Students in Brazil in front of waterfall

Welcome to the Portuguese Language Program!

An increasing number of students seek to learn Portuguese and pursue Brazilian Studies who are interested in traveling and working in Brazil and Latin America. Besides the fact that today’s student population may be more in contact with the growing Portuguese-speaking communities in the United States and therefore more exposed to and curious about things Brazilian, there is a second generation of Brazilian- and Portuguese-Americans who wants to learn their heritage language. Other students are becoming aware of Brazil’s new presence globally. Mostly this is because Brazil has strengthened important international alliances in the last decades.

One of the BRICS counties, it is an alternative economy pulsing with new energy and concrete job potential—social entrepreneurship is one of the key sectors, but there is banking, the financial market, the oil industry and more. In the 21st-century, moreover, the interest in the strategic areas of the Portuguese-speaking world is another geo-socio-political reason that makes Portuguese a usefully asset-language: Portuguese is spoken in eight countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. It is the third most widely spoken Western language after Spanish and English and the sixth, after Mandarin, Spanish, English, Hindi, and Arabic. Our Program strives to reflect such a diversity in its language, culture, and literature courses. Ultimately, we contribute to the UNCW faculty’s desire to empower our students with the ability to creatively and resourcefully deal with the complexity of the contemporary world.

Minor in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

The Portuguese Program’s goals include:


  • To offer a friendly, safe, and collaborative environment that fosters students’ learning.
  • To advance students’ learning of the Portuguese-speaking world’s cultures and societies.
  • To expose students to the positive contributions of the Portuguese-speaking peoples in shaping the modern world.
  • To allow students to understand the role of growing economic powers, such as Brazil, in the shaping of the post-modern world.
  • To provide the necessary planning and academic support to engage students in study abroad projects.


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