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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Courses Offered:
Type of Program:
Faculty Led
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
0 - none
Education Abroad Adviser:
Sarah Spiegel
Internship Available:
Non-Penn State Students:
Global Programs Scholarships:
Africa and Latin America Grant-in-Aid, Diversity Grant-in-Aid, Grant-in-Aid, Whole World Scholarship
Program Description:
Belo Horizonte City View 2

Program Overview

 Besides being known for Samba and Soccer, Brazil also has a growing economy, vibrant culture, and cutting edge research. The program will take place in Belo Horizonte, the 3rd. largest metropolitan region in Brazil with a population of 2.5 million people. Belo Horizonte (Beautiful Horizon in English) is a young and vibrant city known for its strong economy, industry and sports.

Students will take a required IST Entrepreneurship class and one Portuguese language class according to their level (beginning, intermediate or advanced). The Portuguese language course is required to ensure that students will have a meaningful cultural experience during their stay. There is also an important link with the Intercollege Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI). The IST 299 course is equivalent to IST 237 Digital Entrepreneurship and could substitute for it in the required courses in the Digital Entrepreneurship & Innovation cluster. Students who have already taken IST 237 will be able to take a more advanced entrepreneurship course. 

The program will profit from the dynamic software startup scene in Belo Horizonte. The city hosts the nicknamed San Pedro Valley, a group of 50+ tech start-ups located in the São Pedro region. Both the local government, which has a department dedicated to support and encourage startups, and the local Software foundation (FUMSOFT) are interested in the program and will provide opportunities for our students to do what Penn State calls engaged scholarship. Part of the program is a two-week volunteer work opportunity with the local government departments and with San Pedro Valley Belo Horizonte Map 2startups.

Classes will be held at ICBEU - the Cultural Institute Brazil-United States, a traditional foundation in Belo Horizonte created 60 years ago to enhance the relationship between Brazil and the U.S. Students will be staying in shared rooms in a local hotel, centrally located within walking distance from classes and close to the many cultural points that the city has.

In order to help Penn State students engage in the day-to-day life of the city, students will also have the opportunity to mingle with their assigned local peers. The peers are college students from a local private college. This peer system has been used successfully for three years now with another program hosted by ICBEU.

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Education Abroad Credits

Students on this program are required to enroll for six or seven credits.  Students may register for one IST-entrepreneurship course (3 credits) and one Portuguese course (3 or 4 credits depending on the level) or for two Portuguese courses:

IST 237 - Digital Entrepreneurship - 3 credits

The course will examine the local scene of Internet software and security start-up companies. It will use case studies to teach students how to create, develop and maintain technology start-up companies. Successes and failures will also be studied by using local developers as invited presentations. The course will be taught by Penn State faculty with support from a local faculty, Walter Marinho, an entrepreneur himself, currently a teacher at PUC-Minas, the second most important local university. Walter is a former president of the state software association, FUMSOFT.

IST 299 - Special Topics - 3 credits

Students that have taken IST 237 already will be able to take a special topics course in Digital Entrepreneurship.

Port 001 – Elementary I Portuguese – 4 credits
Port 002 – Elementary II Portuguese – 4 credits
Port 003 – Intermediate Portuguese – 4 credits
Port 299 – Conversation and Composition - Advanced Portuguese – 3 credits
Port 499 - Brazilian Culture - 3 credits

You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State


Belo Horizonte Street ViewSuccessful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program leader:

  • 2.5 Cumulative GPA
  • Sophomore class standing or higher at time of study

American students studying in Brazil are required to get a visa at one of the Brazilian Consulates in the United States -- a process that will be initiated at the beginning of February and that will be coordinated by the program directors. For that reason, students accepted in this program must have, in hand, a valid passport by the beginning of February 2016. If your passport expires by May 2016, you must get a new passport in order to travel to Brazil.   

Housing and Meals

Students will be staying in shared rooms in a local hotel, centrally located within walking distance from classes and close to the many cultural points that the city has. Breakfast will be at the hotel and the second meal will be at a local restaurant also at walking distance from classes. 

Students will be responsible for providing their third meal and will have a small kitchenette in their hotel rooms to offer limited cooking options.

Program Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
 Belo Horizonte Evening Footbal
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.

The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

For More Information

For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or Brazilian Flagcontact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative

For more information, please contact Fred Fonseca, the faculty leader for this program in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. You may also schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.

For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.

How to Apply

If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page. 

You must complete the following materials in your application:

  •  Education Abroad Questionnaire
  •  One academic recommendation
  •  Signature Documents
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

Application deadline: February 1, 2018

Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.

Other Useful Links

Steps to Study Abroad
Schedule an Appointment
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Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.