increase in the number of international students over the past few years. While a definite part of the appeal lies in the cultural and entertainment aspects of the country, another important point that attracts international students is the free higher education in the federal and state universities of Brazil.

The Brazilian government had spent decades improving the quality of nursing education, and the program finally took its modern-day shape in early 1994, when the new minimum curriculum was introduced. The curriculum removed all types of pre-nursing courses and merged their content into professional undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. In this article, we will be looking at how to study nursing in Brazil.

Nowadays, students are free to choose from a high number of accredited universities, all of which provide a strong level of education and an immaculate list of opportunities for future career advancements. It is fair to say that Brazil has developed one of the most impressive nursing curriculums in the world, and has adjusted it to the country’s needs. There are many great nursing schools in Brazil, which provide students not only with an opportunity to gain a splendid overall knowledge of the industry but a detailed comprehension of the regional urgencies.

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What Degrees are there for Nursing in Brazil?

The international students willing to study nursing in Brazil have a choice of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral professional degrees. All the degrees are supported by a great deal of talented mentorship and guided internship. The undergraduate courses in all public universities are tuition-free. Students can complete an undergraduate course in one university and then move on to receive their master’s or doctoral degree in another establishment, either in Brazil or somewhere else in the world.

Cost of Studying Nursing

Both domestic and international students who wish to study nursing in Brazil can apply for a tuition-free public education up to the postgraduate level. You can find more information on free higher education for international students on the University of São Paulo and São Paulo State University (Unesp) official webpages.

While most of the universities in Brazil are state-owned, the tuition fee within the private sector ranges from $2000 to $9000 per annum, depending strongly on the degree and the ranking of a specific educational facility.

Requirements to Study Nursing in Brazil

All the prospective students must sit an entrance exam called “vestibular”. The exam is conducted once a year in Brazil and only in the Portuguese language. The examination is meant to test prospective students’ knowledge of Portuguese, as well as their overall comprehension of math, physics, biology, and history.

It is required that students applying for a university in Brazil posses a valid students’ visa, health insurance, have an academic record (high school degree is a must). It is also essential that a person receives a vaccination against yellow fever before their trip to Brazil.

Please, keep in mind that certain universities may require some documents on top of the ones listed above, so make sure to consult with their respective websites or get in touch with a member of staff before you will have begun the application process.

Additional information is available on the UNESP website.

In What Languages Do You Study Nursing in Brazil?

While a rare number of private educational facilities might present their courses in English or Spanish, all public universities’ nursing programs in Brazil are offered exclusively in Portuguese. On top of that, before applying for a university, one is required to complete the entrance exam that can not be taken in any other language but Portuguese. While it is not required for an applicant to speak the native tongue fluently to study nursing in Brazil, a strong overall comprehension, especially of the academic language, is a must.

If a student fails to show the required level of competence in the Portuguese language, they may be asked to take an additional course, geared towards assisting them in improving their comprehension level (see more).

Best Nursing Schools in Brazil

1. The University of São Paulo

The University of São Paulo has the best nursing school in Brazil. Annually, only 80 applicants are selected to join the ranks of the university’s students. Throughout the undergraduate course, students gain a strong understanding of all the basics of nursing, experience a multiverse of practical activities geared towards the overall improvement of students’ ability to adjust to real-life situations.

The curriculum is divided into three cycles, with the primary two being focused on theoretical portion and laboratory work and the latter on dissertation and practical work (e.g. internship). With that being said, the entire curriculum supports the idea of theory-practice relation under guided supervision and professional tutorship. The approach guarantees that by the end of the program the students can perform the entire spectrum of expected tasks and produce reliable results within their respective professional industries. Those who wish to acquire the Licentiate will be required to complete an additional course composed of specific expert disciplines.

2. The Medical School of São Paulo State University (UNESP)

The program was originally designed by the professors working in UNESP, based on their personal experience within the field of nursing, extensive research, and remarkable qualifications in teaching.

The course covers all the aspects of nursing and allows the students to prepare for working in the industry. As a nursing student in the Medical School of São Paulo State University, one gets an opportunity to acquire essential knowledge in such fields as biophysics, biochemistry, epidemiology, diet therapy, pharmacology, bioethics, and many more subjects.

One of the primary missions of the medical school is to help its graduates to integrate with the job-market with ease. By the time a student completes their undergraduate education, they are welcomed to come and work for several health facilities, schools, companies. On top of that, they can continue education either in UNESP or in any other domestic or foreign university.

3. University of Brasília

The University of Brasília has over 33 years of experience preparing nursing students. The course is strongly based on the National Curriculum Guidelines so that it could offer the latest and most advance curriculum in the country. Because of this, University of Brasília is considered one of the best nursing schools in Brazil.

The duration of the course varies depending on the additional subject a student may choose to complete. The minimum length is 10 semesters, the maximum – 16 semesters. Prospects of the graduates include working within the Brazilian health services network, providing services abroad, operating in research or research industries.

4. Federal University of Juiz de Fora

The final candidate in our list of top nursing schools in Brazil is Federal University of Juiz de Fora. Students get to gain knowledge in such aspects of nursing as humanities, health, and biological sciences, with a strong focus on assistance and fundamentals. This nursing program in Brazil also incorporates several practical activities and opportunities for integration with the job-market during a prolonged internship. The out-of-the-class activities include fieldwork, laboratory work and practical work in the local hospitals, polyclinics, and primary care units.

Federal University of Juiz de Fora also allows its nursing graduates to apply for a teaching degree, which allows them to proceed to work in schools, participate in various health-related discussions and conferences.


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