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Brazilian Studies, Salvador - Fall and Spring
Dear Participants,
Thank you for choosing the University of California Education Abroad Program. We hope that you will have an amazing experience in Salvador da Bahia and will look back on it as a highlight of your UC education. For this program, UCEAP has partnered with CIEE. As a UCEAP student, the terms of your participation differ from students who are enrolled with CIEE independently or through another university. It is important for you to be aware of these differences and understand your unique responsibilities as a UCEAP student abroad.
The materials that have been provided to you by CIEE should be read carefully. Always keep in mind, however, that you are concurrently enrolled at UC while participating through CIEE in Bahia. This means that, among other things, the grades you earn while in Bahia will appear on your UC transcript as direct UC credit rather than transfer credit, and unlike other students you may meet in the program, you will pay your fees to UCEAP rather than directly to CIEE. You are also covered by UCEAP insurance anywhere in the world during your UCEAP participation. Finally, you will have additional resources and contacts through UCEAP. The details of these separate and unique “UCEAP elements” of your participation are outlined in this short supplement. Please be familiar with them before departing for Bahia.
Click a heading below to see section content.


Your first point of contact while abroad will be the on-site CIEE Resident Staff in Bahia including:
CIEE Resident Coordinator in Bahia
Flávia Santana, Resident Coordinator
CIEE Program Coordinator
Luize Silva
Calling From US:       011-55-71-9111-0081
Calling from within Brazil:      71-9111-0081


While you will stay in close touch with the CIEE staff, you will also need to keep a list of contacts on hand for the UCEAP Systemwide Office. The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs all over the world, and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. As a participant in this program, you will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Academics & Your UC Registration
As a dual UCEAP and CIEE student, make sure you understand all of your academic resources as well as your academic responsibilities. Remember that other students on the program will be bound to different home-university policies. Regardless of CIEE or Universidade Católica do Salvador (UCSal) regulations and rules, you must also meet UCEAP requirements.
The most important thing to understand is that you will be concurrently enrolled in your courses both through CIEE, and through UCEAP’s MyEAP Study List. Completing your MyEAP Study List is the only way for your UCEAP courses and grades to appear on your UC transcript.  See the “Credit and Registration” section below.
The CIEE resident staff should be your first contact for most issues, but remember if you have significant academic, health, personal, or financial issues that may impact your academic performance, be sure to contact UCEAP staff to discuss options and consequences.


  • UCEAP academic regulations/MyEAP Study List UCEAP
    - UCEAP International Academic Specialist, Monica Rocha
  • Conflicts or confusion between UCEAP and CIEE general academic policies
    - UCEAP International Academic Specialist, Monica Rocha
  • CIEE and/or UCSal course specifics and concerns
    - CIEE Resident Coordinator in Bahia, Flávia Santana
  • Home UC college or department requirements
    - Your UC departmental advisor and/or campus EAP advisor
Credit & Registration
Because you will be receiving direct UC credit rather than transfer credit, you will be enrolled concurrently with CIEE and UCEAP.

Registering through CIEE: Signing up for courses

  • You may be able to pre-register for UCSal courses before arriving on-site. Your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor will notify you when details about the course registration process are available in your online CIEE account. There will be an opportunity to change your preliminary course schedule after you arrive, but pay close attention to any deadlines specified by CIEE staff.
  • Neither CIEE nor UCEAP can assist you with questions about fulfilling home department requirements. You will need to contact your home UC department advisor.

Registering through UCEAP: Entering your courses into your MyEAP Registration Study List

  • In the first month of the program, you’ll receive detailed instructions from the UCEAP Academic Specialist on how to enter courses in your MyEAP account. It is critical that you read and respond to all e-mails regarding the registration process.
  • Search the MyEAP course catalog to select courses offered by CIEE (i.e. the ILP and core course) and enter course information for other courses offered by UCSal.
  • Include the correct number of UC units in UC quarter units (even for semester campus students).
  • The UCEAP Academic Specialist reviews courses (especially subject areas and division) and finalizes Study Lists.  Check your final Study List carefully, as it determines how your courses will appear on your transcript.
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Handling Money Abroad
Diversity at UCEAP
Students with Disabilities

Accessibility and accommodations are very different from what you find in the United States. For example, most buildings do not make provisions for wheelchair users. Accessibility to public transportation and the ability to accommodate or understand the needs of persons with disabilities are limited in many areas. Ramps are uncommon in Brazil. Elevator doors are often too narrow for wheelchairs.

Brazilian students with learning disabilities (LD) generally are not identified or provided with special education services. For more information on how to prepare read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.


