skip to contentThe University of Texas at Austin


A church surrounded by palm trees near a bright blue sea, overlaid with Portuguese

This caption describes the image above.

Besides Brazil and Portugal, Portuguese has official status as the language of Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, and East Timor. There are over 200 million speakers of Portuguese, which ranks it in sixth place among the languages with the greatest number of speakers (after Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, Hindi, and Arabic). Of course, a large part of this is due to the size and population of Brazil.

Given the physical and economic size of Brazil, students who study areas as diverse as business, botany, music, sociology, or engineering, all find a niche within Brazil. No study of Latin America is complete unless it includes that of its largest country in size, economy, and population. Afro-Brazilians constitute the largest black population of the New World. Brazil also has the largest Japanese population outside Japan. The overwhelming majority of the Amazon rainforest, home to countless species of flora and fauna, is located in Brazil. With 9,000 km of coastline, Brazil has gorgeous beaches, from Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach to the enormous sand dune and palm-lined beaches of the northeast. Splendid colonial architecture is found in cities such as Salvador, Ouro Preto and Belém. Brazil has the most famous Carnival in the world, a rich traditional folklore, and delicious cuisine.

Because of the many similarities between Spanish and Portuguese, and because so many students have already studied Spanish previously, the UT Portuguese program offers intensive first-year (POR 610S) and intensive second-year (POR 611S) courses in Portuguese. This allows students to complete the equivalent of four semesters of Portuguese in just one year. For those students who do not speak Spanish, the regular three-semester sequence is POR 601C, 610D, and 611D. There is also an option to complete POR 611D in the summer in a study abroad setting.