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Brazil HD Summer

Summer in Brazil 2016:  HD 495 with the YMCA

Sao Paolo City Shot

Program Overview:

This summer, in partnership with the YMCA São Paulo, CSUSM HD students will travel to bustling São Paulo, Brazil. The first branch of YMCA São Paulo was opened in the capital of São Paulo state, in 1902.  Today there are 12 branches and 20 locations, each providing a range of social services with the mission to bring about meaningful change through ongoing encouragement and tools for child welfare, education and employment. The YMCA seeks to work to make sure every child, family and community has what they need to achieve their best. The beneficiaries of YMCA services are primarily people from low income communities in social vulnerability and high risk situations. The ACM Centro location is the downtown high-rise location. Many services, such as sports & recreation activities, social and cultural tours, arts & crafts, school support, and English and computer classes are provided through this facility. Monthly meetings for families and workshops, such as finances, are offered as well.
This is a 5-week first summer session course. During the first three weeks, CSUSM students will work with the staff and volunteers at one of the community-based YMCA programs that has approximately 80 youth in the morning and 100 in the afternoon in Brazil. They will also participate in course meetings each evening at ACM Centro and take part in cultural exploration (this includes a multi-day excursion to Iguazu Falls). Upon return to the U.S., students will continue working with the YMCA (in Escondido) for an additional week and document their collaborations in Brazil and Escondido in a brief film. Dr. Eliza Bigham, in CSUSM's Department of Human Development, will be your program leader. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to engage with the local community and apply your skills and knowledge while learning!

Program Highlights:

  • 90+ hours of service in a community-based YMCA program in São Paulo, Brazil (approximately 10 hours will be at the YMCA in Escondido)
  • Collaboration with young adults in the YMCA Leadership Development program both in São Paulo, Brazil and in Escondido, CA
  • Tour of the historic center of São Paulo (including the Mosteiro sa Sao Bento), the Parasio Area (including the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand), and the Ibirapuera Park Area (including the Museu Afro-Brasil)
  • Excursion to Iguazu Falls

Academic Calendar:

3 weeks abroad (June 5 – June 25) PLUS 2 weeks on campus (June 26 – July 9)

Academic Focus and Units:

3 units HD 495 or 4 units of HD497 through CSUSM's Extended Learning

Language of Instruction:

English.  No knowledge of Portuguese language or culture assumed.


Class level: Students with upper-division standing by the end of Spring 2016

  • GPA: 2.75 and above; good academic standing through departure


Students will be housed in shared dormitories at the YMCA.

Estimated Cost:

$2,300 + Extended Learning Fees (paid directly to Extended Learning for HD 495 or HD 497)

Above fees include tuition, room and partial board (lunches), access to YMCA sports facilities, museum entrances, medical insurance, ground transportation to/from airport, transportation to/from field experience sites and on all field excursions.
Airfare, meals not listed, and personal expenditures are NOT included in the program cost and are estimated at $1,000 to $1,200 (This is primarily dependent on airfare).

To Apply:

Contact Dr. Elizabeth Bigham at to arrange to meet and discuss the program. 

  1. Print out the application materials below. All application materials must be received by Thursday, February 18 along with your non-refundable $300 deposit to the Office of Global Education. Online payment preferred through CashNet:  Please be advised that all payments aside from those on debit cards will accrue a 2.75% convenience fee.  Cash, checks, and money orders made payable to CSUSM will also be accepted.
  2. Final payment is due on Thursday, March 17 to the Office of Global Education. Payment of tuition related expenses will be due directly through Extended Learning and follow the payment guidelines set out for Winter Intercession. Remaining program fees due to Global Education follow the procedure outlined above.
  3. Two mandatory pre-departure orientations will be held in February and April to plan for the service activities, review the course materials, and confirm all travel details.

Summer Term in Brazil Application: