The city

Also known as the “Marvelous City”, Rio de Janeiro has more than 6 million inhabitants and is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Internationally recognized for elements of its culture, such as samba and Carnival, Rio is also an important center for studies and business thanks to the presence of large companies from different sectors and educational institutions with a high degree of excellence. The city is divided in “zones”: Center (downtown), North, West, and South, the latter being the region where the headquarters of the Getulio Vargas Foundation is located, namely in the neighborhood of Botafogo. 

Pessoas jogando altinha na praia


As in the rest of Brazil, the predominant language is Portuguese. Despite this, due to internationalization, tourism, study opportunities, and the business market, it is quite commonplace to meet local citizens who speak other languages, as well as to meet tourists from other countries speaking a similar language to yours. There is also the possibility of taking Portuguese courses to improve the understanding of the everyday communication and learn the language of the country. 


Rio's sightseeing opportunities are vast and attract millions of people throughout the year. No wonder the city houses one of the new seven wonders of the modern world. With his arms wide open over the Guanabara Bay, Christ the Redeemer is an unavoidable destination if you are visiting the city for the first time.  

There is also the traditional Sugarloaf Mountain complex, which provides a beautiful view of the city through a cable car ride. The Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon is a great option for cycling and walking. The Botanical Gardens and Parque Lage are the right destinations for picnics and getting in touch with nature. For those who are very passionate about cycling, it is also possible to exercise at the Aterro do Flamengo on weekends, since its wide lanes are then closed to vehicles and offer free access for pedestrians and cyclists.  

Rio’s beaches are a gem in themselves, the best known – and disputed – being Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. If you are looking for a little more tranquility by the sea, choose one of the many West Zone beaches, such as Reserva, Prainha or Grumari.  

The constructions in Rio are also fascinating, and it is worth taking a stroll through all the regions. We suggest that visitors pay special attention to the downtown neighborhoods, including the Port Area, in order not to miss out on monuments, museums and theaters. The effervescent culture of the place brings about an unforgettable experience, with a mix of samba circles, concerts, parties, and traditional restaurants scattered throughout the city. 

Visa and registration with the Federal Police

In order to carry out academic and research activities, foreigners arriving in Brazil must carry the necessary visas obtained from the consular service of the Brazilian Government in their country of origin. Visas must be requested in advance. 

Upon arrival in Brazil, foreigners must complete their National Migrant Registry (RNM) at the Federal Police within 90 days. They will then receive the National Migration Registry Card (CRNM), which will be the identity document for the foreigner during their stay in the country, guaranteeing their temporary stay. Your FGV School will provide the necessary guidance to perform this registration process. 

Shall there be a non-compliance regarding this deadline, foreigners will receive fines. Therefore, it is highly recommended that the registration and regularization of the foreigner's situation be carried out within the deadline. For questions, contact the International Relations Coordination of the destination School at FGV. 

More information can be found at this link



The Brazilian currency is called "Real". The circulating bank notes are currently of BRL 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, and 2. Coins, on the other hand, are called cents. Currently circulating coins are of 5, 10, 25, 50 cents. There is also a BRL 1 coin, which is the coin with the highest value. In Brazil, do expect great variations when it comes to exchange rates. Check the Real exchange rates through the Currency Converter of Brazil’s Central Bank. 

Cost of living

The cost of living in Rio is high, compared to Brazilian cities located in other regions of the country. In the South Zone, the amounts spent are even higher than elsewhere. Your spending on food will start, on average, at BRL 600 a month (considering that you will be cooking for yourself at home). If you prefer to go to restaurants, monthly expenses can reach BRL 1000 or higher. The rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is of around R$1800 to R$2500, depending on the size, furniture, and factors that vary according to the location. 

Rio also has one of the most expensive public transportation tickets in Brazil. Urban mobility in the city can be done by train, bus, subway or VLT (tram). To calculate an average expense with bus and subway fares, your monthly amount allocated to transportation will be of around R$300 to R$400, depending on the intensity of your travel around the city. 


FGV does not offer its own housing for students, professors, and researchers. We recommend renting a space close to FGV, to make your daily life easier. You can search for places to rent on websites like OLX, Zap Imóveis and Quinto Andar, or even walking around the city in search of deals. Always remember to check the origin of the rental advertisement and avoid paying before visiting the actual space or signing the contract. For those who so prefer, there is the possibility of opting for coliving or Airbnb services. 

In the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, FGV has a partnership with Uliving, making it easier for foreign students and researchers to find housing near schools. 

Health insurance

Brazil relies on a public health network named Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde - SUS), which offers free care to everyone, including foreigners. Even so, it is necessary to hire a health insurance to better deal with unforeseen events and have full coverage at any time during your stay in Brazil. It is possible to hire this service from travel agencies in your country of origin. 


Rio de Janeiro is known for its high temperatures. During the summer, from December to March, the thermometers usually read around 40°C (104F), with a thermal sensation that can reach up to 50°C (122F) or hotter. It is hot even if you are not staying directly under the sun, so don't be fooled by a seemingly cloudy sky. Rio's sultry heat also causes your skin to burn. We advise you to always apply sunscreen to your face and exposed parts of your body when going out. It is recommended to bring a bottle of water to help alleviate the heat, in addition to wearing a hat and sunglasses to lessen the impact of the sun. January is known as a month of frequent but brief rains. March, on the other hand, is marked by denser rains, which usually flood some parts of the city. Always remember to go out with an umbrella. 


The standard voltage is 127v, but some hotels and apartments also have 220v outlets. Since 2012, Brazil has adopted a new type of electrical outlet with three pins. To avoid problems when charging your electronic devices, bring or purchase an adapter when you arrive in the country. 


It is recommended to get the Yellow Fever and COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to Brazil.