Spring Break in Brazil — March 11-19

Beautiful Rio de Janeiro with Christ and the Sugarloaf Mountain

International Perspectives on Urban Law & Policy

Part of the International Perspectives on Urban Law & Policy course, this program allows graduate students to experience first-hand how metropolitan areas tackle urban growth issues. This spring break study-abroad program in Rio de Janerio and Curitiba will focus on land use planning, sustainable and equitable development, growth management and environmental law and policy. It will feature a combination of lectures by leading academic, public and private sector professionals and site visits designed to enrich the academic and cultural experience.

Students start in Rio de Janeiro, where they will attend lectures at Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) School of Law, one of Brazil’s most prestigious academic institutions. Field trips will allow them to explore the marvelous city. Students will then travel to Curitiba for the second half of the week where they will attend lectures at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUC-PR) and have opportunities to interact with Brazilian law students. Field trips will provide ample opportunities for students to explore the well-planned city.

Rio de Janeiro, once the capital, is a megacity with a population of more than 12 million people. It is the second largest metropolitan area in Brazil and is a popular tourist destination known for Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, carnivals, music and tropical forests. It hosted the 2014 World Cup and will host the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics. But like much of Latin America, Rio de Janeiro has extensive favelas, or informal settlements, often lacking basic infrastructure and services causing disease and pollution. It will provide students with an opportunity to understand the many issues facing urban growth with a particular emphasis on income inequality and social exclusion.

Curitiba is considered one of the world’s greatest cities for its livability. It boasts a model transportation system, pioneering many inventions with its’ well-designed, efficient bus system. The city’s flood control plan helped create tremendous green space, increasing property values and creating revenue for the city. An innovative garbage and recycling program in the favelas, or slum area, beautify the city at a low cost, while simultaneously benefiting the poor. Curitiba will offer students an opportunity to learn first-hand that great urban solutions do not have to be complex or expensive.

The program will be led by Julian Juergensmeyer, Ben F. Johnson Jr. Chair in Law, and Karen Johnston (J.D. ’08), assistant director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth.

This program is open to all Georgia State University graduate students. Students do not need any prior legal knowledge to successfully participate in this course.

To participate, students must enroll in the two-credit hour spring semester course, International Perspectives on Law & Policy (LAW 7397). This course has no pre-requisites but space is limited.

Participation is limited to 10 students and is contingent upon acceptance by the program directors after an interview.

Program cost may vary at any time according to currency fluctuations and changing travel arrangements. The program cost is tentatively set at $2,520 (for a double occupancy hotel room) and $2,840 (for a single occupancy hotel room) plus regular Georgia State University tuition and fees. Nonresident/out-of-state students will pay in-state tuition plus a $250 fee in addition to the program cost.

The program cost includes:

  • All program-related ground transportation, excursions and entrance fees
  • Round-trip airfare between Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba
  • Group lunches per the itinerary
  • Hotel
  • Health/Evacuation/Repatriation Insurance

The program cost does not include:

  • Georgia State tuition and fees. Note that this study abroad program requires students to enroll in the course International Perspectives on Urban Law and Policy (LAW 7397) for a total of 3 credit hours (2 credit hours for the spring course plus an additional 1 credit hour for the study abroad program).
  • Round-trip airfare to  Brazil. Students are responsible for booking their own airfare. Flights to Rio de Janeiro can be quite expensive and should be booked well in advance to secure the best rate. Flights could easily cost $1,400 from Atlanta.
  • Public transportation in Brazil except that associated with the program.
  • Passport and visa. The visa process to Brazil requires an appointment at the Consulate General of Brazil and careful attention to detail.
  • Personal expenses and excess baggage charges.

Payment Schedule
There is no deposit required at the time of application. However, all payments for participation in this program are non-refundable upon receipt.

  • Nov. 9: $500
  • Jan. 11: Remaining balance is due ($2,020 for double occupancy; $2,340 for single occupancy) – this is a firm deadline

The program directors will provide instructions on how to make the required payments once you have been accepted into the program.

Georgia State students may be eligible to apply for the IEF and Global Experience scholarships. Note the deadline to apply for spring programs is Oct. 15.

If you qualify for the scholarship, do not wait to apply! You may apply for the IEF and Global Experience scholarships before applying for the study abroad program.

Learn more about Georgia State University scholarship opportunities.

Apply now to participate in the Study Abroad Program. Search for "International Perspectives on Urban Law & Policy" and the country "Brazil."

The deadline to apply is Nov. 2. All students must apply online.  There is no deposit required at the time of application.

Space is limited to 10 students and early application is encouraged. Participation is contingent upon acceptance into the program by the Program Directors. All applicants will have to interview with the program directors before being accepted into the program.


For questions, contact program directors, Professor Juergensmeyer at jjuergensmeyer@gsu.edu or 404-413-9197; or Karen Johnston at kjohnston3@gsu.edu or 404-413-9175.