LGBTIQ Students
Moderate risks in both the Brazilian states of Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. The threat of harm is less in larger cities, such as Rio de Janeiro city, where the local population tends to be more cosmopolitan and accepting of different ways of life.  In more conservative areas of Brazil, including the heavily religious northeast, LGBTIQ individuals continue to face a risk of violence.
Recent political shifts have provided additional legal protection for gay couples. A 2013 National Council of Justice decision directed state agencies to register these civil unions as marriages, further institutionalizing formal acceptance of gay relationships. These policies broadly reflect a trend of growing acceptance of homosexuality, as reflected by the Pew Research Center survey showing 60% of Brazilians accept LGBTIQ persons.
A large portion of Brazilian society still strongly opposes homosexuality, and LGBTIQ individuals in Brazil face high levels of violence. In 2011, Brazil reported 226 incidents of homicide motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, while the United States reported only three. The population-adjusted murder rate for LGBTIQ persons in Brazil is roughly 120 times greater than in the United States, despite the fact that the Pew Research Center survey showed a similar level of acceptance of homosexuality in the two countries. Hate crimes take place nationwide, including in metropolitan areas where LGBTIQ communities and rights groups are most active.
Maintain a low-profile when out and about. Same-sex couples should exercise discretion with public displays of affection. Extra caution is advisable when visiting rural areas or lower-income districts.
UCEAP Insurance Plan
Carry a copy of your UCEAP insurance card at all times. 
CIEE Insurance Plan
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
​Medical care is generally good but it varies in quality, particularly in remote areas, and it may not meet U.S. standards outside the major cities.
Physical Health
Good basic personal hygiene and handwashing are critical to help prevent the spread of illness and disease. Diseases from food and water often cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Bring a good multivitamin to last the duration of the program.
  • Do not consume tap water, fountain drinks, or ice cubes. Drink only boiled water or beverages in sealed containers.
  • Avoid undercooked food, dairy products, and food from street vendors.
  • Avoid handling all animals. Wash any bites or scratches right away with soap and water and immediately seek medical attention.
Mental Health
You may expect to quickly adapt to the new culture—and you need to adjust rapidly to effectively meet the academic demands of the program. However, the many cultural differences that seem exciting to you at first can also be distressing and quickly lead to feelings of misunderstanding, loneliness, and culture shock.
Culture shock and homesick feelings are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture shock function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life. It is easy to become worn down from physical and mental stress due to the vastly different environment. To counter this, adjust your expectations, eat well and drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest, and share any concerns with the local CIEE staff. Do not try to handle things on your own.
Health Risks
Prescription Medications
  • If you are planning to buy prescription medication and will submit a claim with UCEAP insurance, you must fill and pay for the prescription within 14 days before the official start of the UCEAP program; otherwise, it will not be covered.
  • Do not have medications shipped to Brazil; Brazilian customs authorities will not accept them. Plan to take enough prescription medication to last the length of your stay.
  • If you have any preexisting medical conditions, carry a letter from your U.S. doctor describing your diagnosis, treatment, and prescription medications, including the generic names of the prescribed drugs.
  • Transport any medications carried from the U.S. in their original prescription containers and pack them in your carry-on luggage.
  • If you cannot take enough medicine to last throughout the program, make an appointment with a physician in Brazil and use the letter from your U.S. physician (describing your treatment and indicating the generic name of the medications) to make an appointment with a local doctor to see whether the local doctor will issue a re-fill to your medications.
  • Don't assume that your U.S. prescription will work in Brazil. You must meet with a local doctor before you can refill a prescription.
  • Europ Assistance can provide information about whether a specific prescription medication is legal and available in Brazil. Call them in advance of your trip (from the United States dial 1 (866) 451-7606 with the name of the medicine. Generally, medications containing amphetamines and derivatives are illegal in many countries (e.g. Adderall) and country Customs restricts the amount of narcotic medications a traveler may bring into a country.
  • For more information regarding prescription medications, see the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad


Although many medications are available in Brazil’s major cities, the availability and quality of medications will vary in remote areas and may not meet Western standards.
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
Crime & Prevention

​Relative to the rest of Brazil, Salvador has high rates of violent and petty crime. Petty crime is the primary security risk for travelers. Travelers are directly targeted. Use caution and guard personal belongings. Travelers are encouraged to maintain situational awareness at all times, as robberies and petty thefts have been reported at all times of the day. Most, however, occur during the evening hours after 6:00 p.m. Muggings have been reported all over the city, but the areas of Campo Grande, Centro, and Cidade Baixa have the highest rates and the least police presence.

The areas of Paripe, Sao Marcos, Itapua, Liberdade, Pernambues, Brotas, Boca do Rio, Sao Caetano, Fazenda Grande do Retiro, and Periperi have also reported increases in petty crime.

Avoid using the ATMs in Salvador after 6:00 p.m.; many people have reported that criminals lurk near ATMs at night waiting for potential victims to withdraw money. Reliable statistics are difficult to confirm, although on-the-ground accounts have indicated an increase in these types of crimes in recent years. 


Avoid all favelas, pacified or not. You are at risk of falling victim to violent and petty crimes throughout Rio, and favelas would just put you at higher risk. Territorial disputes or shootouts between criminals an police still occur, and innocent bystanders may suffer collateral damage.
Drug dealing, extortion, and corruption are all still serious problems, but may not escalate to violence as frequently as before pacification.

Civil Unrest
Traffic & Transportation Safety


Salvador has an extensive fleet of taxis that can be hailed on the street, as well as a series of special taxis operated by licensed companies, which can be found at the airport, hotels, or booked by phone. In Salvador some taxi drivers overcharge tourists by taking circuitous routes in order to extend the metered fare. To help avoid such problems, agree on the fare (at least roughly) before entering the taxi and ensure that the driver uses the meter.

Pedestrian Safety

  • Be predictable.
  • Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.
  • Use sidewalks where provided. Where no sidewalks are provided, it is usually safer to walk facing road traffic.
  • Cross or enter streets at designated crosswalks.  Make it easy for drivers to see you - dress in light colors and wear retro-reflective material. Carry a flashlight in very dark areas.
  • Don't assume vehicles will stop; make eye contact with drivers, don't just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
  • Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals; look before you cross the road.
  • Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely.
  • Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lane, higher speed streets.
  • Be careful at intersections where drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning onto another street.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
Fire Safety
In An Emergency
The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action office.

* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.