International Students

Welcome to the University of Fortaleza, located in Brazil's Northeast. Fortaleza is the Brazilian coastal city with the sunniest days throughout the year. Founded in 1973, the University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR) has gained growing prestige among institutions of higher education in Brazil and is considered the best private institution in the North and Northeast of Brazil.

Unifor has approximately 22,000 students and a faculty of 1,200 professors. Unifor offers over forty undergraduate and over one hundred graduate programs in Business, Law, Technology, Humanities, and Health.

The campus has a complete infrastructure that includes laboratories, auditoriums, a library, a theater, recreational and sports facilities, a health center, a cultural center, a convenience center, research centers and several university extension services.

Unifor is one of Brazil's top institutions for education and scientific production. Since its foundation, it has provided excellent conditions for teaching and learning. Our modern infrastructure welcomes students from all over the world.

Fortaleza, meaning fortress in Portuguese, started as a colonial fort in the 17th century. It has since grown into the urban center and capital of the Ceará region of Brazil. With economic growth, it has become the fifth-largest city in the country, transforming from a small fishing village into a hub of cultural influence. Today, Fortaleza is home to South American literary movements such as 'the Spiritual Bakery' and is an integrated center for the arts in Brazil.

The tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and rich intellectual history of the area attract visitors from around the world. The world-famous beaches, breathtaking architecture, and vibrant nightlife make this an ideal destination for a great experience abroad!

International students can study at Unifor for one or two semesters without paying any academic fees due to an agreement between institutions. During their time at Unifor, students can take courses in English and learn Portuguese.

The academic exchange program brings together students from the University of Fortaleza and other universities around the world. The students get to know each other, study together, and exchange experiences. Unifor offers courses to these students and facilitates interaction between them and Brazilian students.

  • Orientation Sessions

Unifor provides welcome and orientation sessions for new international students. The sessions cover various themes, including the University's online system, student and library cards, public transportation, safety tips, and more. They typically occur 2 to 4 days before classes begin. The exact date is communicated to students and partner universities via email.

  • Academic Calendar

1st Academic Semester runs from February to mid-June, and the 2nd Academic Semester runs from August to mid-December.

For a detailed academic calendar, please contact the Center for International Strategies at

Please note that Unifor does not offer on-campus housing. However, we can provide you with a list of apartments available for rent. Please contact the Center for International Strategies for an updated list.

The estimated cost of living is usually between R$ 2,000 and R$ 2,500 per month for students.

Exchange students are free to choose most courses, regardless of major, in consultation with the academic advisors at their home universities. Course preferences must be indicated on the application form. However, availability is subject to demand and the Center for International Strategies cannot guarantee a spot in a student's preferred course.

Unifor also offers English-language courses in all four Center of Sciences. These may vary from semester to semester. Please contact the Center for International Strategies for an updated list.

Students must take a minimum of 12 credits and a maximum of 24 credits per semester. International students may choose a combination of courses taught in Portuguese and English. They may also take Portuguese as a Foreign Language I and II courses throughout the semester.

During your semester at UNIFOR, you can also participate in volunteer and art programs, most of which take place within the university campus and benefit the poor community that lives near the university. At the end of the semester, you will receive a certificate of completion for each program. 

Art Groups 

In order to promote some artistic activities such as theater, dance, singing and instrumental music, the Edson Queiroz Foundation, through the University of Fortaleza, is a great developer and supporter of artistic groups:

Mirante Group of Unifor´s Theatre

The Unifor Theater Group Mirante is composed of 15 members, including students and members of the external community. The actors have theatrical training and develop plays for children and adults. Thus, the group contributes to the formation of a solid theatrical base in the city of Fortaleza, enriching the local theater by encouraging new productions and artistic interventions. It is possible to join the group, but it is necessary to go through an audition with the coordinator, Prof. Hertenha Glauce.

UNIFOR Dance Company 

The Unifor Dance Company is composed of 16 dancers, all students of the University of Fortaleza, based on classical and modern dance, the company develops choreographies in both styles and some thematic pieces that fill the creative presentations of the company with sparkle. It is possible to join the company after an audition with the coordinator, prof. Marcio Carvalho


The Unifor Choir is composed of 30 members among students, staff and members of the external community. The choir performs musical pieces in different tones and rhythms, with the voices of sopranos, basses, tenors and basses, bringing joy to many people. To join the group it is necessary to participate in an audition with the coordinator, conductor Luis Carlos Prata.

UNIFOR Camerata

Unifor Camerata is a chamber orchestra made up of 18 musicians who perform eclectic instrumental and classical music with violins, viola, cello, flute, flute, clarinet, saxophone and piano. Coordinated and conducted by conductor Marcus Vinicius Cardoso, violinist, the group also records its own albums and many other artists. To join, you must audition with coordinator Marcus Vinicius and have your own instrument.


The Big Band Unifor is formed by 17 musicians and with instruments typical of American, with saxophones, trumpets, trombones, piano, guitar, acoustic bass and drums, Big Band Unifor performs regularly under the baton of conductor Robson Lima. The repertoire is quite diverse, from big band classics to the most popular productions, including Bossa Nova, Samba, Funk, Frevo, among others, always with a jazzy outfit and arrangements by established musicians. To participate, you must audition and bring your own instrument.

Social Responsability Projetcs 

Social Responsibility Projects

The project acts through playful work with those interned in the following institutions: Pediatric Hospital Albert Sabin, Nucleus of Integrated Medical Attention, Support House Sol Nascente, House Torres de Melo and Pediatric Center of Cancer. The age group of the project goes from preschool age to elderly people. Different techniques are used to socialize the skills and abilities of the volunteer students, adaptable to the needs of the institution. The work of the Jovem Voluntário (Young Volunteer) consists in providing moments of joy, relaxation through drawing, painting, storytelling, playing games, puppets, etc., and has as main purpose to humanize medical consultations and bandaging through playful work with those interned in hospitals or need to be kept in institutions for medical care.

In addition, to make the students aware of how to contribute to their community, so they might learn how to deal with different social and economic realities and train young people to exercise their solidarity, citizenship and their rights, as volunteers, in the transformation of society. Moreover, the projects seek to contribute with the partner institutions to help the next, doing something to improve the lives of others, either in community service or in the administration of the program.  

Elementary School of Application Yolanda Queiroz

The Elementary School of Application Yolanda Queiroz, located on the campus of the University of Fortaleza, serves the children of Unifor employees and the children who live in the community of Dendê and the surrounding area. Currently, the school has 540 enrolled children between the ages of 4 and 12. Classes take place in the morning from 7:30 to 11:30 and from 13:30 to 17:30. The curriculum includes Computer Science, English, Physical Education, Children's Literature, Music and Art classes, in addition to the regular disciplines. The pedagogical action is based on a social interactionist proposal, where the children are the protagonists in the construction of knowledge and the teacher is a mediator of this learning. 

Understanding that learning takes place at all times and that social interactions are privileged moments for it, the school is open to receive the academic community for the exchange of knowledge through active participation in the children's routine. The school is patterned in academic practice space for university students who play a role in their field of practice for the development of research in many areas. For international students interested in volunteer work, the school offers four hours per week, divided into two days to participate in different activities and age group.

Are you a new international student looking for guidance and friendship in Fortaleza?

Unifor has the perfect program for you. The Buddy Program is designed to create a mutual learning opportunity for new international students and Unifor students. It consists of a team of Unifor students who volunteer their time as mentors. They will help you adjust to the university and city environment. The Buddy Program is a great opportunity for educational and cultural exchange throughout the exchange period. You will be matched with one of our students who will contact you by email before the semester begins. This person will be your mentor and will help you with your adaptation process at Unifor and in Fortaleza.

Foreigners who wish to study in Brazil - without immigration purposes or the intention to engage in paid activities that are not internships - must apply for a special temporary visa at the nearest Consulate General or Brazilian Embassy. Student visas in Brazil are called Temporary Visa IV, or VITEM-IV.

The VITEM-IV is valid for up to one year at a time, depending on the course in which the student is enrolled, and can be renewed as many times as necessary for the student to complete the course. The application for visa extension must be submitted to a Federal Police Department or the Ministry of Justice within 30 days before the current visa expires. It is important to mention that those who come to Brazil with a VITEM-IV are not allowed to engage in paid activities that are not internships.

Contact your local Brazilian consulate for more information.


  • What is the RNM?

The RNM (Registro Nacional Migratório) is the equivalent of a Brazilian citizen's identity card and is considered as such whenever a person is asked for proof of identity in Brazil. It certifies the identity of foreigners with temporary or permanent residence in Brazil. It allows them, for example, to open a bank account, buy a student bus card or carry out any activity that requires confirmation of an extended stay in the country.

  • Who needs a RNM?

Any foreigner admitted to the country on a temporary, permanent, asylum or refugee basis must be registered in the country and approved by the Ministry of Justice. This includes exchange students. After arriving in Brazil, the student has 90 days to register with the Federal Police and apply for the RNM. If this time passes and the person does not start the process, the bureaucracy of obtaining an RNM becomes a very costly and time-consuming process.

The Center for International Strategies promotes several events to integrate international and Brazilian students during the semester. Such events as the International Fair, where international students have a space to talk about their country and university, Brazilian students interested in participating in exchange programs have the opportunity to ask locals questions about culture and studies. The Cultural Connection, in which international and Brazilian students have the opportunity to discuss the differences between education, culture and professional experiences in their countries and in Brazil.

Another form of integration between international and Brazilian students is the Sports Day, a day where international students have the opportunity to play sports with Brazilian students during the day. The Center for International Strategies is always trying to promote new events of integration, a few other events are probably implemented every semester.