Exchange Students (how to apply)
Universidade de São Paulo (USP) offers a number of exchange places for students from partner universities from all around the globe. You can apply for the international exchange programme if you are currently enrolled in your first year (or above) of study at a university that has an international exchange agreement with USP.
Free Movers are not eligible for an exchange place and cannot apply through the Central International Office. If you are considering applying as Free Mover, please contact the Local International Office of the School/Institute of your interest to check if you are eligible.
Still USP may consider applications of students nominated by Study Abroad Advisors/Exchange Coordinators of non-partner universities. In this case, admission of students will be subject to the availability of places. Please contact your Study Abroad Advisor/Exchange Coordinator of your home university to discuss the application process.
USP has 8 campuses spread across the state of São Paulo:
• São Paulo Campus, subdivided into 4 different locations:
1. São Paulo Cidade Universitária Armando de Salles Oliveira – Campus Butantã (see location);
2. São Paulo USP Leste (see location);
3. São Paulo Faculdade de Direito – Largo de São Francisco (see location);
4. São Paulo Quadrilátero da Saúde (see location);
• Bauru: (see location)
• Lorena (see location);
• Piracicaba (see location);
• Pirassununga (see location);
• Ribeirão Preto ;
• São Carlos (see location):
How to apply
Please note that if you are applying directly through one of our Local International Offices operating at the faculty level, especially if there is a direct bilateral agreement between your department and one of USP, you may receive different instructions.
You will need to contact your home university Student Exchange Coordinator for application information. To be eligible for an exchange place you will need to be nominated by your home university. You will find further information for (non-)partner universities and applicants on our Nomination/Application Platform Mundus.
Deadlines for nominations:
Exchange in the 1st semester (February – June): online nomination from 1st August until 5th October.
Exchange in the 2nd semester (August – December): online nomination from 1st March until 5th May.
Exchange in the 1st semester (February – June): online application from 1st August until 15th October.
Exchange in the 2nd semester (August – December): online application from 1st March until 15th May.
The academic calendar is available at the Nomination/Application Platform Mundus (on the left menu bar).
Before you apply
When choosing the courses you wish to attend, please consider the number of credits that you are expected to accumulate in a given semester. Before filling out your Learning Agreement, please read carefully the sections related to the Credit System at USP and Credit Transfer Guidelines & Grade Equivalency. Please note that there are differences between the undergraduate level and the postgraduate one. More or less credits may be accumulated, provided that the Learning Agreement is approved by the home university.
Academic Courses and Restrictions: many courses at USP have curriculum requirements that need to be considered. Therefore, the requests will be analyzed taking into account the student’s Transcripts of Records and the Learning Agreement.
A full list of courses can be found in the Undergraduate Course Catalogue at our Nomination/Application platform Mundus (on the left menu bar).
Special Requirements and Course Restrictions
• The School of Engineering (Escola Politécnica) requires exchange students to enroll in a number of subjects that correspond to at least 12 credits;
• Ribeirão Preto School of Economics, Administration, and Accounting (Faculdade de Economia e Administração de Ribeirão Preto – FEARP) requires applicants to enroll in a number of subjects that correspond to at least 16 credits;
• Exchange students in the area of Human Health are not allowed by law to undertake practical classes and internships. They may participate in the class as audit students only, if suitable, provided that they get authorization in advance;
• The School of Architecture and Urbanism (Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo – FAU) and the School of Economics, Business and Accountancy (Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade – FEA) receive each semester a large number of applications and have limited capacity to admit exchange students. Please refer to their Local International Offices before nominating students / applying. We highly recommend that students intending to apply for such schools consider the possibility of alternatively applying for other schools as well.
Supporting Documentation – Study Abroad and Exchange
• You must upload all supporting documentation as part of your online application.
• Make sure you keep originals and copies of all documents for your personal records.
Once you have been nominated as an exchange student by the Study Abroad Advisor/Exchange Coordinator at your home university, you will be emailed a link and instructions to complete your application.
