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Information for international students (in English)

Exchange Programs for Undergraduate Students

Welcome to Brazil! International undergraduate students from foreign partner universities holding a cooperation agreement with Centro Universitário Christus (Unichristus) can study for one or two semesters at one of our 4 campuses in Fortaleza. For more information about the fields of study and degree programs offered at Unichristus, please take a look at our International Brochure or the webpage of each course at our website.

In order to apply as an exchange student, your home institution must send the following documents by e-mail to international@unichristus.edu.br:

  1. Application Form for International Students
  2. Transcript of academic records translated into English or Portuguese and certified by the student’s institution
  3. Motivation Letter in Portuguese or English written by the student
  4. Recommendation Letter in Portuguese or English written by a faculty member of the student´s home university;
  5. Copy of the passport page that contains personal data (copy in PDF file);
  6. ID Picture (in .jpg file format), maximum size 2MB.

After admission as an exchange student at Unichristus, the student also needs to send the signed Learning Agreement and to show proof that he/she has purchased an international health insurance.

Resources for international students

Observerships for international Medical Students

Medical students from international partner universities or from AAMC-VSLO partner institutions can apply for short-term clinical observerships (usually 1 or 2 months) at one of Unichristus’ associated partner hospitals. For further information please contact the International Office directly at: international@unichristus.edu.br.

Application Deadlines

October 31st: for exchange in the first semester of each year (classes from February to June)

April 30th: for the exchange in the second semester of each year (classes from August to December)

Language Requirements

Unichristus’ language of instruction is Portuguese (only). Therefore students need to have at least an intermediate level of Portuguese (B1/B2). For Medical Students an upper intermediate level of English (B2) is strongly recommended as classmates and professor/preceptors at the hospital generally speak English.

Tuition Fees

Unichristus is a private higher education institution that charges tuition fees from its students. Depending on the terms of the cooperation agreement with their home university, international students will or will not have to pay tuition at Unichristus.

Preparation for your stay in Fortaleza – accommodation, arrival, etc.

Unichristus does not have dormitories for international students. The International Office (Coordenação de Mobilidade e Assuntos Internacionais – COMAI) helps incoming students to find adequate housing (private apartments or homestay in families) and provides guidance about the best neighborhoods to stay in Fortaleza, the best way to get to the university by public transportation and other practical information. The International Office’s staff can also pick you up at the airport when arriving in Fortaleza, help you with the enrollment at Unichristus and may assist you when dealing with the local Brazilian authorities.

Student Visa information

Once accepted to an exchange period at Unichristus, the International Office (Coordenação de Mobilidade e Assuntos Internacionais – COMAI) will send you an Acceptance Letter (Carta de Aceitação), which is necessary to request the Student Visa at the Brazilian diplomatic representation by the student in his/her home country.

To conclude the enrollment, the student’s home university must send us the proper Student’s Visa, the signed Learning Agreement and a proof of international health insurance coverage.

RNE (National Register of Foreigners) and CPF (Tax Identification Number)

The National Registry of Foreigners (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiros – RNE) is the document that certifies your identity in Brazil. You must register your student visa at the local Federal Police Department (Departamento da Polícia Federal – DPF) within 30 (thirty) days after your arrival date in Brazil. The DPF in Fortaleza is located at Av. Borges de Melo, 820 – Bairro de Fátima – Fortaleza-CE. Unichristus’ International Office may assist you in the registration process.

Required documents:

  • Valid passport, original and certified copy of the all used (written) pages; copies need to be certified by a Brazilian Notary Public Office (“Cartório”)
  • Visa and consular form to obtain the original visa application
  • Two recent colored photos (3×4), front side, with white background
  • Proof of payment of the corresponding fees for the form “Registro/ Restabelecimento” and the form “Carteira de Estrangeiro – Primeira (1ª) Via”

Steps for issuing of the RNE:

  • Complete the electronic form available on the “Requerer Registro/ Renovação e Anistia”. Then click on the SAVE botton and print the complete form
  • After filling out and printing the registration form, check for available dates in the local DPF unit and schedule an appointment. You will need to inform the code printed on the header of the request form
  • Go to the Federal Police Unit on the scheduled date with all required documents.


