Brazilian Studies Program

As one of LACC’s priority areas for development as a Program of Excellence, the Brazilian Studies Initiative enhances academic and scholarly work throughout the university by strengthening ties between FIU and Brazilian academic, government and private sector institutions. This entails an active outreach program whereby LACC leverages FIU’s intellectual and financial resources to not only engage partners in Brazil but to promote and deepen our understanding of Brazil/US and Brazil/Florida relations.

The network of relationships between Brazil and the United States, particularly Brazil and Florida, are dense and critically important to both countries. More specifically, there are 300,000 Brazilians residing in Florida, the largest community of Brazilians in the US, reflecting, in part, the significant increase in trade and investments between Brazil and Florida. LACC builds upon its strengths in multiple departments and across disciplines, such as Portuguese language and Brazilian studies instruction, to promote the study and research of Brazilian language and culture at the K-18 level, as well as Brazilian economy, politics and society.

Programming includes but is not limited to:

-Project Brazil: A highlight of FIU LACC engagement with FIU Professional Schools is the LACC/Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida (BACCF) Project Brazil. Designed to provide real-world experience to FIU undergraduate students, deepen understanding of international business and the Latin American market in the US, and support training in technical business Portuguese, Brazilian companies in South Florida host five undergraduate students for one-week residencies. Students receive corporate profiles to conduct studies of each company’s core business and industry area, observe daily operations and interact with company representatives. Top performers attend the BACCF’s yearly Portuguese-language seminar "Como Ingressar no Mercado Norte Americano" and may secure internships and gain access to additional opportunities designed to enhance employability.

-Miami K-12 Portuguese Strategic Planning Committee: In response to increasing demands in South Florida for expanded K-12 training in Portuguese and in an effort to build upon existing strengths and further institutionalize existing partnerships in support of Brazilian Studies, LACC, the Consulate General of Brazil in Miami, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the Portuguese International Parents Association and the American Organization for Teachers of Portuguese co-founded the Miami K-12 Portuguese Strategic Planning Committee. The Committee serves as forum to design, fund and implement critical and sustainable programming related to Portuguese and avoid duplication of efforts. Current collaborative projects provide support for primary, secondary and post-secondary teacher training and professional development, curriculum development, library collection development, strategic hires, and outreach; the development of dual-enrollment opportunities is a new priority area of focus for 2014.

-Portuguese Language Proficiency Testing at FIU: As part of its Program of Excellence, LACC prioritizes the importance of providing the tools necessary to support language proficiency testing for those working in or on Brazil. LACC faculty affiliate, Professor Augusta Vono, is credentialed to administer the Government of Brazil's Celpe-Bras Portuguese proficiency test. FIU is one of only four Celpe-Bras testing sites in the US and serves students, government employees and professionals from across the US and the LAC region. LACC's Program of Excellence provides funding for Celpe-Bras re-certification training as well as ACTFL-OPI training.

-Portuguese Language Journal: Along with the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida and the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico, LACC cosponsors the Portuguese Language Journal, an initiative to promote and improve the teaching of Portuguese as a foreign language and to provide a venue to encourage collaboration, research and exchange of ideas among Portuguese language faculty.

-International Academic Programs: As a cornerstone of its outreach to post-secondary institutions, LACC provides funding to support various FIU international learning opportunities related to Brazil. Such programs include the Mercosur Professional Development in International Business, which targets university and community college faculty, and the Business in Brazil Study Abroad which targets undergraduate and graduate marketing and management students, as well as Latin American Studies students. Both programs are co-sponsored by FIU CIBER and LACC.

-LACC Interdisciplinary Affiliated Faculty Colloquium Series: This series provides an important forum for the promotion and dissemination of LACC faculty research related to Portuguese and Brazilian Studies. Related colloquia have highlighted LACC faculty research on focuses on politics, law, culture, media and business in contemporary Brazil and featured presentations from FIU faculty including, Manuel Gomez, Law; Ana Maria Bidegain, Religious Studies; Victor Uribe, History; William Newburry, Business, and Nicola Gavioli and Augusta Vono, Modern Languages.

-LACC Outreach Events and Community Programming: LACC works closely with the FIU Portuguese Program, FIU Modern Languages, FIU Brazilian Culture Club, FIU Journalism and other partners on a variety of outreach events throughout the year. Recent events have examined the marketing strategies of Embraer, legacies of Brazil's dictatorship, infrastructure and security demands in preparation for the World Cup and Olympics, culture and performance in Carnival, and freedom of the press in Brazil.