Internships are key for those looking to gain career experience and get ahead in the labor market. An international internship can add a little something extra to the resume and interning in an emerging market like Brazil is a savvy career move.
Internship culture in Brazil is common practice in most professional areas. Many college majors require students to complete an internship as a graduation requirement. Others simply do an internship for the career experience. Internships in Brazil vary in length from 1 month to over 2 years. Internship work requirements depend heavily on the company’s specifications and needs as well as the intern's field of study and work availability.
Internship Rules and Regulations
The first step for getting an internship in Brazil is knowing and understanding exactly what an internship entails. The rules and regulations of an internship are standardized in Brazil guaranteeing a minimum in terms of hours worked and expected benefits. These are:
- Standardized schedule at 6 hours a day and 30 days week.
- Vacation of 30 days in a 365 day period.
- All bank holidays off, 11 federal + state + election day in election years.
- Transportation stipend, Vale-Transporte, for monthly transportation costs.
- Expense stipend form 0 – 2.000 BRL.
It is important to note that while foreign interns in Brazil are strictly prohibited from receiving a salary they are, however, eligible to receive a stipend which is the de facto salary for interns in Brazil. Benefits vary widely from region to region and state to state. Those working in the major metropolitan areas and are studying in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math – can expect to earn more than those who don't. For example, the average intern stipend in Brazil is 772 BRL. The averages for an economics student and an engineering student are 1.220 BRL and 1.127 BRL respectively.
Intern Visa Requirements
Interning in Brazil is similar to studying in Brazil. The visa type is the same, Vitem IV, and the requirements for getting it are the same in every way except that the candidate must have internship opportunity instead of an educational opportunity. The candidate will need the basic documents required for all visa applicants and the additional items specific to those seeking the Vitem IV.
- eligible candidate that will work as an intern or unpaid trainee with the intention of gaining practical knowledge that contributes to growth in their respective professional area
- internship contract that details the company hosting the student and a desginated Brazilian educational institution.
- letter from US educational institution where candidate is a current student
- copy of birth or marriage certificate
- proof of residence within the consulate's jurisdiction region for the past 12 months
- proof of financial ability to cover expenses while in Brazil
- criminal record issued within the last 90 days by the state police
Where to Get an Internship
There are many foreign and Brazilian multinational corporations operating in Brazil. The majority of which are located in the major metropolitan areas such as Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Salvador, etc. The vast majority of these companies, if not all, maintain intern or trainee programs in many different areas with varying durations. These programs can normally be found on the Brazilian websites of these companies.
There are also job sites that can be used to search specifically for internships or trainee programs, programa de trainee, as they're known as in Brazil. The following are the most commonly used:
Vagas - General employment search engine with a specific internship and trainee program search option.
Catho- General employment search engine with a specific internship and trainee program search option.
My Trainee- Specific internship and trainee program employment site.
Estagio Trainee- Specific internship and trainee program employment site.
Info Jobs- Specific internship and trainee program employment site for IT students.
Trampos- Specific internship and trainee programs employment site for communications students.
Increasing the Odds of Being Hired
A foreign student applying for an internship in Brazil is likely to have advantages and disadvantages compared to the local competition. The goal is to play up the advantages and compensate for the disadvantages. It is also important to note that internships are normally designated for students in their last 2 years of college or having graduated recently, i.e. within the last 2 years. The following will help increase the chances of getting an internship in Brazil.
- resume in English and Portuguese
- language ability in English, Portuguese and other major world languages
- student at a world-renowned university
- majoring in a growning field in brazil
- proven knowledge and experience in the professional area