ATTENTION! Do not miss the registration period. If there is no date available for an appointment within the registration period, the applicant must go immediately to the nearest Department of Federal Police Unit.

The CPF (Cadastro de Pessoa Física) is an individual taxpayer identification number given to people living in Brazil, both native Brazilians and resident foreigners. The CPF is needed to open a bank account, get a cell phone plan, make major purchases, including plane tickets, and online payments. In short: A CPF is essential to be able to do almost anything in Brazil.

Non-residents in Brazil need to ask for their CPF at the Receita Federal:

  1. Barão de Aracati, 909 – Aldeota, Fortaleza – CE, 60115-901

Required documents:

  • Completed CPF form, available here
  • Original and photocopy of an ID document. Brazilians should use a valid identity card or a passport. Foreign nationals should use a valid passport and birth certificate containing the parents’ names.

 Health Advices

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.

Foreign nationals are entitled to emergency medical treatment in Brazilian public hospitals, which tend to be crowded. Private hospitals will not accept you unless you can present evidence of sufficient funds or insurance. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

There has been an increase in reported cases of yellow fever in nearly all parts of Brazil; however yellow fever vaccination is not required upon entry to the country. Visit the WHO website for information on yellow fever vaccination recommendations. WHO has classified Brazil as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. Malaria is present in parts of the country and Dengue fever is particularly common during the rainy season. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes; for more information and advice, visit the website of your national health authority.

Fortaleza is located just 4 degrees south of the equator. The sun is extremely strong throughout the whole year and UV levels are higher than in Europe or North America.

If you’re taking medication, take a good supply with you, as they may not be available locally. Bring a prescription or letter from your doctor confirming your requirement to carry the medication. Rules for carrying personal medication vary and can change; so, check with the Brazilian Consulate before you travel.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 192 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Safety Advices

Adapted from the following sources:
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/brazil/safety
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/Intercountry-Adoption-Country-Information/Brazil.html

Brazil receives plenty of bad press about its violence and high crime rate. Statistically, Fortaleza is one of the most violent cities in Brazil. However, most of the violence is concentrated in the favelas (slums). Any visit to a favela can be dangerous; therefore, you should avoid these areas at all events. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the geography of Fortaleza and take local advice to identify the riskier areas.

The most common incidents affecting foreigners in Fortaleza are thefts, including armed robberies, and pick pocketing. To avoid these, use common sense and take general precautions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially in tourist locations and crowded public venues, such as the old city center of Fortaleza (around Dragão do Mar, Praça Ferreira and Passeio Público), Praia do Futuro beach and Beira-Mar.
  • Carry only the minimum cash needed plus a fat-looking wallet to hand over to would-be thieves. Use a travel money belt for larger sums of money.
  • Don’t use your mobile phone in the street and keep cameras out of sight when not in use.
  • Leave your passport and other valuables in a safe place but carry a copy and another form of photo ID, if you have one, with you at all times.
  • Avoid using an ATM in low-light or remote locations. Never let someone “shoulder surf” or assist you.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night. Use caution when going to major transportation centers or on public transportation, especially at night.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt – this increases the risk of injury or worse. Attackers may be armed and under the influence of drugs. If threatened, hand over your valuables without resistance.

Contact Information of Unichristus’ International Office

Coordenação de Mobilidade e Assuntos Internacionais – COMAI

Email: international@unichristus.edu.br
Phone: +55 85 3265-8230 (direct)

Address:
Rua João Adolfo Gurgel, 133, Room 1113, 11th floor.
Bairro Cocó
Postal Code: 60192-345
Fortaleza, CE – Brazil.

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