Rio & Learn FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions which come up when students are choosing to study at Rio & Learn. Let’s get to know the main FAQ Rio & Learn. Click on the sections below to be redirected easily to whatever you want to read about:
How long does it take to learn?
The speed and progress of learning depends on many factors and it is very difficult to predict. However, while learning a new language, there are controllable factors (that depend on you and the school you choose), along with uncontrollable factors that neither you nor the school can control. For example, a person whose native language comes from a Latin root (examples: Spanish, French, Italian) recognises the similarity to their language and learns Portuguese much faster than students whose native language is from another family of languages.
Another uncontrollable factor is the ease that someone has to learn languages. For example, the more languages you speak, the more experience you have as a language learner. But, as mentioned, there are other controllable factors that depend on you and the school, and these are the factors which Rio & Learn work hard on to help you learn faster.
Therefore, we recommend that you follow our Livelearning method even if you struggle (at the beginning) to talk all day in Portuguese. The more opportunities you give yourself to speak, the faster you will begin to speak, no matter how basic your language use is at first.
What qualifications do the teachers at Rio & Learn have? Why them and not other teachers?
Our teachers are all university educated or are currently completing their degree studies. Our teachers are continually rated by our students to help improve the teachers understanding of their teaching, and so they can learn how to be successful. We select our teachers to have a high level of personal motivation, and an enthusiasm to entertain the students, and we train our teachers in our Funlearning method.
Your evaluation of the school and the teacher will be extremely valuable to us to improve our school and services, so we ask you to send an evaluation upon the end of every class and the completion of your course. This helps us maintain the highest quality in our teaching, and reward our teachers through professional and personal development.
How can Rio & Learn help me learn faster?
You can learn faster by striving to follow Rio & Learn’s Funlearning and Livelearning methods. Try to speak Portuguese at every opportunity, while having fun and enjoying our classes, taking part in our activities and exploring what Rio de Janeiro and Brazil have to offer. Go out, discover, enjoy, live and interact. Also, make sure you don’t miss our RioLIVE Activities! If you are one of our online students, you can still immerse yourself in our culture and language, by coming to our RioONLINE! activities!!!
How do you split your students? Do you have different levels?
At Rio & Learn we have three different levels: beginners, intermediate and advanced. In order to know yours, we will send you a link to take a quick test upon registration. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself, we just want to make sure you are placed at the right level.
For group classes, we have new groups opening every week, so as long as you enroll ahead of time, we will be able to offer a spot for you. For private classes, you also need to take the level test, so we can tailor the specific materials for you.
What is the average age of your students?
Rio & Learn is a school which has students coming from all over the world and their age vary. Considering our numbers, we can say that most of the students are from 25 up to 34 years old. But we have students from any age. In our environment everyone, from every age feels comfortable to participate, learn and share experiences.
What if one day of my course is on a national holiday?
Please note that the school opening times are coordinated with the public holidays in Rio de Janeiro, not your country. If a holiday happens to fall during the week, on the other days we will have an extra hour of class, totaling the 4 hours missed. So classes will be from 8:30 to 13:30 on those days.
However, in weeks with 2 or more holidays, we won’t have group classes at all that week. So, if you have a limited time in Rio, we suggest before booking your classes to check out the holiday schedule for the city. But if you have an unlimited time here, don’t worry, we will simply extend one extra week of the course. We organize it this way in order to maximize your time here and learn all you can while in Rio!
For other types of courses, we try to adjust the hours if this can be arranged with the client. For Rio & Immersion and LiveBusiness! courses, classes can be made up on a Saturday or even on a public holiday in a week with more than one day of holiday.
Can we study as a group?
Rio & Learn can arrange a special course tailor-made for your group. You can come with your friends to go kite surfing, surfing, or climbing; to samba in groups and dance in the best samba schools … or just be with your friends on vacation. Whatever you wish to do. Rio & Learn’s courses help you organize everything, from your Portuguese language course to the activities you’d love to do to in Rio. Please contact us to arrange your course and your exciting language and cultural immersion holiday.
How do I pay for my course?
To avoid having cash on our business premises, our courses are paid for through our website before you make your trip to Brazil. Your may pay with your credit card. If you booking for a company, please contact us to arrange the academic option that best suits your needs, and to confirm the payment method and details.
How much do I have to pay for enrolment?
NOTHING. At Rio & Learn we believe that our students should only pay for what they recieve, so we do not charged for any extra payment for enrolment or administration fees. With Rio & Learn you don’t need to worry about buying books. You will receive the content to be studied every week in your e-mail as PDF file free of charge. In this way you can access it in your phone, tablet, computer or even print it.
How much time before a course starts do I have to register?
We highly recommend you to book your course as soon as possible (at least one month in advance) in order to guarantee your spot! For courses in Brazil, remember that in the months of December, January and February the accommodation in Rio de Janeiro is very expensive, so the sooner you book, the better. During this period, finding the accommodation of your choice may be difficult even when booking your course more than one month in advance.
Why do I have to pay more for in-person courses if I sign up from December to February?
