If you're looking to study in Brazil you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to postgraduate courses as the country is home to thousands of higher education institutions
Getting a permit for employment in Brazil can be challenging, as labour laws require employers to always give preference to competent nationals in the first instance; however foreign graduates looking to find employment in Brazil will be more successful in large metropolitan areas, such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia (the capital), Porto Alegre and Belo Horizonte.
Learning the local language, Portuguese, before you arrive in Brazil will also dramatically increase your success rate when looking for work, as the majority of jobs will require proficiency in the language.
Job market in Brazil
The growth of the Brazilian economy has slowed in recent years but it still remains the largest in Latin America.
Brazil is the world's leading producer of coffee and sugarcane and is also a big exporter of cocoa, oranges and soya beans, as well as hydroelectric power.
Major industries in the country include:
Recent growth areas include the:
- renewable energy sector;
- automotive industry.
Sectors which house shortage occupations:
- environmental management;
- food manufacturing;
There are jobs available in these sectors for highly skilled foreign workers.
International candidates who can speak Portuguese, have good knowledge of the country, and can display an interest in Brazilian life and culture, are well placed to find jobs.
The easiest way onto the Brazilian job ladder is to secure an offer of work before you arrive, or alternatively to ask if you can be transferred to the country from a foreign company.
If neither of these options works for you it'll help to be based in Brazil when applying for roles, as networking is extremely important in securing work.
Search for Brazilian job vacancies via:
- BrazilBiz - recruitment agencies, in Portuguese and English;
- Catho - in Portuguese;
- Empregos.com.br - in Portuguese.
Brazilian newspapers also advertise vacancies. To tap into the ‘hidden job market', where a number of roles aren't advertised, send out speculative applications to employers and include your CV and a cover letter.
Teaching in Brazil
Teaching abroad in Brazil is a popular choice for graduates and those who wish to pursue this avenue must meet the following criteria:
- two years of experience at the appropriate level;
- a Bachelor degree in a relevant area.
Teaching jobs at high school or university level are more difficult to secure but opportunities exist in many locations throughout the country. The majority of positions can be found in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Search for teaching opportunities in Brazil:
Internships and work experience in Brazil
Search for internships and work placements through:
- AIESEC UK
- Ci Experience Brazil
- Go Overseas - Brazilian Internships
- Study Abroad - Brazilian Internships
Volunteering in Brazil
Voluntary work is a great way to build your skills and learn a new language, it also looks great on your CV and gives you the chance to network and build contacts.
It will help to have some money saved before you set off on your Brazilian volunteering adventure as the majority of positions are unpaid.
Latin America is becoming progressively more popular for graduates seeking a joint work and travel experience.
To volunteer in the country you should first research the kind of projects you'd like to be involved in and apply to organisations directly.
Organisations that offer opportunities include:
- Frontier - Brazil - projects include community development, women's empowerment, favela restoration, childcare and teaching;
- Kaya Responsible Travel - Brazil - work on existing community projects;
- Working Abroad - Brazil - volunteer in a number of areas including arts and design, child development, sports coaching and environmental volunteering.
English is fast becoming the global business language of choice in most countries and Brazil is no exception. English is taught in some schools and universities and is widely spoken in cities.
If you speak Portuguese, you're better positioned to find work, so it's worth learning before you arrive in Brazil. Once in the country, you can take lessons in order to progress your language skills if necessary.
Those moving to Brazil as part of a multi-national organisation may be offered Portuguese lessons as part of an employment package. Remember that Brazilian Portuguese is grammatically and orally different to European Portuguese.
Brazilian visas and immigration
If you're going to work in Brazil, you will need both a work permit and a works visa.
There are different types of Brazilian work visas depending on the nature of your role and applying for such a visa can be a lengthy process, so make sure you do all of your research in advance.
Your employer will apply for a work permit on your behalf by submitting the employment contract and copies of your CV, certificates, documents and passport to the Brazilian Ministry for Labour and Employment.
Once this application is allowed you can then apply for your work visa at a Brazilian Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
Work permits are valid for two years. You can apply for a permanent visa at the end of this period.
For more information on work visas visit the Consulate General of Brazil in London - Visas.
How to explain your UK qualifications to employers
UK qualifications are well recognised and regarded throughout the world. In Brazil postgraduate degrees (Masters and PhDs) are recognised as 'graduate' level qualifications.
Employers usually understand these qualifications, but you will need to clarify that this is the case before submitting your application.
Eight hours per day, five days a week is the norm in Brazil, with a working day typically running between 8am and 6pm.
The Brazilian Labour Law imposes an annual holiday of 30 days, which should be taken all at once or split into two fractions.
Find out more
- Discover what it's like to study in Brazil.