Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

CIEE Rio: Media, Design + Social Communication​

This program is currently under review and f you are interested in the Rio program, please email for more information. 

If you want a unique, challenging, life-altering experience, Rio is for you." –Molleigh, Rio Spring 2016

As part of the CIEE Rio program, USC students take classes at Escola Superior de Marketing e Propaganda (ESPM). Rio de Janeiro, known as the "marvelous city" for its gorgeous beaches, mountaintop views and lively atmosphere, is home to Globo, Latin America's largest mass media conglomerate along with hundreds of other communication firms. Brazil was named the "Social Media Capital of the Universe" by the Wall Street Journal in 2013 with the biggest user bases for Facebook and YouTube outside of the US. Brazil (and Rio de Janeiro in particular) has gained prominence on the world stage via sports diplomacy by hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Students live with host families and take most of their courses at ESPM, Brazil's top communication and journalism school, which is located in central Rio. The CIEE Study Center is based in the Gloria neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro.

The program runs from early July to mid-December each fall semester, and early January to late June each spring semester. Final program dates will be provided to students once determined.

Courses are offered in both English and Portuguese in communication, journalism, public relations and other disciplines including business administration, design and international relations at ESPM.  Before the university semester begins, students will enroll in a four-week Intensive Language and Culture Program to learn about Brazilian culture and jump start their Portuguese language acquisition.  Students will be required to enroll in a semester-long Portuguese language course, the CIEE course Framing Urban Dilemmas in Rio de Janeiro taught in English, and two to four ESPM courses taught in English or Portuguese.

To learn more about the specific courses offered through both CIEE and ESPM, visit the CIEE website.

Academic Units
COMM students can typically earn up to 12 units of upper-division major elective credit and 4-8 units of general elective credit. JOUR students can earn up to 8-12 units of upper-division major elective credit + 8-12 units of general elective credit. PR students can earn up to 8 units of upper-division major elective credit + 12 units of general elective credit.  

*Please note that most classes are taught in Portuguese at ESPM.  There is no guarantee that students will find major coursework in English at ESPM in any given semester. Contact International Programs for more information. 

Program Highlights

  • One of the most affordable study abroad programs offered by USC
  • Full cultural immersion through living with a host family and enrolling in courses alongside Brazilian students
  • Diverse opportunities to volunteer/intern at media organizations and within Rio’s surrounding favelas (low-income communities)
  • Optional overnight excursion to the enchanting town of Ouro Preto, a 17th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site (included in program fees)

Students are placed with a local host family typically in Copacabana, Botafogo or Flamengo. Students can choose to live in a single room or share a room with another CIEE student. In all homestays, students will share bathroom and kitchen facilities with the family. Breakfast is included daily. 

Open to all USC majors with a minimum cumulative USC GPA of 3.0 and three semesters of college-level Spanish or two semesters of college-level Portuguese (or the equivalent). Students must have minimum sophomore standing at the commencement of the program. JOUR majors must have Junior standing at the start of the program and must have completed JOUR 307 and JOUR 320. PR majors must have completed JOUR 351A. 

Estimated Costs 
Each semester Annenberg International Programs provides an up-to-date cost sheet to admitted students; if there are any changes from the time students are admitted to a program to the time they leave for a study abroad semester, updated cost sheets will be sent to the students.  Please see the detailed estimated program costs below for Fall 2017.  Please note that these costs are subject to change without notice:

• Tuition: $15,433 (will change for Spring 2018)
• USC Administrative Fee: $3,000
• Housing: $3,450
• USC Overseas Health Insurance*: $1,205
• Round Trip Airfare: $1,700
• Personal Expenses (food, entertainment, weekend travel, etc.): $5,000
TOTAL: $29,788

Financial aid and tuition remission applies. CIEE offers scholarships. Contact AIP for more information on financial aid and additional scholarships.

*USC Overseas Health Insurance is required on all USC-approved study abroad programs.  If a student is already enrolled in USC (domestic) Health Insurance there will be no additional charge for USC Overseas Health Insurance; students will be charged the domestic, on-campus rate (noted above).  If a student is normally covered otherwise and waives out of USC Health Insurance on campus, students will be charged USC Overseas Health Insurance at a rate of $97/month.

CIEE Scholarship Opportunities 
CIEE now provides three million dollars each year through grants and scholarships to expand access for students for full-year, semester, and summer study abroad programs.  CIEE offers several merit and financial need based scholarships.  Students should research the diverse scholarships that CIEE offers here.