Rio de Janeiro is a major tourist destination during the summer months in the southern hemisphere. From December to March, Brazilian and overseas tourism increases dramatically, which makes the accommodation and rentals rise by as much as 40% above the usual price.
These prices vary each year and depend on how many people come each year.
We recommend you book your course for these months well in advance, and we recommend that you make sure you also have a good accommodation; the price rise for the season also means that even poor accommodation can become pricey.
Courses in Brazil
What is the typical day of study like at Rio & Learn?
Although it depends on the course and the accommodation options you’ve chosen, our students usually wake up with a greeting from their host family and have breakfast with them. Later, students go to school by public transport and then they take a coffee and speak a little Brazilian Portuguese with the other students before school starts.
After completing the classes, if they have a morning course, students will eat near the school or take lunch at the beach while practicing Portuguese with other students from the school. After lunch, the students go on a RioLIVE! activity along with the other Rio & Learn students who want to come along, and are accompanied by one of our teachers. Between the group and the Portuguese teacher, they practice while enjoying the activity for free.
RioLIVE! activities vary and can range from a sightseeing tour in the city, like the Christ of Corcovado, or participating in many cultural activities; dancing in a samba class or cycling along the beach (see RioLIVE! activities here).
Later, the students take in the last rays of sun on the beach or go to drink a caipirinha while they decide where they will “sambar” at night.
I want to learn Portuguese but I don’t have much time to be in Brazil. What can I do?
For students without much time or for business executives who need to learn Portuguese in record time, our immersion programs offer 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. We have two types, LiveBusiness! for managers who need to learn business vocabulary and expressions in their specific sector, and for other students we have Rio & Immersion. Both programs are 8 hours per day, and a teacher accompanies you to learn and practice in different environments.
Do I need a visa?
Most nationalities require a visa in order to stay in Brazil for a period over 90 days. On the following link you can check the requirements for your country. All visitors must have a passport valid for at least another six months following their date of arrival. Rio & Learn will help in any way possible we can. If you need a recommendation letter, or similar, we will provide this. However, please note that Rio & Learn do not arrange nor are responsible for your visa and entry into Brazil.
Where will I live while I’m studying?
Our advice for you to improve your Portuguese quickly is to follow our Livelearning method, and stay in accommodation booked with a Rio & Learn course.
You live with Brazilian people so you’ll be practising your Portuguese all day, being part of Rio life and getting to know its culture. All of the family homes are evaluated by our students at the end of their stay. Your opinion helps us manage a pleasant and fulfilling stay at the accommodation for all of our students.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes, you definitely need medical and travel insurance that is valid for the duration of your stay in Brazil. The insurance must also include evacuation, in case of any serious medical problems. We can’t accept any students without this insurance. But don’t worry, we can help you arrange it if you need assistance.
When should I arrive?
It is better to arrive on Sunday and begin classes the next day. Remember our group classes start at 9 am on Mondays, so make sure you arrive during the weekend before and get a good rest.
Am I going to understand anyone when I get to school? I only speak my language?
The Rio & Learn team speak many languages and are happy to communicate in your language. Of course, it’s impossible for us to know all languages (we speak English), but do not worry anyway, with our Funlearning and Livelearning methods, you soon won’t need to rely on your own language.
We receive a lot of students with little notions of Portuguese and they have no problems in quickly exchanging basic information as they chat with our staff members.
Our teachers will speak only Portuguese in class and we are used to welcoming and teaching students from around the world.
What will my accommodation be like if I stay in rooms that the school provides?
To improve your Portuguese quickly, we strongly recommend you follow our Livelearning method by staying at the network of family accommodations that Rio & Learn have developed. You get to live with Brazilian people so you will be practicing your Portuguese 24hrs per day, as well as discovering insights into Brazilian culture. We continually assess our students’ stay and your feedback helps us improve this integral part of our quick learning programe for all of our students.
Where is my accommodation located?
Rio & Learn only offers accommodation located in the south of Rio de Janeiro, in upper-class or medium-high neighborhoods. These are always well connected by lots of public transport so that it is very easy to get to school.
What is the weather like in Rio de Janeiro? What clothes should I bring?
Rio de Janeiro is a city characterized by having warm and pleasant weather throughout the year, although the temperature can experience abrupt changes during the seasons. Feeling cold or hot can vary greatly depending on the nationality of the person. We recommend that you check the weather forecasts at specialist websites before preparing your suitcase. Always use a good (factor) sunscreen; the sun in Rio de Janeiro can be very strong!
What do I have to bring? How do people dress?
Cariocas tend to dress very casually, much more so than in other Latin American countries. The most common clothes are sandals, flip flops, shorts skirts and shirts.
How do I get around the city?
Our school is located near the metro and all of our accommodation is located in areas which are well connected by public transport to the school and beaches. From most of them, you can also walk to the school within 5 or 10 minutes.
Will I be able to connect to the Internet?
All of our accommodation offers Internet access for our students. You can also connect to the Internet at the school, where you will have free wifi. Around Rio de Janeiro, you can find wifi hotspots or Internet cafes, mostly found at Copacabana and Ipanema.
