THE PROGRAM: S&K offers high school and college students the opportunity to learn a second language and enlarge their cultural understanding by living with upper middle class Brazilian families in the safe environment of a small town, attending high school and participating in daily community life. The exchange student and his/her host family must be willing to get to know each other on a close personal basis.

THE SETTING: Santa Cruz do Sul is located about a thousand kilometers south of São Paulo. It is a town of about 80,000 inhabitants in the city and over 100,000, including the country areas. Santa Cruz started as a German immigration center in the 1800s, and nowadays it has become an interesting blend of cultures with some people still speaking German in the countryside. The city tends to be different than the typical images that people have of Brazil.

Santa Cruz is rather prosperous and safe comparing to other Brazilian cities. We are 100 miles (160 km.) from Porto Alegre, the largest city, the state capital and the nearest commercial airport. The main economic activity of Santa Cruz is farm production, processing and exporting of leaf tobacco. There is also a cigarette factory which generates a lot of tax money. Other industries are: clothing, corn seed production, machinery, and rubber. There is also a private university.

Cost of living in Brazil is today considerably cheaper than the cost of living in the U.S., although some somethings can be more expensive. Santa Cruz is especially cheaper than big cities and also it might be a better place to make friends and learn the culture.


THE FAMILIES: The S&K homestay program is limited to the area of Santa Cruz do Sul. Therefore, all the families are interviewed personally by our staff. Since we are located in a small town, most of the families are well known to us as we are to them, which reinforces the mutual trust. In our evaluation of families the most important points are psychological stability, open-mindedness and genuine interest in foreign cultures.

ACCOMMODATIONS: The family will always provide an individual furnished bedroom. Brazilian families normally have 3 meals a day and lunch is usually the main meal.


The fees include full room and board at your host family, participation in our language workshop 3 times a week, and participation in our occasional weekend tours.

THE SCHOOLS: High schools in Brazil are public and private. Public schools attendance is free, while private schools cost approximately R$1430 per semester (approximately US$750). If the student's proficiency in Portuguese is good enough to follow the subjects taught in school and pass the exams, the student will get a certificate. It depends on the student's high school to accept or not the credits earned in Brazil. As far as we know, most of the schools will accept.

The exchange student can also attend regular college courses at the local university (UNISC) as a part-time student. To be accepted, the student needs to show proof of previous college enrollment. There is a wide choice of course offerings and the transference of the credits will depend on your American college. The local university works on a semester system and attendance costs approximately R$100 per credit/hour.

At the same time the host family will try to provide comfortable accommodations, the exchange student is expected to be conscious about maintaining energy saving, not forgetting lights or electric heaters on when leaving the accommodations.

The program is subject to family availability.

CULTURAL TOURS: Samba and capoeira lessons are also available, as well as cultural traveling on weekends. These turismo cultural items are weekend trips to places of interest. For this purpose S&K has 12-passenger van. The idea is to integrate cultures bringing together foreign students of Portuguese and local students of English in an informal atmosphere with a lot of comprehensible input both ways, so that everybody learns English and Portuguese having fun together.


55 - (51) - 3715-3366

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