The city

The city of São Paulo has the highest population density in Brazil, with 12.33 million inhabitants spread over its 1,521 km² (587 square miles). Capital of the State of São Paulo, the city is considered the financial heart of Brazil. High levels of business tourism are leveraged by the many companies who have settled in the city, making its economy turn. Its global influence and cosmopolitan essence make it the main destination for those who want to study and work in Brazil. The city is divided into regions, namely North, South, East, West, and Center. FGV is located in the Bela Vista neighborhood, in the central region of São Paulo. 

Parque do Ibirapuera


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. 


Getting to know São Paulo is finding a little bit of Brazil in every corner. The city went through a long process of immigration, receiving people from various regions of Brazil and the world. São Paulo’s formation happened through influences from millions of Brazilians. This is reflected in the tourism and culture of São Paulo, which are very diverse.  

For outdoor walks, take a picnic or hike through Ibirapuera Park. Avenida Paulista, which runs through part of the region, is closed on Sundays, making it a great place to go roller-skating, cycling, or simply enjoy the view of this megalopolis. Cinemas, theaters and museums abound in “Sampa” (alias for the town).   

It's worth taking the time to visit the São Paulo Museum of Art, MASP, and appreciate the exhibitions on display. While at it, behold the amazing architectural project that compose this important symbol of Brazilian culture. Visiting the Municipal Market of São Paulo is one of those programs that simply cannot be missed. The “Mercadão”, as it is popularly known, brings together restaurants with typical dishes, in addition to offering a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, seafood and much more. 

The Oscar Freire street is the main reference in São Paulo for purchases of luxury goods or international brands. To enjoy the nightlife, take advantage of Augusta street, and don't miss out on the capital's restaurants. São Paulo is the gastronomic capital of Brazil.  

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 São Paulo is considered one of the highest in Brazil and Latin America. Spending on food can range from R$550 to more than R$1000 per month. Values vary according to food choices, eating out in restaurants or cooking your meals at home. 

When it comes to transport, the city of São Paulo has buses, trains, and subways. Please set aside around BRL 270-380 to get around the city using public transportation for one month. These values may change according to your routine. Prices for renting a one-bedroom apartment can range from R$ 2000 to R$ 3000, depending on the size of the location, furniture and other particularities of each region. 


Fundação Getulio Vargas 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. 


The city's climate is characterized by a rather dry winter and a rather rainy summer. In São Paulo, it is common to face temperatures which are much lower than in other regions of Brazil, such as Rio de Janeiro, for example. In the capital of São Paulo, thermometers will read 10°C (50F) on cold days. In addition, fogs are a constant and even hail will topple down from the cold sky occasionally. São Paulo has large temperature differences even in nearby locations. Therefore, even on hot days, it is recommended to carry a coat and umbrella in your backpack. Additionally, when choosing clothes for a cold day, it is important to think of alternatives, in case the weather starts to get sultry. Despite the constantly gray sky, do not overlook the use of sunscreen to protect your skin. 



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.