The applications submitted will be analyzed by the Central International Office and forwarded to the School/Institute of interest in the following days after the deadline. The applications will be then subject to assessment on an individual and rolling basis. Please notice that the School/Institute that will be in charge of all academic and administrative procedures related to the period before, during and after the mobility will be the one where the successful applicant will attend most part of the courses, if the applicant happens to choose courses offered by departments belonging to different faculties.
Along with your application, you will need to upload copies of your supporting information:
1) Transcript of Records: versions in English, Spanish and Portuguese are accepted. Otherwise, it must be sent along with a simple translation into Portuguese;
2) Learning Agreement signed and stamped by an academic who has the authority to approve the mobility programme of outbound students (Learning Agreements), to exceptionally amend them when it is needed, as well as to guarantee full recognition of such programmes on behalf of the responsible academic body;
3) Passport (bio-date page). It must be valid for the period of exchange at USP;
4) Photo in “.jpg” format (50Kb at the largest);
5) Recommendation letter (optional) issued by an academic authority at the home university (in Portuguese, English or Spanish ). A one or two-page letter on which the academic explains his/her relationship with the student and recommends their admission.
After you apply
Since USP operates on a strongly decentralized basis, once the application is accepted, the School/Institute itself (not the Central International Office) will send the acceptance letter directly to the address informed by the Study Abroad Advisor/Exchange Coordinator, who will also receive a copy of the letter by email.
Most classes at USP are taught only in Portuguese. Therefore, the student must have a good command of Portuguese (at least B1 level according to the CEFR) in order to attend classes.
No specific certificate of language proficiency is required.
For information on the availability of study options possibly taught in English, please refer to the Local International Offices operating at the faculty level.
If accepted for an exchange period at Universidade de São Paulo, the student will receive an Acceptance Letter directly from the relevant Faculty/School/Institute. Providing the original document at the Brazilian diplomatic representationPT, EN or ES in their home country is a mandatory step for students to request the appropriate Student Visa (VITEM IV). USP is not allowed to enroll students holding a tourist visa!
The student will also have to provide evidence of medical insurance or appropriate and valid travel medical insurance policy for registration upon arrival. Students must purchase their Health/Travel Insurance in their countries of origin before travelling to Brazil (this must cover the entirety of the stay in Brazil). International students will have access to the Brazilian Public Health System only in emergency cases.
USP is a public state institution that welcomes exchange students at no cost, except for a few short summer, winter and extension courses (refresher, diffusion, specialization, professionalizing, extension, etc) that are either free of charge or offered at reduced fees.
National Foreign Registry
The former National Foreign Registry (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro – RNE), the long-term identity document issued after Federal Police registration, has been renamed Carteira de Registro Nacional Migratório (CRNM). Visitors will be required to register with the Brazilian Federal Police office within 30 days upon arrival and apply for a CRNM – information available in Portuguese only. For further information, please contact the Local International Office operating at your host school.
Housing Options and Campus Life
USP does not provide housing facilities for exchange students within the campuses. The search for accommodation must be carried out by the students themselves according to their economic conditions and interests. USP strongly recommends that students take part in the USP iFriends program in order to get more information about accommodation. Applicants may opt to take part in the buddy program when filling out the online application form.
For further information regarding alternative housing options outside the campuses, please contact the Local International Office of your host school. Alternatively, there are some options available at http://www.usp.br/internationaloffice/en/index.php/campus-life/housing
USP strongly recommends that students participate in the USP iFriends Programme, which aims at integrating international students into the university community and help them, especially with finding accommodation.
USP has university restaurants for all students. Several campuses offer free bus transportation. Please check the relevant website (available in Portuguese).
For more information about the exchange at USP, please contact the person at USP in charge of the exchange programme with your home university:
Africa and Southern Europe: firstname.lastname@example.org
South and Central America: email@example.com
North America, Caribbean, Asia and Oceania: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eastern, Western, Central and Northern Europe: email@example.com