What if I am vegetarian?
Meat consumption is the norm in Brazil, so if you want to stay with one of our families then we recommend you choose the self-catering option. You can cook your own meals or eat out, as you prefer.
How do I get from the airport to my accommodation on arrival?
Following a tiring or long trip, we recommend that you purchase our service for airport pick-up to drop you at your accommodation. The driver will be waiting for your flight with a sign with your name and they will help you carry your luggage if necessary. Galeão Aeroporto Internacional (GIG) is 20 km north of Rio de Janeiro. If you do not use our collection service, there are taxis and buses to get into Rio de Janeiro.
What happens when I get to my accommodation and they do not speak my language?
Not to worry at all. This may seem a little difficult, but our families are aware of this and will treat you kindly. Brazilians are friendly and open people.
What is the nightlife like in Rio de Janeiro?
Rio de Janeiro is a city with a fantastic nightlife. You can choose from a variety of options, such as rodas de samba, forró dance, disco, try out different Samba schools, eat in restaurants serving different food, cinema, theatres, live music concerts, and all forms of Brazilian popular music. On hot nights, a cold beer on terrace is always welcome. At the weekend, many Cariocas go to bed at six in the morning after a night of music and dancing!
Can I speak my language?
To learn Portuguese quickly really depends on how much you practice the language. Our Livelearning method is based on an immersion into the country’s culture and with high levels of contact with the Portuguese. We advised you to avoid speaking in your own language. The more you use Portuguese, the quicker you will learn and feel more comfortable. We always advise our students to try to speak at launch even if it’s not perfect Portuguese. At first, it is quite hard to talk when few people understand, but the more you try to speak in Portuguese the quicker you pick up the language.
To avoid any discouragement, all of our courses and activities are also based on our Funlearning method. Our teachers will use activities in which students learn through enjoyment, without hours of heavy study or repetitive writing exercises. Our teachers use Funlearning for faster and better communicative skills, and they always speak to you in Portuguese. We also recommend that you speak Portuguese in your daily activities with other students at the school, and with your family if you live in a school accommodation following the Livelearning method.
Which online courses are available?
We offer a range of courses tailored to different proficiency levels, including beginner, intermediate, and advanced Portuguese. Our courses cover various aspects of the language, such as grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
Who can enroll in your online Portuguese courses?
Our online Portuguese school is open to anyone interested in learning or improving their Portuguese language skills. Whether you’re a complete beginner or already have some knowledge of the language, our courses are designed to accommodate learners of all levels.
Are the courses taught by qualified teachers?
Yes, all our courses, it doesn’t matter if in-person or online, are taught by experienced and qualified instructors who are native Portuguese speakers. They have expertise in teaching Portuguese as a second language and are dedicated to providing a supportive and engaging learning experience for our students.
How are the classes conducted?
Classes are conducted entirely online through user-friendly conference apps, such as Google Meet, Skype and Zoom. Students can access course materials, participate in interactive lessons, submit assignments, and engage in discussions with teachers and fellow learners.
Can I interact with instructors and other students?
Absolutely! Our online platform provides various opportunities for interaction. You can ask questions, seek clarifications, and participate in discussions with both teachers and fellow students. Collaboration and communication are encouraged to enhance the learning experience. That is why we provide different spaces for this interaction, such as WhatsApp groups, Classroom activities and RioONLINE! activities. And the best part: it’s all included in your course value!
What materials and resources are provided?
We provide comprehensive course materials, including pdf files, interactive exercises, and supplementary resources. Our goal is to offer a well-rounded learning experience that caters to different learning styles and preferences.
Is there any support available if I need help?
Yes, we have a dedicated support team that is available to assist you with any queries or technical issues you may encounter during your learning journey. You can reach out to us via email or through our Whatsapp, and we’ll be happy to help.
FAQs Rio & Learn for Companies
How can we get more information about Portuguese courses offered at Rio & Learn? How can we book?
Simple. Contact us through our video chat or contact us by email. Tell us what you would like, and we will help you choose the course and any special aspects that you require
Do Rio & Learn offer quick immersion courses for new professionals relocating to Brazil?
Yes, we have specially designed courses. Our immersion course for professionals, LiveBusiness!, teaches you to quickly acquire vocabulary related to the business world, the company you work in and industry/professional sector.
We also have more flexible options if you need to incorporate a new executive quickly, combining learning Portuguese at the same time.
In addition, Learn a-la-Carte is an in-company service where our teacher will come to the company at the times chosen by you. The aim is to be flexible for the student’s professional needs.
Contact us here for more information.
Can I hire services such as Portuguese translations at Rio & Learn?
Yes, no problem. Rio & Learn will help you with any service related to your Portuguese language needs.
We have several overseas professionals who need to improve their Portuguese. Can you help us?
Of course, Rio & Learn can provide individual or group courses in your company to help their managers, or new executives from abroad and to integrate them as quickly as possible. Contact us to discuss the best options.