English teacher training in Brazil (UNESP Programme)

What's it all about?

Flamboyant, energetic, beautiful, passionate, vibrant, colourful, welcoming. The list of adjectives you could use to describe Brazil is almost neverending. That's partly to do with its size (it’s the fifth biggest country in the world) but it’s largely to do with its people.

And in the spirit of generosity that its people are so well known for, The São Paulo State University (UNESP) is giving English language students in the UK the chance to study there for between four and ten months. They'll even help cover the costs of your flights and accommodation. Interested? Then find out more.

Can I apply?

The requirements for application to UNESP are fairly straight-forward: 

  • you must be a student at a UK university or higher education college
  • you need to be on an English Language Teaching course (including BA, MA, PhD or Teaching Certificate)
  • you must be a native English speaker, or have qualifications to a high level.

 Existing experience teaching English internationally is a bonus, but not essential.

What does the course involve?

The course is full-time and split into two semesters (March to July, and August to December) at one of the university’s 24 campuses within Sao Paulo state. You’ll get to work closely with one of their leading academics, teaching, training, researching, studying and, most importantly, gaining valuable experience for your future career.

How much will it cost?

Thanks to the partnership between UNESP and the British Council the bulk of your costs will be covered, including:

  • A monthly grant of 2000 Brazilian Reais (BRL) (nearly £500 at the time of writing) to cover your accommodation and living expenses
  • A grant of £700 to pay for your flights.

All that’s left for you to think about is health and travel insurance, visas and a bit of spending money.

When’s the deadline?

The good news is because the semesters are split, if you've just missed one deadline then there’s always another course on the horizon. UNESP are currently looking at applications for forthcoming terms. For further information please contact the UNESP International Relations Office.

Why should I go?

This isn’t a gap year. It’s not your chance to get a cheap holiday. Yes, you’ll have a great time, and yes, you will get to experience life in a completely different culture, but it’s about gaining new skills to make you more employable in the future. You’ll meet new people, you’ll learn a language, and you’ll have something a little special on your CV that will help you stand out. So perhaps the question you should really be asking yourself is: why shouldn’t I do it?

What they say

"I have participated in the programme during the writing up year of my PhD. It was a chance for me not only to gain more teaching experience at the university level and focus on my thesis when I was not giving classes, but also to get to know a new culture and learn a new language. If you only can organise your studies to be done from abroad, I definitely recommend it."

Monika Grabias, a PhD student at the University of Liverpool, UK.

“The opportunity giving to me by British Council to combine research with teaching at UNESP, Assis, has been very enriching as well as exciting. I have experienced English language teaching in an ‘English as a foreign language’ context, which has given me a new perspective on English language teaching.

"I have developed new teaching methods and approaches which will prove useful in my future career and professional development. The IELTS training at Assis has been received by the students with great excitement and commitment. The students are very motivated about the course, which has been a huge source of encouragement and motivation to me too. Apart from the academic side of it, I have met new people, made new friends, learnt new things, a new culture and a new language. I am currently learning Portuguese, and this gives me much joy. I love languages especially the Romance languages to which Portuguese belongs. I am sure that before I leave Brazil, I will speak Portuguese fluently.

"Brazil is a unique society with a perfect multicultural blend, which makes it a receptive and open society to people from other parts of the world. It was not a challenge adjusting to the society. I had little or no difficulties integrating into the society. Another thing I must not forget in a hurry is the food. I like Brazilian food, it is very delicious and there is much variety. On the whole, this opportunity has been very enriching and exciting. I am really having a nice time here. It has enabled me to develop both academically and professionally. It has also given me the opportunity to interact with another part of the world which is far different from my familiar terrain. I owe much thanks to British Council. Muito obrigado!!!”

Terkimbi Atonde, a PhD student at the University of Birmingham, UK.

If you’re interested in this opportunity you’ll probably want to do a little more research. Here are a few useful starting points for you: