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:

Learning Process

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.

So, how can Rio & Learn help me learn faster?

You can learn faster by striving to follow Rio & Learn’s Funlearning and Livelearning methods. Funlearning is a method focused on fluid learning, without the student even realizing that he is learning. On the other hand, Livelearning is about living the language! Be in the form of RioLIVE!, where the student can learn Portuguese while discovering Rio de Janeiro. Or even in the RioONLINE! format! where even in a virtual way we bring the student to Brazil in an interactive way. These two methods are the differentials of our school, and make our students’ learning more effective and better: faster!
But you also have a role over how fast you can learn and how much you can evolve on your learning process:
– Don’t skip classes: your presence is important so the class can have a continuation fluidity.
– Engage and ask questions: don’t be shy! Everyone is here to learn just like you, so don’t be afraid to engage in classes and ask questions. Your teachers will love to help you out!
– Participate in our out-of-class activities, such as RioLIVE! and RioONLINE!
– Avoid speaking you native language: to really immerse yourself, you must dive your senses deep into Portuguese. So avoid translating content or speaking in your native language. It might look easier, but it won’t help.
– Try to talk Portuguese or practice Portuguese every time you have the chance. If you are in Brazil try to talk 24/7! Otherwise, give yourself the chance to practice every single time it is possible!
– Try to have fun: we know you are dedicating your time and efforts into learning, but try not to put this weight on yourself. You will learn, you are capable! And while having fun, you won’t even notice how much you are learning.

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 after 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 do you split your students? Do you have different levels?

At Rio & Learn we have three different levels: beginner, 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.
Every week, students are evaluated by the pedagogical team and relocated into classes compatible with the level they now have. This means that depending on your learning, you may be able to skip classes even if you haven’t necessarily seen all of the material at that level. This is because we believe that students produce more in classes compatible with their personal level, and that classes should be customized for the group of students they serve and not the other way around!
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.

Do you have groups especially for Spanish speakers?

At Rio & Learn, we don’t organize groups exclusively for Spanish speakers because we don’t consider it beneficial for the students. We acknowledge that the similarity between Portuguese and Spanish can make the learning process easier and faster, but when Spanish speakers are grouped together, they end up mixing both languages, resulting in what we call “Portunhol.” Besides, we assess the level of our students every week, so if you learn faster, you will be upgraded to a higher group or level accordingly!

How many levels does the school offer?

We offer every level from beginner to advanced. Your progress will be evaluated daily based on your actual level, and at the end of each week, our teachers will decide if you have the necessary knowledge to advance to a higher level in the following week. This way, students who improve faster will progress to higher levels and groups more quickly. This method ensures that you’re always with people at your same level and that you only speak Portuguese in class. At Rio & Learn, nobody needs to remain stuck in the same group to complete the contents of a book or curriculum if they have a higher level.

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. This is because our atmosphere is very cozy, friendly and open to all kinds of people. It’s our pedagogical objective that our students feel comfortable in our familiar environment, so they can have confidence to speak in Portuguese!

Does the school allow minors to enroll?

We welcome students of different ages, but generally, we do not accept underage students for groups. Our decision not to accept underage students is based on our concern to ensure the best possible educational experience for all students. Our curriculum and activities are designed with adult learners in mind, with specific classes and approaches. However, we understand that there may be exceptional cases, and for students aged 16 to 17, we can consider the possibility of a special enrollment. In that case, we will need parental authorization for enrollment as well. For private classes, we can arrange classes on a case-by-case basis, specifically tailored to the pupil!

Is it possible to take private classes for two people?

Private classes are designed to offer personalized attention and cater to individual needs. With a private teacher, you can focus on specific topics you find challenging and explore new ones. It’s important to recognize that each person learns at their own pace. This is precisely why we don’t recommend private classes for two or more people. However, we do offer group classes at all levels, against a lower rate.

What if one day of my course is on a national holiday?

To ensure a seamless learning experience for our students, we have implemented certain adjustments for different types of classes in Rio. In the case of group classes, if a holiday falls during the week, we will make up for the missed hours by extending the class duration on the remaining days. Specifically, on those days, classes will run from 8:30 to 13:30, allowing us to cover the full curriculum. However, in weeks with two or more holidays, we will not conduct any group classes throughout that week. If your time in Rio is limited, we recommend checking the holiday schedule before booking your classes. But if you have unlimited time, there’s no need to worry as we will simply extend the course by an extra week.
For part-time online group classes, if a holiday occurs during the week, you will have additional hours on the following Friday to make up for the missed class time. Similarly, for full-time online group classes, if a holiday falls on a weekday, we will schedule an extra hour of class the day before the holiday and another hour on the Friday of the same week. In the event of two or more holidays in a week, there will be no group classes of any kind. However, this will not hinder your learning progress, as the missed hours will be rescheduled for another week.

Please note that during holidays, including Saturdays and Sundays, no classes will be held for any of our courses, including Full-time Online Classes, Part-time Online Classes, Private Online Classes, Group Classes in Rio, Livebusiness!, Private Classes in Rio, and Portuguese Classes for Business. The only exception to this rule applies to our Rio & Immersion and Learn a la Carte courses. If you wish to have classes on holidays, Saturdays, or Sundays, you must schedule at least two hours of classes in these particular modalities.

For a comprehensive list of holidays, we have a dedicated Dica that provide all the necessary information.

Payment

How do I pay for my course?

The best way to pay for you course is, for sure, credit card. You should perform your purchase as soon as possible, since it will give us time to make all preparations needed. We also accept money in our school, but since we can’t save spots until payment is completed, this is kind of risky. 

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 accommodation if I sign up from December to March?

Rio de Janeiro is a major tourist destination during the summer months in the southern hemisphere. From December 15th to March 15th, Brazilian and overseas tourism increases dramatically, which makes the accommodation and rentals rise by as much as 40% above the usual price.
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.
In addition to being the peak season, there is a specific period that stands out as the most expensive week of all: Carnival (Mardi Gras). Experiencing Carnival in Rio is truly indescribable, but it’s important to note that it comes with a higher price tag compared to other weeks of the year.

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 on foot 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 play soccer at 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 6 or 8 hours per day, and a teacher accompanies you to learn and practice in different environments.

Do I need a visa?

The majority of nationalities do not require a tourist visa for shorter stays, typically under 90 days. However, for extended periods of stay, such as over 90 days, a visa may be necessary. Conversely, there are certain nationalities that require visas even for tourism purposes. 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 with your tourism stay or student visa. 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. Also, take a look at our Dica about security in Rio de Janeiro, so you can learn tips and tricks on how to avoid dangerous situations!

When should I arrive?

It is better to arrive on the weekend and begin classes the next Monday. Remember our group classes start at 9 am on Mondays, so make sure you arrive during the weekend before and get a good rest.

Does Rio & Learn offer pick-up services from the airport?

Yes, we do! You can schedule a ride with us to pick-up you up from Galeão, Rio de Janeiro’s international airport, to your apartment, hotel or Airbnb. This service costs 220,00 R$.

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 school related activities so you can learn faster! 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 provide?

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 Copacabana, south of Rio de Janeiro, in a safe neighborhood. These are always well connected by lots of public transport, ubers and taxis. But you must know: it is very easy to get to school by foot if you are staying in one of our accommodations!

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 origin 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!
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 t-shirts. But remember, weather can get a little bit colder than the usual summer weather, so always have some protective clothes with you as well.

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. If you want something that you can for sure use everywhere, we advise you to get a internet sim card for your phone. There are multiple brands and different plans for you to choose from.

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 option without meals. 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 ubers to get into Rio de Janeiro.

What happens when I get to my accommodation and they do not speak my language?

This may seem a little difficult, but our families are aware of this and will treat you kindly. Our objective is that you feel completely immersed in our culture and language, which will help you learn faster! So, don’t worry at all, this is all part of our Livelearning method!

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

Online Courses

Which online courses are available?

We offer a range of courses tailored to different needs our students might have, which you can check out here. From private classes for those who feel like they might need special attention, to group classes full of possible friends, we offer you all the best to achieve fluency. We also offer courses for people that want to focus on business in Portuguese.

Who can enroll in our online Portuguese courses?

Our online Portuguese school is open to anyone (non-native) 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. It doesn’t matter if you are tech savvy or someone that aren’t too into technology: we also try to make things as simple as they can be!

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. To our online group classes, we use Google Meet platform.

Is there any out-of-class activities included in online courses?

With our students’ language development and immersive experience in mind, we offer a variety of engaging activities beyond the traditional classroom setting for our online courses. By incorporating these supplementary tools and activities, we aim to provide a well-rounded and immersive learning experience for our online students.

  • Some activities are RioONLINE!, where both students and teachers come together to participate in diverse activities aimed at enhancing their connection with the language. From watching Brazilian soap operas to engaging in competitive games, RioONLINE! strives to bring you even closer to Brazil and its culture.
  • Additionally, we have created a Google Classroom platform where we regularly post O Jogo do Dia (Game of the Day). This provides you with an opportunity to review what you have already learned or even discover something new through interactive games.
  • Last but certainly not least, we have a dedicated Whatsapp group where all our online students come together to engage in Portuguese conversations almost 24/7! Our teachers actively participate in this group, readily available to address any doubts and join in the conversation. It serves as a valuable platform for continuous language practice and support.
Our online classes and courses 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. 

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.