Brazil Study Tours
Information for international Portuguese language students to organize, plan and visit Brazil and enjoy Brazilian culture, Portuguese language and South American attractions.
Canadian Representation in Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
ESL in Canada Information listed on Brazil Directories
Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, China, and the USA. Brazil's capital Brasília is inland unlike the great coastal cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro where most of Brazil's inhabitants reside.
The Brazilian plateau is an eroded tableland occupying most of the south-eastern half of the country and to the north the Amazon River basin occupies more than one third of the surface of the country. The tableland and Amazon basin are irregularly divided by mountain ranges. Among the principal ranges of the Brazilian plateau are the Serra da Mantiqueira, the Serra do Mar, and the Serra Geral. Another mountainous area known as the Guiana Highlands include the Tumucumaque Mountains, Acaraí Mountains and the Parima Mountains.
Two thirds of Brazil is drained by the Amazon river which is all navigable by ocean-going ships. Other great rivers include the Tocantins rivers, the River Plate (Río de la Plata) system, the São Francisco, the Parnaíba, the River Uruguay, the Paraguai and the Alto Paraná rivers.
Climatic conditions in Brazil range from tropical to subtemperate. Temperatures vary between subtropical and temperate in the south-eastern highlands, which is the most densely populated section of the country. Winter temperatures as low as -5°C are occasionally recorded in the extreme south, and frosts are common throughout the region.
Brazil's forest areas cover 2.2 million square miles and cultivated land is about 7.5% (153 million acres). Mineral resources include precious gems and industrial diamonds, chrome, iron ore, phosphates, coal, manganese, petroleum, graphite, titanium, copper, gold, oil, bauxite, zinc, tin, and mercury.
About 83 per cent of the 188,078,230 population of Brazil is urban. Nearly 90 per cent of the inhabitants of Brazil are Roman Catholic. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, spoken by at least 158 million people. Brazil's population is very diverse and mixed with approximately 22% mulattoes, 15% Portuguese descent, 12% mestizos mixed European and Native American, 11% Italian, 11% African decent, 10% Spanish decent, with the remaining 19 per cent made up of other groups, including Germans, Japanese, and Native Americans.
The Brazilian Republic is composed of 26 states and the federal district which includes Brasília. The 26 states are: Acre, Alagoas, Amapá, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraíba, Paraná, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondônia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Sergipe, and Tocantins.
The largest ports and cities are: São Paulo, centre of Brazilian industry; Rio de Janeiro, the former capital of the country; Porto Alegre, an Atlantic port; Salvador, a port located in a fertile agricultural region; Belém, a chief port on the lower Amazon; Recife, chief commercial city of the northeastern region, Belo Horizonte, hub of a cotton-growing region and Manaus, a port on the River Negro.
Brazil is a predominantly Portuguese, Italian, German, and Spanish formed society and the basis of Brazilian family life and permeates all areas of Brazilian life. The culture of modern Brazil is a mixture formed from a rich background of ethnic traditions. Millions of black African slaves who were brought into Brazil added an African element to Brazilian cultural life when their religious rites merged with Roman Catholicism to form the unique Afro-Brazilian cults and exotic ceremonies.
Leading Federal, State and private universities are the University of Brasília, the University of São Paul, the Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul. Other universites include schools of medicine, public health, law, social sciences, engineering, and mining.
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