Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) Field Trip / Seminar-Brazil

This intensive, two-part program incorporates a cross-cultural homestay with individualized field study.  The program is open to undergraduates of any major at the University of Pittsburgh and welcomes applicants from any field with sufficient Spanish language proficiency and an interest in Latin American culture. If you are selected for the program you will enroll in a preparatory seminar on campus during the spring of 2020, and then travel to country of the program they were selected where they will study, live with a host family and carry out an independent field project.  

What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • Individual field investigations, collecting data and information for evaluation
  • A research paper based on the field investigations, observation and data collection
  • A better understanding of cross-cultural communication and the challenges and rewards of the international living experience

This program will go to the interior of the state of São Paulo. Ribeirão Preto is the eighth largest municipality in the state with an estimated population of 650,000 and over a million in the metropolitan area. It is situated a few hours from the mega metropolis of São Paulo City.


Ribeirão Preto originated around 1856 as an agricultural region. Coffee was a primary source of income until 1929, when it lost value compared with the industrial sector. In the second half of the 20th century, investment in areas such as health, biotechnology, bioenergy and information technology led to the city being declared a Technological Center in 2010. These activities have caused the city to have the 30th biggest gross national (GNP) in Brazil.


The city is also an important cultural center. The Prefeito Luiz Roberto Jábali Park, the Maurilio Biagi Park, Carlos Raya Park, Santa Tereza Reserve and the Zoo are important preservation areas. Pinguim Beer house, Dom Pedro Theatre and projects such as Ribeirão Preto's Cinema Center are relevant sightseeing points, along with events such as the Agrishow Agricultural Fair, Tanabata Festival, Joao Rock Music Festival and the National Outdoor Book Fair.

Where You'll Live: 


While in Valparaiso, you will stay in homestays with local families. Host families may live all over Ribeirão Preto. You can expect the following at the homestay:

  • A private room
  • Most meals are included, other meals and snacks will be at your own expense
  • Wi-Fi

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions. 


What You'll Study: 

You'll earn a total of 6 credits on the Center for Latin American Studies Seminar and Field program.  You will use the city to conduct your research. You will seek out information through interviews and observations that will allow you to carry out your individual field investiations. You will continue to refine your research skills and techniques that you developed during the Spring semester course prior to departure. 
 In this course you will study:

  • Research methods
  • Data collection
  • Evaluation
  • Professional writing

If you are seeking to count these courses towards a major, minor or certificate, please meet with your academic adviser to discuss this program and what the courses will fulfill for you. Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.

CLAS Fieldtrip (6-Credits) (ARTSC1991)

While living with a host family, you will carry out individual field investigations, collecting data and information for evaluation.  The project director will be present throughout the program to provide guidance and direction.  Final written project reports will be completed upon return to the US and submitted at a deadline set by the director of the program.

CLAS Spring Term Seminar (3-credits) (ARTSC1990)

This interdisciplinary seminar is designed to prepare students for their in-country residence experience. Students will examine the history, culture, politics and geography of Manizales and Colombia and their place within Latin American. Issues dealing with cross-cultural communication and the challenges and rewards of the international living experience will be examined. Students will also be guided through the design of individual field projects that they will carry out during their residence experience in May and June.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Tim Crawford

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, and I am the Assistant Director for Domestic Study Away Programming. I have experience running international study abroad programs and programs here at home in the United States. I was fortunate to have many experiential learning opportunities, both international and domestic, during my college career. Being from a small town in Central Pennsylvania, my experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and helped open my eyes to different cultures and career opportunities I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous experiential learning opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure. I love traveling, hate sitting still and love doing anything outdoors, in all seasons. Personally, I’m on a quest to visit as many national parks as possible. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study away programs, answer any of your questions and help you find the right opportunity. Please reach me via email at

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Your In-Country Contacts: 

Ana Paula Carvalho

Ana Paula Carvalho is the faculty director for the CLAS program. Born in Fortaleza, Brazil, Ana Paula Carvalho studied Portuguese and Spanish Languages and Literatures at the Universidade Estadual do Ceará, where she received her BA.  She earned her MA in Applied Linguistics from the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pittsburgh.  She currently teaches Portuguese language and works as the Portuguese Language Coordinator and Portuguese Minor advisor.   Ana Paula has led many study abroad programs and taught an interdisciplinary undergraduate seminar in order to prepare students to conduct a pilot field research projects in Brazil and Colombia.



In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
$4,530 $4,730

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only. Pricing for 2020-2021 will be posted and announced in the fall term.
What's Included: 

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • 6-credits of tuition (summer field program)
  • Room and Board with a Host Family
  • Most meals
  • Rountrip airfare
  • Health Insurance
  • Some cultural activities & excursions

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

When You'll Go: 

Dates for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in the fall!

What Else You Need to Know: 

The CLAS Scholarship Field Program is significantly underwritten by the Center For Latin America Studies (CLAS) .Participants will be responsible for tuition cost and associated fees.Candidates are required to be full time, degree seeking undergraduates (from any discipline) maintaining a minimum of a 2.75 grade point average.  Freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors who possess the necessary skills and disposition are welcome to apply.
By the time the field component begins, applicants must possess sufficient Spanish language proficiency to communicate effectively with their host families, travel independently and carry out their individual projects.
Most importantly, interested applicants must demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, assimilate to a new culture, and welcome cross-cultural interaction.  Selected candidates must be initiative taking, self-directed and comfortable functioning with little supervision.